'It’s called sarcasm' - Khusela Diko responds to 'pray for America' backlash

Suspended spokesperson for the presidency Khusela Diko was slammed for her post. File photo.
Suspended spokesperson for the presidency Khusela Diko was slammed for her post. File photo.
Image: Twitter/Khusela Diko

Suspended presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko has responded to backlash over her post urging followers to “pray for America”, claiming she was being sarcastic when she made the request.

Reacting to news that protesters supporting President Donald Trump had stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday, Diko posted a picture simply stating “Pray for America”.

The phrase later trended on Twitter as hundreds slammed her for focusing on the US while SA has “its own problems”.

Diko returned to the platform on Thursday morning to claim that she was being sarcastic.

“It's called sarcasm,” she told a user who mocked her request.

She also replied to her post, sharing the definition of sarcasm.

EFF leader Julius Malema, author Zakes Mda and One SA movement leader Mmusi Maimane were among those who weighed in on the original post.

Malema wrote, “He banna, wena?", while Mda said he would rather “pray for SA to recover all the corruption money from PPE (personal protective equipment) grifters and sundry ruling elite crooks”.

Maimane said Diko's prayer would be incomplete without “praying for PPE funds to be returned as well”.

Diko took a leave of absence in July last year, pending an investigation into allegations that her husband “scored” a R125m PPE tender. She denied wrongdoing by herself or her husband.

US law enforcement authorities struggled to maintain order as an angry mob clashed with police outside the Capitol on Wednesday.

According to the BBC, four people died in the violence. It said a woman was shot dead by police and three others died of “medical emergencies”.

Lawmakers were meeting inside the building to formally certify Joe Biden's victory over Trump in last year's presidential election, a result that has been disputed by Trump and his supporters.

Proceedings were halted after protesters gained entry to the building, but the US Congress later reconvened and formally confirmed Biden's victory.


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