Outrage over Zuma’s Africa utterances | The Herald

via Outrage over Zuma’s Africa utterances | The Herald October 23, 2013

South African President Jacob Zuma torched a diplomatic storm on Monday over his comments urging South Africans not to think like Africans in Africa, with critics saying such talk fed xenophobia that has cost the lives of many immigrants in South Africa.

Cde Zuma spoke on Monday at the Gauteng Manifesto Forum at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg on e-tolls where he cast aspersions on Africa in general and Malawians in particular.

“We can’t think like Africans, in Africa, generally. We are in Johannesburg, this is Johannesburg. It’s not some national road in Malawi,” Cde Zuma said, drawing furious reactions from within and outside South Africa.

Though South African presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj yesterday accused the media of quoting Mr Zuma out of context and blowing the statement out of proportion, his statement found few takers with social media abuzz with angry reactions.

“I don’t know what Malawi’s roads infrastructure has to do with Gauteng’s e-tolls. Zuma needs to chill with the arrogance,” tweeted writer T.O Molefe.

“I’m desperately trying to understand what Zuma meant with his ‘African’ remarks. I’ve translated it to Zulu and Xhosa, but it sounds even worse!” tweeted Mondli Zondo.

“Jacob Zuma must withdraw his presidency, not just the e-tolls statement. The rot is his whole being not just his thoughts,” said Mindlo Mindlo.

The DA also joined the conversation, with the party’s national spokesperson Mmusi Maimane calling for the president to withdraw his remarks, Sapa reported.

“The president was saying we must welcome e-tolls and pay up because new freeways have been built in Johannesburg. What the president doesn’t realise is Africa is actually developing at a faster pace than he suggests.

“Many governments in African countries have adopted investor friendly policies that create jobs. They are not burdening citizens with double-taxation through an expensive e-tolling system.”

Economic Freedom Fighters of fire-brand former ANCYL president Julius Malema also laid into Cde Zuma accusing him of peddling a Eurocentric superiority complex.

‘‘Mr Zuma has just proven to the people of South Africa, African continent and the world that he does not have respect for Africans and holds the Eurocentric stereotypes commonly repeated about Africans in certain cycles. How on earth can a sitting President deride Africans and speak of Africans as if they are inherently disorderly and unable to maintain their own infrastructure? How on earth can a sitting President of South Africa speak of Africans as a bunch of irresponsible people somewhere outside the continent which South Africa is not part of?

‘‘What the remarks by Mr Zuma reflect is not the state of ‘Africans in Africa’, but the state of his mind, which clearly remains colonised and controlled by dictates of white supremacy and Afro-pessimism. Instead of giving hope to the African continent and governments, Mr. Zuma chooses to make deriding and undermining remarks about Africans,’’ read the EFF statement in part.

According to the report, Cde Zuma said the roads would be tolled and workers who could afford and maintain a car would be able to pay e-tolls, and the rest of the people could use public transport.

Maimane said Cde Zuma should withdraw these “insulting remarks” and said people were not backward when they said they could not afford e-tolls.

He said Cde Zuma’s claim that working class people could afford e-tolls was false because people could not afford to pay an extra R400 a month to travel between Soweto and Midrand.

“Instead of insulting South Africans by saying we are backward when we oppose e-tolls, we should get rid of this backward and expensive tolling system,” he said.

The Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed an Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) appeal against the implementation of e-tolls by the SA National Roads Agency Limited on 9 October.

On Friday, Outa announced that it would not continue its appeal against the ruling because of a lack of money.

 

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 26
  • comment-avatar
    Clive Sutherland 7 years ago

    Storm in a tea cup, reading between the lines maybe Zuma was trying to say how developed South Africa was compared to the rest of Africa, I am told that Zimbabwe,s economy is 3% of SA!

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      jijiza 7 years ago

      I tend to defend what Zuma was saying, he said it as we often say when we are in the townships joking ” hey wena why ubehave samuntu omnyama, uvela wena. The oppostion was ready to blow up this the president did not mean anything to my fellow black this joke we always utter please yekani umsholoze listen to what the tyrant across our border always says, have you ever questioned him, hayi mafrica dont riducle your own

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    Dairayi Slogan 7 years ago

    No wonder why he said Zim elections were free and fair that is what he expects from Africa anyway.

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    Washumba 7 years ago

    He is refering to Zim leadership. According to Simon Chimbetu “a white brother is better than a black brother”. This statement is very true if you can expand it. You know in our culture we don’t criticise if I visit your farm even if it is very stone(tsanza) I will praise

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    What Mr Zuma said has some truth in it. It is true that we as Africans have came to accept very low standards of governance , infrastructure and general low standards of living as normal for Africans. Instead of criticizing Mr Zuma it’s time to reflect on our selves, is it ok for africans to live like this. What Mr Zuma is probably saying is let us move with the times and the rest of the world, take a look at the progress being made by Asian countries. Very African who wants to move forward is pulled back by other Africans and labelled Eurocentric or worse.

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    simon 7 years ago

    lol . At Zims peak it was 11% of south africas economy and zim was second strongest economy in Africa at that time. The next things is many African leader will put a toll on sunshine if you in it. We hear how rich in resources many African nations are diamonds oil and gold and the climate being ideal for growing variety of crops. Yet stop and look where we are the level of poverty is still there and yet the Gvts get fatter cars get posh-er the houses of Gvt ministers get bigger even though their salaries don’t reflect to support such lifestyles. It all stinks of greed and corruption. Ghana, Liberia and Botswana maybe Namibia are about the only countries in Africa with reasonable governance and that are not an embarrassment to the continent. Wake up Africa is all I can say!

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    Kalusha 7 years ago

    Truth hurts

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    Not much to talk of the Zimbabwe economy. We are heading towards an economic gridlock. Only the supreme society linked to the Jurassic cabal will flourish from our resources while we, the electoral tools, are left to our industry to toil.

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    Forget about how was the economic 30yrs ago b4 it was taken over by ZPF thugs just find a way of feeding yo family our kids now in zim they don’t know what is to enjoyng moving around the city coz its full dirt even the parks also. You cunt even buy icecream its soo expensive even to take your family for dinner in restuarant you can’t afford

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    Zuma is really one brainless pompous ass just like our unbeloved leader and he like ours is raping his people with his new found diamond mine called “e-tolls”! Where oh where can we find one honest person to lead this beautiful country out the grip of evil and corruption??

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      jijiza 7 years ago

      Zuma is better than the other moron across the border. Otherwise in South Africa we are sitting pretty how many South Africans are crosing the border into tyrant country in search of employment

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    Africanson 7 years ago

    He has been very disrespectful to fellow humble Malawians. Joice Banda does not deserve this. She is more respectful than him Jacob. Zuma is simply not thinking because SA is not where it is because of his unAfrican thinking. What has he done when most of his people are releaving themeselves in uncollected buckets in many parts of SA? Go to Thembisa and Alex and see how people are are leaving. He has no reason at all to be disrespectful

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      jijiza 7 years ago

      Malawians are the most respectable citizens in South Africa today dating back to the 1960s, few malawi nationals are harrased in South Africa or at borders

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    joseph 7 years ago

    It was a mere infrastructure comparison made by Zuma of course South Africa is among the best thanks to the whites. Under the wings of whites black people of the South are superior, but in my opinion the opposite is true,all Africans who depend on themselves are more superior than those of the South because I can imagine South Africa without whites-Oh! What a hell?

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    Blueten 7 years ago

    If we were to send back everyone who is not south African back to where they come from, their economy will collapse. More than 60% of the working class is made of foreigners. So Zuma be careful with your words. I come from Malawi and I live in Australia. I have been to Johannesburg but I got tired of buying a new phone every month coz of unlimited robbery services that run in South Africa 24_7. If you don’t want south Africans to think like Africans in Africa what do you want them to think like? Being a president does not mean you can now tell people the way they should think, I think you are forgetting your roles

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    bingo wajakata 7 years ago

    It is the truth! You guys look like you want to have it both ways. When the club of dictators protect each other for their failures you shout and now one of them is for once telling the truth you shout. What do you want? There are no good national roads in Malawi, is that the truth or not? There are no good roads in Zimbabwe either. If the Malawian government is offended they should go hang as Mugabe would say or better still fix their roads. I return Malwai’s president should talk about aids and HIV and hit back at the behaviour of shower head. If this thing goes around the public will for once look and enjoy the circus. So I say unto you lets the fireworks continue or is Joyce too chicken to hit back?

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    tinofiranyika 7 years ago

    nomatter which way yu can understand him here the president was lost i shudder to think what he wld say the day african liders wld meet infact does he rilly know what it entails to be an African He cld hve bin drunk how can a reasonbl leader usher out delusioned focus of mind He must learn to manage he temperament tabula-rasa. Does he know how much did other southern african countries suffered from expatriation of their resources to SA by the BSAC british south africa company during colonisation. SAns must silence their cunning greedy bulldogy who is forcing bornes down their throats or else come with their bucket toilets to his face. African is a progressive continent if we can do away fro this brand of retrogressive mind. Wake up AU, SADC etc

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    Africanson 7 years ago

    Joice banda will not stoop so low and shout back like a pre-school drop out. She has been to school and she is married to an single educated husband. She is not a dictator but inherited a poor country. She one africsm lady who has done a lot to women snd improved the economy.

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    Harper 7 years ago

    Many a true word spoken in error.

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    Greyhora 7 years ago

    The only problem with Zuma’s statement is the implication that SA is not a part of Africa, yet it is called South AFRICA!!

    Otherwise the rest of the statements ring true, whether we like it or not!!

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    Pakukutu 7 years ago

    If you drive down the highways of Malawi all you see are donor billboards showing who funded the road construction mainly the EU. For SA its different the citizens pay and have to pay for their infrastructure. Africans wake up this is the truth.

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    S.A has infrastructure where whites and some black brethren stay. Mokoko(shacks),Blair toilets in towns,schools without toilets for learners, an average class of 95 students. Learners with weapons in their school bags etc. There is so much order across the border.

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    tkpatson 7 years ago

    Zuma is right only that he used Malawi intstead of Zimbabwe. Joyce is trying to sort her country’s econonmy. In Harare roads are so bad all VIP’s need a 4×4 in addition to the merc coz the life cycle of a new car there is 3 years. Zuma is just proud of his infrastructure and Joburg.I have heard many executives and ministers in SADC proudly narating how they are flying to Joburg for a weeks meeting. Deny this. As for Zuma’s ‘African thinking” his second language let him down, who amongst us doesnt know ‘umunthu womnyama, chibhoyi, chivanhu, sons of the soil,and sons of the dark continent’. We are the richest continent with farming soil and weather, diamonds, gold,coal,oil, platinum, waterfalls and all but we are so poor and donor food and money means a lot to us and our governments, africa is the darkest with no electricity, the diamonds we trade for guns and shoot the opposition or cleanse ethnic tribes. We cant even copy paste like the Chinese but all technology and finished products we just import and are proud to be AFRICANS. Zuma is saying if some time back we were primates(monkeys etc) we should now stop thinking like them. The truth hurts and dont give us the slavery and colonisation hogwash.

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    Africanson 7 years ago

    At this level of leadership a lot is expected from this leader. Careless banter that is common with football players is not expected in cabinet especially when etolling in gauteng has nothing to do with another nation. In any case all incoming vehicles from other countries are going to pay. If it was necessary to despise anyone, he should have used local municipalities within sa because this is not an african project. No at any time did malawi said anything that warrants this kind of disrespect. Taking more seriously the worrying thing is the statement reflects how he views other nations. SA could be developed but that does not make its citicens smarter because those black SA peeps have not achieved anything of material. Some even claim that they were better of during oppression. His statement is very wrong and stinks all the way to hell.

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    Mwanawevhu 7 years ago

    It is the truth though.Africa should stop being defensive and start cleaning up their act

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    Sharrylee 7 years ago

    Zuma was just saying the truth as it is ,for example we Zimbabweans have allowed bad gorvenance because we love to obey people whom we think are better than us and have money, thats an african way of thinking.