The African National Congress has scolded columnist Max Du Preez over profanities he made about the ruling party on social networking site Facebook on Thursday.
“Du Preez … should know better than to publicly get entangled in using an expletive like that, stooping to gutter level and not just insulting, but also defaming all leaders of the ANC,” ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said in a statement on Thursday.
“Using profanity published in a public space like this doesn’t add any feather to his cap, but casts a shadow over his reputation.”
On his Facebook status, Du Preez said his friend had sent him a message referring to the ANC as “maaifoedies” and wondered where this “good old” Afrikaans term originated.
The political commentator said that according to the dictionary, “maaifoedies could mean the same as the American “motherfucker”.
He referred to Afrikaans language history and said it had its roots in the old Malay-Portuguese language, which was mostly used by slaves in the 17th and 18th century.
“So I say also to the ANC leadership this morning: You maaifoedies!” said Du Preez.
Mthembu said the “curse” was unacceptable.
“If Du Preez wishes to differ on opinion with any person in the ANC, it is his right to do just that,” said Mthembu.
“But, that does not give him a right to use such language (no matter how he tries to explain, repeat and even translate it into English) or to be the bully of the block attempting to hurt people with words.”
Mthembu said Du Preez owed the ANC and all South Africans an apology.
“Those associating with Du Preez or have syndicated his writings, should take note of his abhorable action.”
By 6.30pm, 101 people had liked Du Preez’s status and 40 peple had commented on it.
Reacting to the ANC’s demand for an apology on his Facebook, Du Preez said: “Maaifoedie is a perfectly acceptable word in good company. I did not call the ANC ‘mother fuckers’.”
He said he merely explained the origins of the word via an old book on Afrikaans, which said the word actually meant the same as the American swear word. — Sapa