Department spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi said on Sunday the minister was having lunch at a restaurant with family when a blogger, who was at the same restaurant, threatened on Twitter to physically harm Nzimande.
MINISTER of Higher Education Blade Nzimande will be laying charges against two bloggers who took to Twitter and threatened him and his family with violence.
Department spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi said Nzimande reported the matter to Twitter authorities.
He said on Sunday the minister was having lunch at a restaurant with family when a blogger, who was at the same restaurant, threatened on Twitter to physically harm Nzimande.
“The initiator blogger said, ‘Guys I’m at a restaurant and there’s a minister here – should I hit him?’ Another blogger responded, ‘send location, sizokusiza’. Another blogger went further, making threats and very worrisome inferences on the work of ministers.
“In responding to the instigator blogger, (a) blogger said ‘stand up and clink a glass and call attention to their table and offer a short thought – we deserve better from you and your friends and you deserve to be uncomfortable in public spaces until you start doing your jobs.’”
Mnisi said it was very apparent that the bloggers did not only threaten the personal safety of the minister and his family, but also sought to publicly humiliate the minister.
“When Minister Nzimande was made aware of the tweets, the minister recognised the individual who was seated not a distance from where the minister was seated at the time, when the minister was at the said restaurant in Howick, outside Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal.
“The bloggers violated Twitter rules and regulations which are against the incitement of violence (against) … fellow bloggers or members of the public.”
Nzimande would be opening a case against the bloggers and would further consider taking legal action against others who “joined the tweets” by inciting violence and hate.