South Africa – President Jacob Zuma has some odd ideas regarding Afrikaners and democracy. He has made bizarre comments in the past, and it keeps the public wondering if he is indeed sincere about anything he actually says.
During September 2012, Jacob Zuma told the South African National Assembly that minority groups have “less rights”. He continued and said that within a democracy, the majority prevailed. “You have more rights because you’re a majority, you have less rights, because you’re a minority, that’s how democracy works,” he said. And with that, he provoked a huge outcry from opposition benches.
Understanding how president Zuma defines democracy is difficult if not outright racist. Democracy defined in the English dictionary, “it is a form of a government in which all eligible citizens participate equally or directly through elected representatives, in the proposal, development, and creation of laws. It encompasses social, economic and cultural conditions that enable the free and equal practice of political self-determination. A state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges.
South Africa is known as a diverse nation, a rainbow nation, with more than ten official languages and even more cultures that are varied. Minority groups could be referred to many diverse cultures, not just color, there are, besides the whites, different color groups that would be classified as minority. When trying to determine the correct definition of what the president means by more rights or less rights could raise a concern among the different cultures of the country.
President Jacob Zuma seems to connect with controversy over and over again. Recently he was addressing a meeting in Sandton, Johannesburg and said, “Of all the white groups that are in South Africa, it is only the Afrikaners that are truly South Africans in the true sense of the word. Up to this day, they do not carry two passports; they carry one. They are here to stay.”
When questioned about the police corruption in the country, he replied, “You cannot put your trust in a person who is actually a criminal.” True to the Zuma style, this president is full of surprises. When he addressed the issue of apartheid, he sarcastically praised the innovative Afrikaner approach to protests.
During last year, the infamous Julies Malema, the former president of the ANC youth league, was convicted of hate speech using a song uttering the words “shoot the Boer”; well it is the same song our president sang after giving a speech at the ANC Centennial 2012 celebrations in Bloemfontein, South Africa on January 8, 2012. Only the president can get away with that. It’s the incredible protection laws for the leadership of our country.
Since his inauguration as president of South Africa, the people still argue about the coercive power of Zuma and his administration. The continued rise in crime, escalation of racist elements lurking about, and the staggering corruption of government and civil servants always take the focus of the Zuma government, and building a state of fear among the citizens of South Africa.
Zuma and his comments on any issue pertaining to the citizens of South Africa remain vague. Whenever Jacob Zuma speaks, there will always be a debate on whether his speech is fact or fiction.
Written by Laura Oneale.