'Don't ask me': Edward Zuma clams up about father's recall
Embattled President Jacob Zuma’s eldest son Edward is known for mounting spirited and controversial defences on behalf of his controversial father‚ either through missives or media interviews.
But since the ANC announced its decision to recall the president after the party’s marathon national executive committee meeting in Pretoria on Tuesday‚ Zuma junior is unusually mum about the country's most significant political development in a long time.
When approached for comment by TimesLIVE on his father’s recall on Wednesday‚ Edward said: “No‚ why are you asking a wrong person? I don’t speak on behalf of the ANC.”
When pressed for his views as Zuma’s son or a member of the Zuma family‚ he said: “No‚ no! I am Msholozi’s son and I am also a member of the ANC. So the ANC that I am a member of has a spokesperson and I can give you the number of the spokesperson. But for me‚ no thank you chief.”
In another interview on Saturday before the ANC’s decision to recall Zuma‚ Edward said that as a family they were not involved in what was being discussed between the president and ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa concerning a smooth transition of power.
“We are not involved in that because we don't know what they are talking about‚” he said.
He said the family would not decide whether or not Zuma should finish his term‚ but rather those who had elected him to his position.
“He was not elected by the family. Those who elected him will decide whether he should finish his term or not.”
Edward‚ who failed last year to be elected chairman of an ANC branch bearing his family’s clan name‚ took many by surprise when he distanced the Zuma family from a controversial Instagram post by first lady Thobeka Madiba-Zuma‚ describing it as “unfortunate and regrettable”.
On Friday‚ Madiba-Zuma took to her @firstladyzuma Instagram account to post a picture of herself and Zuma – in what appears to be a presidential aircraft – with the caption: “My everyday crush‚ Nxamalala‚ Msholozi‚ Maphumephethe inkunzi emidwayidwa zinyane lika Mnyakana. Kusazoshuba ungalwi nomuntu engalwi nawe.”
Loosely translated‚ it reads: “Don’t fight with someone who isn’t fighting back‚ things are about to get ugly.” But Edward‚ in a statement claiming to be from the “Zuma Family”‚ shot back‚ saying the post was ill timed and potentially damaging. He said the family could scarcely hide its disappointment.
He said the family had been inundated with calls from members of the public following Madiba-Zuma’s Instagram post.
Edward said that although the family had sanctioned an investigation around the matter‚ “we want to state categorically that such tweets are unfortunate and regrettable”.
“No amount of words can express our disappointment. It is for this reason that we have decided to issue this statement of apology.”