Zuma: The backtracking president

06 February 2018 - 10:25
By Londiwe Dlomo

President Jacob Zuma is known for his fiery speeches which often times were accompanied by a song or two.

In the recent years, Zuma, has forgone the singing but who can forget his vibrating rendition of Inde lendlela and M’shini wami?

Our charismatic Commander in Chief is known for populating phrases such as the use of Nkaaaandla and meme worthy renditions of opposition leader Mmusi Maimane’s speech about a ‘broken president.’

Certainly, his utterances keep the general public tuned into Parliament TV as much the protesting antics of the EFF.

But sometimes the president will say something that he regrets, it appears. The president has also come to be known to backtrack on statements he makes, for instance:

In 2015 the president was at the Tshwane University of Technology and he replied to a question from the crowd. A man had stated that police in Marikana had killed innocent people, his reply:

“Those people in Marikana had killed people and the police were stopping them from killing people.”

The following day The Presidency issued a statement saying that the president condemned all the deaths equally.    

Finance Minister: In arguably his most famous gaffe ever, the president of the republic fired then Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene. Nene was immediately replaced with David van Rooyen who became famously known as the weekend minister because on Monday, Zuma removed him from the post and re-appointed Pravin Gordhan to the post.

In 2016 speaking at a gala dinner in Sandton, the president stated that Africa was the biggest continent in the world.

“This continent is the biggest continent in the world. All continents put together will fit into Africa, “he said at the time. 

Once again, the presidency released a statement issuing an apology on behalf of Zuma.

2017:  During his 75th birthday celebration Zuma alluded that he would step down if the ANC asked him too.

“… Even if you say I must leave, I will leave with a clear heart. I'll be ANC until I die and do work without a salary because I'll be getting pension... I'll work hard, be there and use my strength to debate."

After the elections of the new ANC president however Jacob Zuma has repeatedly refused to step down according to various reports.

Zuma indeed is a man of many facets and umm words.