I was deeply shocked by the public statements of Minister in the Office of the President Essop Pahad, who chose to vilify a section of the South African nation before the international media at the Olympic Games in China.
Apart from being in bad taste and divisive, I would venture to call it unpatriotic.
The obvious expectations we have of parliamentarians and ministers is that they speak for the nation, particularly when they speak about potentially unifying and nation-building events such as the 2010 World Cup.
To target a whole group of South Africans as harbouring negative thoughts about the Games on the basis of obscure website comments is puerile.
Any politician can try and fortify any view by trawling the Internet. It can also do great harm to the country without adding substance to a wayward accusation or opinion.
What we expected from Pahad at such an important media forum is an objective assessment of the state of preparations for the World Cup.
Instead, he seems to have used the opportunity to create a convenient scapegoat to blame in case we do not fulfil all the high expectations of the event.
Sandra Botha,DA parliamentary leader