Return of the Mac

2011-07-09 17:56

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Zuma today?
Relentless and unceasing focus on efficient implementation of existing policies and systematically attacking corruption at all levels of our lives.

What will you do differently than previous spokespersons?
I hope to continue the work that they have done.

I do not want to compare myself to them. I simply have to do the job to the best of my abilities.

How will you work with the media?
I want to focus on ensuring that communication lines are open and flowing smoothly between the media and the president, and that there’s a developing understanding of the president’s position on issues and where he is coming from.

At the same time, we have a better appreciation of the media because you are in contact with people on the ground.

There has been a feeling that the presidency has not been able to explain itself effectively on major issues. Will you change that?
I don’t know.

The president is involved in a multiplicity of activities. It’s a hell of a race to keep up with his work rate and his involvement in these issues. I will engage with you.

I will ensure that I do my best to keep the lines open.

You are a well-known political figure in your own right. How would you describe your personal relationship with
the president?
We have a long history.

Our paths have converged here and there. We have worked closely at times on issues and other times we have had to work in different fields.

We are individuals in our own right, committed members of the ANC and committed to solving the problems of our country.

We have shared trenches in the liberation struggle. Now we share the trenches in the reconstruction of our country and I’m privileged to serve him.

Your other job is that of special envoy to Zimbabwe, North Africa and the Middle East. How will you juggle that with your new responsibility?
You guys will have to be the judge on that. I suppose the president is looking for someone he can get to do 10 tasks for one salary.

We just have to see how it turns out in practice. I will do the best I can in all tasks given to me.

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