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May 28 2012

Jacob Zuma penis painting removed by South African newspaper

Controversial image showing genitals of South African president taken off City Press website after escalating row with ANC

A South African newspaper has removed a controversial image of Jacob Zuma from its website, after coming under pressure from the African National Congress (ANC), explaining: "The atmosphere is like a tinderbox."

The weekly City Press was subjected to a call by the governing ANC for a reader and advertiser boycott after refusing to remove a photo of a painting that depicts the South African president with exposed genitals.

The boycott appeared to backfire on Sunday, with the paper selling out at many newsagents, but its editor took the picture down on Monday "out of care and fear".

The satirical painting, The Spear, has provoked one of South Africa's most polarising political debates in recent years, with the ANC and others construing it as reopening the wounds of racial apartheid, while others have defended artist Brett Murray's right to free expression.

"That we are now a symbol of a nation's anger and rage is never the role of media in society," Ferial Haffajee, the editor of City Press, wrote on Monday.

"We take down the image in the spirit of peacemaking – it is an olive branch. But the debate must not end here and we should all turn this into a learning moment, in the interest of all our freedoms.

"Of course, the image is coming down from fear too. I'd be silly not to admit that. The atmosphere is like a tinderbox: City Press copies went up in flames on Saturday; I don't want any more newspapers burnt in anger."

One of her reporters had been banned from covering a trade union meeting, Haffajee added, while vendors of the paper were most at risk.

"For any editor to respond to a threat to take down an article of journalism without putting up a fight is an unprincipled thing to do, so we've fought as much as we could. It doesn't serve City Press or South Africa to dig in our heels and put our fingers in our ears."

The ANC welcomed the move but still demanded an apology. Jackson Mthembu, the party's national spokesperson, said: "We appreciate what has been done. We appreciate that at least Ferial is saying she can now understand the pain.

"All that we are saying to her, is can she apologise for the pain. Please apologise to the people of South Africa. This pain has been so deep seated."

He added: "We will then call off the boycott."

Earlier Haffajee did issue an apology in an open letter to Zuma's daughter Duduzile. "I understand that what is a work of satire to me is a portrait of pain to you," it read. "I understand the impact on your little brothers and sisters, who may face teasing at school.

"Playground cruelty leaves deep scars. And if they and your dad saw the work in our pages and it caused harm, then I apologise from the bottom of my heart."

City Press's U-turn was condemned by South Africa's main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, with a warning: "We must never give in to bullies."

Mmusi Maimane, its national spokesperson, said: "Whatever one may think of the painting, no political figure – no matter how powerful or influential – has the right to tell any newspaper what it is allowed to publish or not; similarly no one should be able to tell an artist what he or she is allowed to paint."

He added: "It is unfortunate that president Zuma and the ANC chose to intimidate the City Press into taking down the painting from its website, and it is equally unfortunate that the City Press has caved in to this pressure after a valiant attempt to fight for what is right.

"This kind of self-censorship will stop our democracy in its tracks. We will never forget how the apartheid government bullied its critics in the media, many of them into submission. Those who stood firm against the bullies carried the torch of media freedom in those dark days. We must keep that flame alive."

City Press's initial stance had an unlikely defender in Julius Malema, the expelled president of the ANC's youth wing. In a column for the paper on Sunday, Malema said he intended to buy two copies, explaining: "Banning newspapers simply because we disagree with them, and boycotting them on the basis of believing that our conception of truth is absolute, poses a real threat to our democracy."

The intervention of Malema, who has fallen out bitterly with Zuma, fuelled theories that The Spear has been a gift for Zuma's base to manipulate public anger and mobilise support before he faces ANC factions in an election contest in December.

The ANC and its allies are organising a protest march on Johannesburg's Goodman Gallery on Tuesday/today, where the painting hung until it was vandalised by two protesters and removed. Although it is now widely visible on the web, including on a page of Wikipedia, the ANC will continue its legal action to have the painting and images of it banned. A court case has been postponed indefinitely.


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South African newspaper defies ANC boycott call

South Africa's ruling party, the ANC, has called for a boycott of the City Press newspaper after it published a picture depicting President Jacob Zuma in a Leninist pose with exposed genitalia.

The ANC has demanded that the Sunday paper remove the image - a reproduction of a painting by Brett Murray entitled "The spear of the nation" - from its website.

It has called on advertisers not to buy space in the paper and on people not to read it until the publishers comply with its demand.

In calling for the boycott, the ANC described the paper as "a paragon of immorality" which "does not belong to our shared democratic dispensation and values". It was therefore "anti-ANC, the president, our democracy and the majority of South Africans."

The paper published a copy of Murray's painting column 10 days ago (18 May) to accompany a review of the art exhibition in which it was displayed.

But the City Press editor, Ferial Haffajee, responded with a column, "The spear of the nation stays up," in which she defended her decision to publish on the grounds of both artistic freedom and press freedom. She wrote:

"Our constitution explicitly protects artistic expression as a subset of free expression...

I've learnt that the commitment to clauses like free expression (be it in art or journalism) is never going to be tested by still lifes of bowls of flowers or by home decor magazines.

It is always going to be tested by art that pushes boundaries and journalism that upsets holy cows, which is why our clever founders enshrined the right in our constitution."

Haffajee is an executive board member of the International Press Institute (IPI), which has condemned the boycott.

Its executive director, Alison Bethel McKenzie, described the call for a boycott as "an abuse of power and a form of harassment." She argued that it is "part of a disturbing trend, which has resulted in an erosion of press freedom in one of Africa's most respected democracies."

City Press, which is the third best-selling newspaper in South Africa with a reputed 2.5m readers, was also summoned before the country's film and publication board as censors sought to decide whether to classify Murray's work as pornography.

According to the latest news story on the affair, the ANC appears to be divided over the boycott call. Several senior members have opposed the party's official line.

NB: I am carrying a copy of the picture as an act of solidarity with City Press. The image is also displayed on the WAN-IFRA website and on many other sites.

"Spear of the nation" (Umkhonto we Sizwe) was the title chosen by the ANC's armed wing during its struggle to overcome apartheid.

Sources: City Press (1), (2) & (3)/WAN-IFRA/IPI/The Guardian


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May 22 2012

Jacob Zuma penis painting defaced - video

A controversial portrait, entitled The Spear, of the South African president with genitals showing, is defaced by two men in a Johannesburg gallery



Jacob Zuma painting vandalised in South African gallery

Picture showing South African president with his genitals exposed is covered with red and black paint by protesters

A painting depicting the South African president, Jacob Zuma, with his genitals exposed has been vandalised, leading to ugly scenes at an art gallery in Johannesburg.

One man painted a red cross across Zuma's face and penis while a younger man spread black paint over the image. The younger man was reportedly assaulted by security guards.

The 1.85-metre-high painting, entitled The Spear, has bitterly divided South Africans, with the governing African National Congress (ANC) describing it as "rude, disrespectful and racist", but others defending the artist Brett Murray's right to freedom of speech.

South Africa's Eyewitness news identified one of the vandals on Tuesday as a university professor, and said he "took a small can of red paint and slowly marked two large 'X' symbols over the genitals and the face with a paintbrush.

"After a while, another man with a small can of black paint smeared the painting using his hands."

It added: "Footage on eNews showed security forcefully cuffing the men with cable ties after the painting had been defaced."

Andrew Harding, the BBC's Africa correspondent, was at the Goodman Gallery and tweeted: "Zuma picture smeared with black paint. Man who did it tells me 'picture was offensive.' gallery guard assaults him. 2nd man arrested too."

He continued: "Red and black paint now covers Zuma portrait. Two men responsible now taken away. Gallery closed."

The BBC quoted one of the men as saying: "I'm doing this because the painting is disrespectful to President Zuma."

A private security company was guarding the painting when the incident happened at around 11am. The BBC website reported that one man wielding a paint brush was pounced on by guards and headbutted at one point.

Harding tweeted: "Young black man was beaten by guards. Older white man treated much more courteously."

The suspects were arrested and taken to a nearby police station.

A spokesman for the Goodman Gallery said: "One man painted a red X across Zuma's face and the second covered the painting with black paint."

Murray said earlier that his work was never meant to hurt anyone but an "attempt at humorous satire of political power and patriarchy within the context of other artworks in the exhibition and within the broader context of South African discourse."

Earlier, a crowd of ANC supporters gathered near a court in Johannesburg where the party was seeking to have the painting removed. It was decided that a full bench of the high court would hear the case on Thursday. Judge Kathree Setiloane said: "This is a matter of great national importance."

Meanwhile, as the temperature of the debate continue to soar, Enoch Mthembu, spokesman for the Nazareth Baptist church, commonly known as the Shembe church, called for retribution against Murray.

"This man has insulted the entire nation and he deserves to be stoned to death," he told the Times of South Africa. "What he did clearly shows his racist upbringing because art does not allow people to insult others.

"This is an attack on the culture of the majority, the black people of South Africa. With our culture we are allowed to marry many women. And white people must understand that and tolerate our culture as we do theirs. We are not like some of them who prefer prostitutes as they regard women as sex objects."

The painting has reportedly been bought by a German collector for about R136,000 (£10,345).


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May 21 2012

Jacob Zuma goes to court over painting depicting his genitals

South African president says his right to privacy violated by The Spear, triggering row about freedom of speech and racism

It began with an impression of a man's penis in an art gallery where only a tiny fraction of the population would normally set foot. Now it has become a national debate running the gamut from freedom of expression to the right to privacy, from the nature of racism to "what is art?", and is being seen as nothing less than a test of South Africa's constitutional democracy.

On Wednesday the president, Jacob Zuma, will bring a court action to argue that a painting showing him with exposed genitalia should be removed because it violates his right to dignity and makes a mockery of his office.

The claim is disputed by the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg, which is displaying the 1.85m-high (6ft 1in) painting, entitled The Spear, as part of artist Brett Murray's Hail to the Thief II exhibition.

Freedom of speech is protected in South Africa but Zuma's governing African National Congress (ANC) believes that, in this instance, it has a case beyond mere censorship of its critics. It contends that the artwork is playing up to crude stereotypes of African male sexuality. It is no doubt aware that Murray is white.

Zuma states in a legal affidavit: "The continued display of the portrait is manifestly serious and has the effect of impugning my dignity in the eyes of all who see it. In particular, the portrait depicts me in a manner that suggests that I am a philanderer, a womaniser and one with no respect. It is an undignified depiction of my personality and seeks to create doubt about my personality in the eyes of my fellow citizens, family and children.

"In terms of the theme of the exhibition, my portrait is meant to convey a message that I am an abuser of power, corrupt and suffer political ineptness."

The president added that he was shocked and "felt personally offended and violated".

The ANC has been rallying around its leader over the painting. Gwede Mantashe, its secretary general, said on Monday: "It's rude, it's crude, it's disrespectful."

If it had been a white man depicted, the reaction would have been very different, he added, but as far as many people were concerned, black people were just objects.

"I said, 'How about the idea of going to court tomorrow and as we sit there we can take off our trousers? ... we can walk around with our genitals hanging out'.

"It's crude … we have not outgrown racism in our 18 years [of democracy]."

Ngoako Selamolela, president of the South African Students' Congress, added: "This arrogance is ideological and an attack to the very value and moral systems of the majority African people and many other religious persuasions."

And Wally Serote, a leading poet and writer, suggested the painting was no different to labelling black people "kaffirs" – a highly offensive term.

"Blacks feel humiliated and spat on by their white counterparts in situations like this," he was quoted as saying. "We all need to learn that as creative people we have a responsibility to see that our work contributes to building a new South Africa, free from prejudice."

Zuma is a polygamous Zulu who has married six times and has four wives. In 2010, he publicly apologised for fathering a child out of wedlock, said to be his 20th overall. In 2006, he was cleared of raping an HIV-positive friend but caused anger by saying he took a shower after having sex with her.

"It will be his sexual legacy that we will remember more than anything else," said the columnist Mondli Makhanya in South Africa's Sunday Times, adding: "His sexual endeavours are therefore fair game for artists, cartoonists, comedians, radio DJs and tavern jokers."

Other South Africans, both black and white, have taken the view that, as a public figure, Zuma should be thick-skinned when it comes to satire.

Tselane Tambo, daughter of the late ANC stalwart Oliver Tambo, reportedly posted on a social networking site: "So the Pres JZ has had his portrait painted and he doesn't like it.

"Do the poor enjoy poverty? Do the unemployed enjoy hopelessness? Do those who can't get housing enjoy homelessness? He must get over it. No one is having a good time. He should inspire the reverence he craves. This portrait is what he inspired. Shame neh!"

The row has been good for business at the gallery, where staff estimate there were 50 or 60 visitors at any one time on Saturday, more than double the usual attendance.

A spokeswoman for the gallery said: "The gallery provides a neutral space in which 'dialogue and free expression' is encouraged. In this space the ANC's right to condemn the work is acknowledged as much as the artist's right to display it. This, the gallery believes, is democracy at work.

"But the gallery cannot give up its right to decide what art will hang on its walls. For this reason we are opposing the application brought by the ANC and President Zuma for the removal of the artwork."

The Goodman Gallery will be increasing security and may search visitors, she added, amid rumours of a possible public protest. South Africa's Sunday Times reported that The Spear had been sold for 136,000 rand (£10,345) to a German buyer.


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May 17 2012

Painting of Jacob Zuma angers ANC

Art gallery urged to take down Brett Murray's painting depicting South African president in what could be a codpiece

South Africa's ruling ANC has demanded the removal of a painting from an exhibition by one of the nation's best-known artists that it said ridiculed the party and the president.

Brett Murray's sculptures and paintings were an "abuse of freedom of artistic expression", said ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu.

He said ANC lawyers would go to court to force the Goodman gallery in Johannesburg to remove a painting of the president, Jacob Zuma, from the exhibition and from its website.

The Spear, a black, red and yellow acrylic on canvas priced at 120,000 rand (£9,000), depicts Zuma in a suit and what could be a codpiece accentuating his genitals. Some observers say it depicts Zuma exposing his genitals.

Other work in the show recalls Soviet-era propaganda posters, and twists political slogans to acerbic effect. In an essay accompanying the exhibit, curators say the work forms "part of a vitriolic and succinct censure of bad governance and are [Murray's] attempts to humorously expose the paucity of morals and greed within the ruling elite".

A silkscreen in the show has the silhouette of a machine-gun-toting guerrilla with Murray's own version of the last words of Solomon Mahlangu, an ANC militant who was hanged by the apartheid government in 1979: "Tell my people that I love them and that they must continue the struggle for Chivas Regal … and kickbacks."

Visitors can take away posters with the ANC spear-and-shield logo and two phrases: "For sale" and "Sold".

Murray said through the gallery that he would have no comment on the ANC's response. His criticism of the ANC echoes commentary that has appeared in newspaper articles and editorial cartoons and been debated on talk radio in South Africa.

In 2008, two years after Zuma was acquitted of rape charges, the cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro depicted Zuma with his pants down, preparing to rape a blindfolded, female figure symbolising justice. Shapiro, who signs his work Zapiro, was commenting at the time on allegations Zuma was trying to intimidate legal authorities.


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April 08 2010

South Africa: On the murder of the leader of Afrikaner Resistance Movement

On the night of the 3rd of April 2010, the leader of the Afrikaans Weerstandsbeweging (AWB), an Afrikaner resistance movement, Eugene Terre'Blanche, was murdered. This has happened in the time when issues of race relations are hotly debated following the singing of ‘kill the boer', an old apartheid activist song, by the ANC Youth leader, Julius Malema.

Let's see what digital citizens in South Africa are saying about his death and the future of race relations in the county.

From the Old has been following the entire fiasco so far and here's what he's posted on the South African Scouts Association: “Statement by the Verkenners Beweging van Suid-Afrika about the murder of Eugene Terreblanche”

PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A ROUGH TRANSLATION FROM AFRIKAANS TO ENGLISH, PROPER VERSION WILL BE UPDATED IN A FEW MINUTES.

The Scouts Movement of South Africa has learned with sadness of the brutal murder of the elderly Eugene Terre'Blanche. Mr. Terre'Blanche devoted his life in bondage to his people whom he loved had. It is sad that his life was lost, for his bondage.

It is instructive to note that the murders are less than a month after Mal-emma the first time the commission had sung “shoot the farmer.” This follows two days of court order against Malema and can rightly be asked whether this court order an influence on the killing of our uncle Eugene. Whether there is a connection between the death of the communist Hani Paassaterdag in 1993 and the murder of Uncle Eugene Paassaterdag in 2010 for the Scouts Movement irrelevant. The fact is, a vulnerable elderly farmer in his bedroom on barbaric way with sticks and PanGas beaten to death and the regime of the day, the climate created for this genocide being committed against our people are.

The link between Julius Malema's provocative statements and the Murder of Eugnene Terre'blanche is a consistent theme when looking at the list of blog posts on the subject. DBS on MyDigitalLife calls the event a big opportunity:

The murder of Eugene Terreblanche is a big opportunity for South Africans.

This is a great opportunity to take a big breath and show the world that we are able to be sensible, think before opening mouths and talk to each other before doing anything physically rash.

The hatred stirred up by different leaders in the past months is not good for the country. Let us use this man's death as a turning point to reconcile ourselves to the different views of the people in the country rather than lying the blame with someone singing a song.

Can we do that? Yes we can! Will we? Well sadly I suspect not.

Obviously having a bone to pick with the AWB. KickMugabeOut hopes the former AWB Leader suffers eternal torment. He does cover the story with some very interesting pictures and comments. One of the pictures shows a guy wearing a T-shirt with the old Apartheid flag as well as an Israeli flag on a fence.

South Africa's president, Jacob Zuma, has made a statement on the murder of Eugene Terre'Blanche. One is covered here by the Times Live Blog. And another perspective on Jacob Zuma's statement by From The Old:

Today Jacob Zuma will speak to South Africa at 2pm.

He will most likely tell South Africans to forget about the event and that we should move on, however many claim this is not possible and that the boers are under attack.

Jacob Zuma also said today that “South Africans not to allow agent provocateurs to take advantage of this situation by inciting or fuelling racial hatred”.

However he seems to forget that in the past few weeks white South Africans have been constantly attacked by Julius Malema that cant seem to stop the racial hatred and blaming of white people.

From The Old also covers another statement, this time by the AWB, claiming the murder was political:

The AWB came forward and said in a press conference that the murder was in fact political and that they will retaliate against Julius Malema whom they believe is the cause of the murder.

Julius Malema in the last few weeks incited hatred against white Afrikaners and Boers by insisting on singing the “kill the boer” song.

As tensions grow in South Africa just as the World Cup is heading this way. In under two months South Africa will hold the biggest sport event Africa has seen while polarization and racial tensions are peaking.

Continuing on this line, Common Dialogue asks, “Is Terre Blanche’s blood on Malema’s hands?”:

Eugene Terre Blanche died a violent death allegedly at the hands of his farm hands. Is this as a result of Malema singing “kill the boer”?

Terre Blanche was allegedly hacked and bludgeoned to death on his farm near Ventersdorp, in the North West province, allegedly by farmworkers during an argument over R600.
Emotions are inflamed with some rightwingers even threatening to avenge the killing. The question is just how “miraculous” was South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy?
And just how dangerous are the racial utterances by people like Malema and other politicians who are fond of racial political posturing?

From The Old, covering many aspects of the case on his blog, says this yet again from the AWB's perspective agreeing with a perspective revealed on Facebook:

“The BWB sympathizes with the family of Eugene Terreblanche and wants to point to the fact that this deed was politically motivated by Melama as revealed on Facebook”

White farmers all over South Africa are still under attack, now one of the biggest known boers have been murdered on his own farm because of a wage dispute allegedly. Many find it hard to believe that a normal pay dispute could lead to the death of Eugene Terreblanche the leader and founder of the AWB.

Eugene Terreblanche is said to not sleep at his farm at all and the fact that it came out that he was “sleeping” also brings up more doubts about the reality of what happened.

Whether or not this is politically motivated is another story, a white farmer employing black people on his farm gets murdered. The first thing that comes to mind is the song the ANC is so desperate wants to get unbanned. The same song Julius Malema was gagged not to sing but continues to sing in Zimbabwe despite court orders.

Tony Lankester puts up his opinion in “What Would Malema Do?”:

So Eugene Terreblanche has been murdered. And although it is probably unrelated, the fact that it happened while the country debates the appropriateness of struggle songs like “kill the boer” is going to put the whole debate in stark relief. It is a real life example of what the song’s critics have been saying, and Malemaphobes will gloat into their G&T’s. And while it is unlikely that a tubeless rendition of the song inspired anyone to put a bullet into a sleeping Mr Terreblanche, it will be interesting to see what Julius Malema does next. Will he back down and stop singing it? Will he publicly condemn the murder and say that actually doing it is not what he meant? Or will he stick to the principle he’s been holding forth and sing it at the next opportunity?

FliMflaMfLiK argues that instead of focusing on “kill the boer” the song, and we should focus on this facts: “Terreblanche = White Earth”:

Everyone seems to be focussing on “the song” but nobody is looking at “the facts”. Getting knickers in a twist is what people do best and what they should be doing is sitting back and looking at the logical:

1. They were 16 and 21 respectively - very young.
2. They did not run, they waited for the cops.
3. They were angry about not getting their monthly salary of R300.00 each (shocking).
4. Apparently Eugine treated them very badly in the past (this I can well believe). He had threatened to kill them before.
5. Given the above, could these young lads have thought (in their minds), that they were acting in self defense?

Just because Eugine was famous, it's an issue?

These young men may not have known anything about any song in their parts. We don't know.

Perhaps it's wise to wait and see what other facts present themselves?

And finally, in a satirical twist, Azad Essa uses the Terreblanche event to pick apart issues and stereotypes in the South African Muslim Community in his post on Thought Leader “Was Terror’Blanche a Muslim?”

Overall, one of South Africa's leading figures of the “Afrikaner Resistance” movement has been put to rest in violent circumstances.

February 23 2010

South Africa: What do bloggers think of Zuma's child out of wedlock?

I will deter from making another sarcastic remark about just how much Zuma seems to feature in my posts. Although, there ceases to be anything else which catches so many headlines with such boldly indecent behaviour.

I will keep it simple: The South African President Jacob Zuma has had a child out of wedlock despite having 3 wives of his own. What do South African bloggers think of a president with 3 wives, who has been married 5 times and now has a child out of wedlock?

WE'll start off with Blog South Africa:

I often wonder what goes through the heads of some of these ‘leaders’ in South Africa. Today I opened up IOL as I usually do and found this article about Zuma wanting to initiate a national dialogue on what constitutes South Africa’s “moral code”.

At first glance I thought that this was probably a good idea - especially cming from a man whose morals are dodgy at best. Perhaps he was having a pang of guilt regarding his recent misdeeds. It didn’t take long however, for me to see another side of this plan.

In the article he talks about people respecting other cultures, but what I think he means is that all cultures in South Africa need to accept all the things that HE believes is culturally right, while disparaging everyone else’s beliefs.

The problem I have with Zuma and this morality ‘conversation’ is that they are probably going to come up with a set of morals which THEY believe are correct and then put that into law. The result will be a slew of ‘moral’ crimes and crimes against culture. This is precisely what has already happened in many of the Islamic states. Does this mean that we too will get a ‘morality’ police, where the morals of the chosen few are forced onto the rest of us?

From “The Wild Frontier”, we get some interview insight into Zuma:

JACOB Zuma really he can hide his bizarre sexual behaviour (impregnating multiple women out of wedlock) behind the fig leaf of “culture”.
He appears blissfully unaware of how this whole thing is playing out there. He has lost respectability and is the standing joke at the taxi rank.
Instead of accepting this he wants to accuse those who are unhappy of disrespecting his culture. Is he seriously arguing that it is good idea for a 67-old man to have frequent unprotected sex with multiple partners half his age? This in addition to several marriages?
Yep, he is. Read this extract from the Sunday Times interview with him today:

“We need this conversation that must help us reach a common understanding as South Africans,” he said.
He appeared shocked and surprised by the outrage that followed the scandal, telling the Sunday Times: “There are Muslims, Christians, Jews, Pedis and so on … How do we live together with an understanding that we understand each other?
“Values may not exactly be the same, but how do we bring harmony to this?
“Since Madiba (Nelson Mandela) said we must live together in harmony, we have not taken that discussion further.”
He said that while the constitution championed “unity in diversity”, South Africans were still looking at “things differently”.
In an apparent reference to concerns about his polygamous marriages, Zuma urged “all (South Africans) to respect all cultures”.
“How do we judge our values as a society? How do we judge other communities with whatever they practise? We need to create some platform to strengthen the respect of one another. We need to create a platform where there is no community that does not respect another.”

Tannemys en Sinterklaas post up Zapiro's extremely funny cartoon on Zuma.

Synapses gives us this response which includes some thoughts on Zuma's uninspring State of the Nation address:

February is turning out to be a rather uncomfortable month for South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma. First we had Babygate, and now it appears that some of his goons have taken to abusing and arresting those whom they believe to not be showing sufficient respect to the Father of the Nation (or at least, a growing proportion of it). Last week, JZ gave a completely uninspired State of the Nation address, which included the embarrassment of being laughed at by some parliamentarians when he mentioned the father of his most recent (known) lover/ prospective wife. And, to top it all off, it appears that the trade union Solidarity’s campaign to highlight the dissatisfaction felt by some (many? most?) South Africans on the Government’s response to crime “has no basis in fact”, at least according to Presidential spokesperson Vincent Magwenya.

Although too long to post here, SoapBox.fm gives a very humorous account of what the State of the Nation address should of said.

Common Dialogue gives another humorous account of a jogger who flipped the bird at the presidential convoy:

I think National Intelligence made a meal out of a molehill regarding the Cape Town jogger who may or may have not flipped President Jacob Zuma the birdie.
The poor guy, Chumani Maxwele, told Times LIVE that he made a dismissive gesture to a VIP convoy taking President Jacob Zuma to his Cape Town residence.
Maxwele says he was simply expressing his annoyance at the excessive noise caused by the convoy.
He was detained but not charged and shunted from one police station to the next, and even spent the night in the cells as a bonus. He says he was told that the NIA wanted to interview him, and they were coming all the way from Pretoria (soon to be or not to be Tshwane).
When the man in black finally came the following day, Maxwele says they asked him what his views were on Zuma. Now, methinks there was no need to fly all the way from Pretoria to ask the guy what he thinks of the President.
When I listened to the audio interview, I expected Maxwele to reveal some serious questions posed to him before he was released.
He says he was released when he told them that he respected Msholozi as the president of the country blah, blah, diblah.
He was lucky he didn’t live in Lybia, Zimbabwe or the United States of America.

And finally… Biltong shares a joke with us… Zuma and a Psychiatrist:

A noted psychiatrist was a guest speaker at an academic function where Jacob Zuma happened to appear.

Jacob took the opportunity to get close up to the good doctor a bit and asked him a question with which he was most at ease..because he did have something..well ”troubling” his mind..

‘Would you mind telling me, Doctor,’ he asked, ‘ Some people think I am a bit ..well, you know..’ ehh stupid’..How do you detect a mental deficiency in somebody who appears completely normal?’ Im really not liking it when people are thinking I have lost my marbles..

Well Mr Zuma ‘Nothing is easier,’ the Doc replied. ‘You ask a simple question which anyone should answer with no trouble. If the person hesitates, that puts you on the track..then you have a feeling as to whether you are actually having a stupidity problem, or not.’

‘What sort of question?’ asked Zuma.

Well, you might ask something like, ‘Captain Cook, the greatest ocean explorer… made three trips around the world and died during one of them. Which one did he die on?”

Jacob thought a moment, and then said with a nervous laugh, ‘ Hehhe you Doktor…eishhh, you are trying to trap me with a trick question right?? You wouldn’t happen to have another example would you? I must confess I do not really know that much about history.’

(If you don’t know the answer..it’s time to worry too:)

You cannot disagree with one thing. Zuma is one very colourful character, but whether the final judgment will be to mar or to benefit will remain to be seen. However, in my view, any economic prosperity without a moral foundation will be short-lived and lead the country into greater dangers.

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