President Jacob Zuma has been highly attacked for embarrassing South Africa in a recent China Central Television, CCTV interview
The criticism came after Zuma made statements which showed his lack of knowledge of the world while speaking with a Chinese journalist Tian Wei on the CCTV-News programme World Insight.
The interview aimed at gaining insight into South Africa’s role to the G20 summit as the only African country in the G20 group in Hangzhou.
Going through his reply to the questions, commentators say Zuma humiliated himself and South Africa and showed a lack of understanding of core economic issues and his inability to hold an English conversation.
Among the commentators is the Editor-in-Chief of Business Day and Financial Mail, Peter Bruce, who condemned Zuma for accepting the interview in the first place
“He is simply not able to hold an English conversation on, say, aspects of industrialization at any length, ”
“While Tian Wei looked poised and graceful throughout the interview, Zuma looked slightly insane, his hands covering his face much of the time he was talking.
Similar to Bruce’s words, Moneyweb editor Ryk van Niekerk described the interview as “cringe-worthy”, 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,” van Niekerk slated
Here are excerpts of what President Jacob Zuma said while replying journalist Tian Wei’s questions
“I think of all the regions of the world, [Africa] was the only one which was totally colonized 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.”
“… So whilst other countries moving, they were in a sense ‘trapped’ in the colonial situation and they had(?) to get a phase where they were fighting for their liberation.” Zuma said during the CCTV interview
When asked on the same CCTV interview, about the approach African countries (including South Africa) should adopt in order to have industrialization, President Zuma said: “Well there are many things that we need to do. The question of industrialization in our own continent has one side only, does not have a negative side.
“Why, because we’ve never been industrialized in the past. Industrialization waves that have come and gone, Africa was not touched. In other countries industrialized, for the first time we are industrializing. Because colonialists were not there to industrialize Africa. But in South Africa you have a different kind of situation wherein there was industrialization, but not by the indigenous people, the majority, by those who came to settle. Now what we are saying is that the black people themselves must create the industry. So for the first time we are creating middle-class; we are creating people who are going to own businesses for the first time
“So it can’t have a negative side; positive side all the time. We are going to create jobs; we are for example training our people, skilling them for the purposes of industrialization with us. So that’s what we are looking at. Part of what President Xii Ping was saying, [is] to focus on the continent is actually to support among others, industrialization itself…”
President Jacob Zuma has recently been facing huge criticism following his alleged roles in most corrupt political manipulations in the country alongside state capture.
The recently concluded local elections, which saw the ruling party relinquishing it power in most municipalities to opposition parties, has escalated the call for his immediate resignation as the SA president.