Fikile Mbalula slams Bonang Matheba over inauguration champagne claims
ANC MP Fikile Mbalula has lashed out at celebrity Bonang Matheba for claiming that House of BNG would be the bubbly supplier at the presidential inauguration tomorrow.
Matheba took to her social media platforms to announce that House of BNG would be the bubbly supplier for the 2019 Presidential Inauguration
“@houseofbng is proud bubbly supplier for the 2019 Presidential Inauguration on May 25th 2019!! Congratulations to President-Elect @cyrilramaphosa... We can’t wait to toast with you,” she wrote.
However Mbalula came out guns blazing against the statement telling his Twitter followers that the party “can’t (sic) entertain such nonsense”.
“We come from a bruising election we cant entertain such nonsense this is not a Hollywood party is an inauguration of a President who must serve his people,” he wrote.
He further explained in a tweet to reporter Aldrin Sampear that as per President Ramaphosa’s instructions, there would be no champagne popping at the event.
“President when we celebrated our victory said no champagne we must respect our people, the people who put us in power therefore”, he wrote.
Mbalula was referring to comments made by President Ramaphosa at the "Siyabonga" election victory event outside Luthuli House in Johannesburg on May, 12th.
“Comrades we are in a good space, we have emerged victorious but comrades we must be humble in victory. We must be filled with humility. We will not be the ones who will be going on rooftops popping champagne bottles, No!
We are humble and we’ve been humbled by our people and we thank them for the investment of their confidence that they have made to us,” Ramaphosa said.
Speaking to SowetanLIVE, Mbalula reiterated that the Presidency had not made any endorsement of House of BNG. He however did not deny that the brand may be sending some bottles for the celebration.
“There is no such endorsement. People are fast-forward. We are dealing with serious issues here that affect our people. This is about inaugurating President Ramaphosa. It’s not about Bonang’s party. This is not a Hollywood thing,” Mbalula told Sowetan LIVE.
“It [House of BNG] might be there, but it’s not official. It’s not about Bonang and her brand. It’s about who we are and the integrity we seek to maintain post the election. That is important,” he said.
“She [Matheba] must respect that and everyone must respect that. We can’t say we are going there to celebrate and have a good time.
“That would be spitting in the face of our people. I asked the people in government and there is no such thing,” he added.
Mbalula told SowetanLIVE that the ANC had learned from past mistakes saying that voters had not chosen them to “entertain bubbles”.
“We are in this problem as the ANC because of things like this. If we don’t learn, then we are gone. Already R100 million is too much for a struggling economy.”
“If her company is been given a tender to supply whatever, it’s nothing official. We didn’t go campaign for people to vote for us to come and entertain bubbles,” Mbalula said.
Matheba’s team had not replied to our inquiry seeking clarification on the matter at the time of publication.
Bonang's PR team told TshisaLIVE that House of BNG was one of the small to medium companies being supported by the Presidency at the event.
"The Presidency is supporting the House of BNG and other small to medium businesses. This is a proud moment for Bonang as she is the first female in the MCC council to supply the presidential inauguration. This is a joyous occasion, we are optimistic," said Davin Phillips.