Fikile Mbalula says he posed with SA’s most famous blessee because he’s the people’s minister.

Hot on the heels of Boity Thulo’s “photoshopped” pictures that have been circulating on social media, a SA Music Awards (Samas) picture has now surfaced of Minister of Sports and Recreation Fikile Mbalula with South Africa’s most famous blessee.

Mbalula has faced criticism on Instagram and Twitter because of a picture of him with Amanda Cele, who appeared on eNCA’s current affairs show CheckPoint last month in an episode investigating the phenomenon of blessers, a euphemism for “sugar daddies on steroids”.

Some of his followers on Twitter initially defended the minister, thinking the picture was photoshopped and that Mbalula would never knowingly be part of the blesser-blessee trend. Mbalula’s Twitter account has been the target of hacking before, with hackers posting images of naked women to his timeline.

However, Mbalula said the picture was 100% real and he did not understand why people were making a big deal ofit as he takes pictures with people all the time.

“As the people’s Minister, I travel across SA & get asked by people to take pictures.I don’t discriminate because some were on CHECK POINT The now picture is not different from the pictures I take with many people. I was asked for a picture at the SAMA. I stood, they snapped one.

“The point is clear: the only Blesser is the above. Being asked for a picture can’t be blessing…. It’s not EFT,” he said on Twitter.

Some were still not happy with the explanation, questioning why the minister felt the need to explain himself.

“Feeling guilty perhaps?” asked one user. Some of the comments were: “you dont have to explain yourself Nkokheli being a blesser is not a crime”; “hehehe at least he’s not blaming it on photoshop. He agrees!!! Blesser, blessee and blessorĂ©, Which one and what level?”, while some accused him of being the man who’d started the blesser-blessee trend, saying “this is where our [Treasury tax] budget is going to basically”.

One follower, however, still doggedly the minister, whose nickname is Mr Razzmatazz, asking what the big deal about the picture was. She said she did not understand why people were attacking the minister for taking a picture with a fellow South African.