A body language expert who carefully examined all that President Zuma told members of the parliament revealed that all that Zuma said concerning his Nkandla Homestead on Tuesday was the truth.
The body language expert, Francois Janse van Rensburg who is a c o-founder of Let’s Live Coaching said through his analysis, President Jacob Zuma showed all the signs of being honest when he answered questions in Parliament about his Nkandla homestead
Van Rensburg further explained that while Zuma was responding to questions asked by the DA leader Mmusi Maimane in the house, he could deduce that either Zuma believed what he was saying or he had been trained well on how to answer questions.
He said the president’s open hand exposing his palms and tapping the right side of his chest, where the heart is, were all signs that he was probably not lying when he told MPs he and his family paid for his KwaZulu-Natal home.
President Jacob Zuma had in a more relaxed and confident mood, told Parliament on Tuesday that he had never lied about the upgrades to his home in Nkandla when DA leader Mmusi Maimane demanded to see his bond, after quoting from a 2012 statement Zuma made to Parliament, saying that his home was bonded and that he and his family were paying for it.
Body Language expert eVan Rensburg said the president chose his words carefully, and used terms like “my home” instead of “upgrades”.
Even at the moment when the Economic Freedom Fighter’s MPs threatened to disallow him speak in the house for flouting the Constitution when he ignored the Public Protector’s findings on Nkandla, the president only responded with a giggle. And when the DA called him a joke, he replied: “You must laugh if I am a joke. Why don’t you laugh?” in a more joking manner.
To these, Van Rensburg said Zuma opened himself up to the public and the people he was responding to.
“He looked them directly in the eyes and did not fidget with his clothes. His posture was very consistent. He did not seem too uncomfortable when answering the questions. When people lie, they change positions a lot because they are uncomfortable.”
According to the body language expert, Zuma can only be cornered when parties ask him direct questions. He said some of them stood up and read their long question on a piece of paper.
“Zuma is 74, it would take a genius to remember the questions, understand them and answer all of them,” he added.
Meanwhile, political analysts expressed their view about the whole scenario, different from what the body language expert said. To Professor Susan Booysen of the Wits University Graduate School of Public and Development Management, Zuma came to the house with much display of arrogance.
“He came across as [someone displaying] false bravado to show us that he is still in control; he is a clever strategic operator” Booysen said
“He wears five different faces and he will show you the face you need to see at that time. He definitely played cat and mouse and he was the cat in the room,” She added.
To Booysen, Zuma showed immense arrogance in his choice of words. His confidence came from having a good support system from Cabinet members like State Security Minister David Mahlobo.
“He does not care if his statement contradicts what he said before. He cares about today and now. He has shown that he is powerful and that he is able to retain that power”
On the other hand, Professor Willie Breytenbac of the University of Stellenbosch thinks Zuma was a “cat with nine lives”.
“I think he acted like a boxer in the ring coming behind on points, and near the end of the match he suddenly comes up with these theatrics like Mohammed Ali. What I saw there was not confidence, it was false bravado.”he said as he refer to Zuma as one who would always lands on two feet, no matter what.