Penny Lebyane is dragged amid social media outrage over a proposed R22million flag to be erected in the country
That’s because the radio personality apparently defended the controversial decision made by the arts and culture department.
Agitation around a flag
On Tuesday May 17, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa defended the ministry’s decision to spend R22 million on a flag project.
The Minister presented a “feasibility study” before the Sports, Arts and Culture Portfolio Committee. In his presentation, he said the project would be a positive addition to the country’s heritage.
He said, “He carries and embodies democratic values.”
But as social media users blast the flag project’s exorbitant price tag, Penny Lebyane tweeted a different perspective.
Following Bonang Matheba’s viral tweet criticizing the minister, Penny compared the project to national monuments in other countries.
She tweeted: “Obviously @NathiMthethwaSA is disliked by a whole self hating industry so nothing new to me. But I have a question. How did they build your favorites The Eiffel Tower in Paris , the Statue of Liberty in New York and Christ the Redeemer in Rio De Janeiro? Why do you like them?
Denying that she had been ‘paid’ for her tweet, she continued: Personally, I don’t hate the Minister, I just work, make the best of every situation or opportunity for me and I will wear an SA n dress/flag. anywhere in the [world]”.
Amid the backlash, she added: ‘I haven’t studied the feasibility paper on the flag to cost R22m so I’m limited there. But that doesn’t sound like a lot of money for something that will outlast me. The Minister’s hatred cannot be the reason why the creatives themselves are not committing to solving their problems”.
CELEBS SLAM PENNY LEBYANE
Unsurprisingly, Penny’s tweets about the flag project drew a strong reaction, especially from other celebrities.
Robert Marawa replied: “These were NOT flags! These were NOT vain projects in a struggling economy of mass youth unemployment caused by a thieving government! “.
DJ Olwee clapped back saying, “Penny is a ridiculous expense. The Eiffel Tower was built to celebrate 100 years of the French Revolution. The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France for the freedom of the United States. These were to celebrate progress and the improvement of people’s lives. What are we celebrating? “.
Phil Mpela expressed his opinion on the flag fiasco, saying: “Penny, but it’s wrong on many levels. Comparing the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty to this is far from basic. The Statue of Liberty and many monuments have been supported by donations and fundraising. Moreover, the times dictate the necessity of such expenditure and now it is not fair”.
And Sol Phenduka reacted to Penny’s defense of the flag project: “Major tourism companies should sponsor this project as a proudly South African initiative and a show of patriotism. Not a PENNY of taxpayers’ money should go there”.