JOHANNESBURG - The weekend before Christmas saw a massive storm brewing between radio personality, Mark Pilgrim and Idols judge Somizi, which escalated into a race debate on social media.
It all started after Somizi posted a message on social media after calls for President Jacob Zuma to step down emerged last week. It came after the finance minister blunder, which saw Zuma replace Nhlanhla Nene with David van Rooyen, only to later appoint Pravin Gordhan in the same position in a matter of days.
The move saw the country lose millions of rand, while investor confidence dipped even further. The hashtag #ZumaMustFall emerged, with planned protests taking place on 16 December.
Somizi posted pictures of people wearing t-shirts bearing the old South African flag on his Instagram account with the following message.
"Racist white South African's hoping Zuma's fall will give them a white president or bring back apartheid is try denial of the reality. It's like Oscar believing that he'll one day take part in the olympics. Never. it's like Donald Trump thinking he'll be the next American president. Never. It's like Mercy Pakela believing she'll on day of a duet with Adele. Never. So pls stop taking expired drugs and accept or leave our country. Just cuz you got away with apartheid doesn't mean we can't see you using this Zuma campaign as a shield to hide yo racist bullshit. Nxa."
Peaceful Sunday to all pic.twitter.com/48RKt1cAHS— somizi somGAGA (@somizi) December 20, 2015
It was later reported that the images of the people wearing the old South African flag were old ones that had spread online, and were not taken on the day of the protests.
Mark Pilgrim, who was late on the bandwagon, retaliated to a screengrab of Somizi's message. (The original post by Somizi had been deleted -- but screengrabs of his message sans the images of the people wearing the old flag has gone viral) In a public message, although not tagging Somizi, Mark hit back.
"So the SA Idols judge, Somizi Mhlongo thinks ALL White people want a white president. Dear Somizi. On behalf of the many white people that you so quickly paint with the same brush, we don't care what the colour of the president is. We just want one that is honest and has integrity. F**k you very much."
His reaction garnered much Twitter support, as people only saw what Somizi had written. And while the context was not clear, Somizi took to Twitter to apologise and explain.
Mark later explained that they had spoken and has apologised for reacting blindly.
I expressly apologise to Somizi for misunderstanding what he said on FB. I agree with his statement below. pic.twitter.com/3FGC27me9b— Mark Pilgrim (@MarkPilgrimZA) December 20, 2015