Zuma versus The Truth

President Jacob Zuma was recently interviewed by Chinese journalist Tian Wei on the CCTV-News programme World Insight.

The interview formed part of its coverage of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou.

The interview was aimed at gaining insight into how South Africa – the only African country in the G20 group – could contribute to the summit.

Many commentators slated Zuma after the interview, arguing that he humiliated himself and South Africa and showed a lack of understanding of core economic issues.

Peter Bruce, Editor-in-Chief of Business Day and Financial Mail, said Zuma should not have accepted the interview.

“He is simply not able to hold an English conversation on, say, aspects of industrialisation at any length,” said Bruce.

Moneyweb editor Ryk van Niekerk called the interview cringeworthy, adding that it “underlines his lack of understanding of the challenges facing the South African economy”.

“If it wasn’t such a massive embarrassment for South Africa, it would have been funny,” said van Niekerk.

This is not the first time Zuma has shown a lack of knowledge.

The list below details what the South African President has said in recent years, and how it compares with reality.

“I think of all the regions of the world, [Africa] was the only one which was totally colonised and stayed there for a long time without Africa doing its own things. It was only in the decade of the sixties that they began to get their independence.” – CCTV-News World Insight interview.

It is debatable whether Ethiopia was ever colonised, but what is not debatable is that many African countries gained independence long before the sixties. Egypt gained independence in 1922, Ghana in 1957, Liberia in 1847, and Libya in 1951, to name a few.

“As a government in South Africa we have in fact done a lot of job creation, trying to invest, trying to encourage the private sector.” – CCTV-News World Insight interview.

Actions by the Zuma government, including replacing Nhlanhla Nene with Des van Rooyen and continued concerns regarding Treasury, has created an uncertain economic environment which chased investors away and weakened the rand. This, in turn, has slowed economic growth and job creation.

“This continent is the biggest continent in the world. All continents put together will fit into Africa.” – Speaking to the business community.

Asia is the largest continent by area, at 43.8 million square kilometres. Asia also has the largest population, with over 4 billion people. Africa is a distant second, with an area of 30.3 million square kilometres and a population of just over 1 billion people.

“It [a shower] would minimise the risk of contracting the disease [HIV/AIDS].” – Zuma speaking at the Johannesburg High Court after he had sex with his HIV-positive rape accuser.

The South African HIV Clinicians Society made it clear that showering or bathing will not prevent HIV transmission.

Spending money on buying a dog, taking it to the vet and for walks belonged to white culture and was not the African way – Zuma said in a speech in KwaZulu-Natal in 2012.

Caring for a dog cuts through all cultures and races, and the backlash caused by his statement resulted in an apology from the President.

Democracy is the brainchild of the ANC – President Jacob Zuma reminded Parliament in November 2015.

Athenians established what is generally held as the first democracy in 508–507 BC, thousands of years before the ANC was formed.

“How could you vote for people who do not know whether they are coming or going? They’ve got nothing except their voices. They are smaller, they’ve never ruled any country. They’ve got no experience.” – Zuma addressing ANC supporters at the Mbombela Stadium in 2016.

The ANC was voted into power in 1994 without having any experience in ruling a country.

The full CCTV-News World Insight interview with President Jacob Zuma

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Zuma versus The Truth