Zuma sending 'wrong message'

2010-02-01 00:00

THE revelation yesterday that President Jacob Zuma’s 20th child was born last year shows he has “already forgotten” that he apologised earlier for having had unprotected sex.

This was Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille’s reaction yesterday, in a press statement, following a report published in the Sunday Times, that Zuma fathered a child with Sonono Khoza (39).

Sonono is the daughter of Irvin Khoza, chairman of the 2010 World Cup Local Organising Committee, and a longstanding friend of Zuma.

Zille said Zuma’s actions contradict the government’s campaign against having more than one sex partner and running the risk of contracting HIV/Aids from having unprotected sex.

She referred to the extensive advertising campaign OneLove on radio and TV and in the print media, which, encourages safe sex, the use of condoms and a philosophy of life that reduces the chances of unprotected sex with more than one partner.

“The president’s actions stand in strong contrast to this,” Zille said. She referred to pronouncements made by Zuma in 2006, after he was found not guilty of rape. “I had unprotected sex. I should have known better and acted more responsibly,” he said, according to Zille.

Zille said he has again succeeded in sending “the wrong message” to South Africans.

Zille cited the approach to HIV/Aids that was adopted by the country’s former president Thabo Mbeki, “who did great damage to the fight against the pandemic, and the attitudes of South Africans to it”.

“South Africa now has a president who … is doing similar damage to that struggle.

“There are people who argue that Jacob Zuma’s sex life is a private matter, but … his personal behaviour has profound public consequences.”

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