snake, bird, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula

Was it a snake or bird spotted at Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula’s house?
Images via X: @chriseldalewis

Snake or bird? Tweeps baffled over Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula home ‘optical illusion’

Is it a bird or a snake? Social media users are debating the ‘optical illusion’ spotted outside Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula’s home.

snake, bird, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula

Was it a snake or bird spotted at Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula’s house?
Images via X: @chriseldalewis

The sighting of what appears to be a large snake near the home of former National Assembly speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has kickstarted a debate on social media.

But is the viral video just another optical illusion?

On Thursday, 4 April, the former Minister of Defence handed herself into the Lyttelton police station in Johannesburg.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority, Mapisa-Nqakula has faced multiple charges of corruption and money laundering.


In a video that has gone viral on the X platform, eagled-eyed tweeps spotted what appeared to be a snake near the home of Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

The video was posted by SABC journalist Chriselda Lewis, who filmed Mapisa-Nqakula leaving her plush mansion to hand herself over to authorities.

According to BusinessLive, the former Minister of Defence lives in an affluent area in the eastern suburbs of Johannesburg.

The snake – believed to be a python – was seen slithering along a neighbour’s wall towards Mapisa-Nqakula’s house.

Although Chriselda claimed she had spotted “movement” in the background, she admitted that she did not see a snake.

Nevertheless, the video had social media buzzing with speculation.

But while some were adamant that they spotted a snake, others claimed the sighting was actually a bird seen in an “optical illusion.”

X user @tboydaflame tweeted two side-by-side still images of what he believes is a logical explanation.

“Frame one: Due to the vehicle and birds moving in different directions, the camera motion creates the illusion that the soil path ‘snake’ behind the bird on the right is moving

“Frame two: Both birds are visible.”

Others agreed with his reasoning…

@zakes_ngidi: “You are right. Your explanation makes perfect sense.”

@skeshman11: “Nah, people need to go and visit their optometrist or ophthalmologist as soon as possible because that’s a bird”

@balesengEP: “Exactly, it’s a bird. There’s no snake there.”

The debate continued on the SABC breakfast TV show Morning Live, where hosts Leanne Manas and Sakina Kamwendo.

Believing it to be a snake, Leanne said: “No, this would have been the end of me. I would have dropped my phone and run away”


According to Chriselda Lewis, ADT Security was looking into the query in the area.

The South African reached out to ADT Security for an official comment. None was received at the time of publishing.