Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has defended his controversial Twitter post comparing United States President Donald Trump and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

In the tweet, Mashaba states that South Africans need to have discussions on the current political situation.

The side-by-side images in the tweet label Trump a “success” since coming into the White House, citing reduced taxes, stricter immigration control, economic growth and lower unemployment in the US.

Ramaphosa, on the other hand, was dubbed a “failure” due to increased taxes, his call for open African borders, economic decline and rising unemployment.

The tweet has subsequently been deleted.

“Someone sent me this and I looked at the performance of our two countries because we are being told lies all the time about economic performance and high unemployment being a sad result of global economic issues.

“It has got nothing to do with the personalities. It’s about the failure of this government to the men and women looking for jobs, the economy – if we are lucky – that it will ever experience any growth.

“In the meantime, we have allowed the Guptas to steal our country blank and at the same time we have given them a free exit. No one must try and think they can fool us as South Africans that the world economy is not performing. This has got to do with leadership,” says Mashaba.