Minister of transport Fikile Mbalula will on Friday open a case against Idols SA judge Somizi Mhlongo for “name dropping and misinformation”.
This comes after a video surfaced online of Mhlongo telling his Metro FM colleague Dineo Ranaka that there would be a lockdown extension, just hours before it was officially announced by the president.
Mhlongo said he had heard the information from “Fikile”.
Ranaka abruptly cuts off her live broadcast as soon as Mhlongo confirmed it was Mbalula who he was referring to.
Mbalula distanced himself from the claims and in a statement shared on his Twitter page on early Friday morning, the department of transport announced that the minister would take action by opening a case against Mhlongo for contravening the government lockdown regulations.
“Minister Mbalula will be at Sandton Police Station Friday morning to report the contravention of the Government Lockdown Regulations as published under the Disaster Management Act on fake news and misinformation peddling,” it read.
Mhlongo later apologised for his comment and in a series of social media posts claimed it was a “bad joke” made to scare his colleague.
“It was a bad joke on my part. I did say to my colleague later that I was joking and that I never spoke to the minister at any point I was just scaring her. Again I'm sorry for the bad joke and I apologise to the minister for such a dangerous statement,” he said on Twitter.
In a video apology posted to Instagram, Mhlongo added: “I realise now that the president has announced an extension that it's going to seem like I knew about it.
“I'm just like you, I did not know about it, I was just guessing. I think like everybody else I had a feeling that it was gonna be extended.”
Mbalula denied that he had told Mhlongo about the lockdown extension and said those who doubted could check his phone or ask the star.
He later reposted Mhlongo's apology and said it had been accepted.
— Minister of Transport |Mr Fix (@MbalulaFikile) April 9, 2020