DA gives Zuma advice during UK visit

2010-03-03 13:06

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma’s current visit to the United Kingdom will be

a real test of his ability as a statesman, the Democratic Alliance said

today.

Zuma’s treatment at the hands of a certain portion of the British

press – most notably the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror – does not excuse his quite

extraordinary attack on Britain and the British people, DA spokesman Kenneth

Mubu said.

Instead of rising above predictable criticism from a particular

quarter of the British press, he had allowed himself to be dragged down to the

level of the tabloids.

By accusing the British people of believing that Africans were

“barbaric and inferior”, he had insulted his hosts, and no doubt undermined the

entire purpose of the state visit – to strengthen relations between South Africa

and the UK.

“President Zuma must now forget the tabloids and focus on matters

of state,” he said.

He needed to promote South Africa as a tourist destination for the

Fifa World Cup and beyond.

He needed to strengthen trade links between the two countries, and

to desist from defending Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe and other human rights abusers

on the continent.

“The president must rise to the occasion for the sake of all South

Africans. This is a real test of his abilities as a [statesman]. We cannot

afford for him to fail it,” Mubu said.

Earlier, the ANC Youth League decried the British media reports on

Zuma.

“It is quite apparent that the British media is one that is

characterised and defined by the worst form of barbarism, backwardness and

racism,” spokesman Floyd Shivambu said.


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