David Moseley

This. Is. Johannesburg.

2013-10-22 14:55

Official spokesperson of the President of South Africa, Mac Maharaj, has jumped to the defence of his embattled boss. While Jacob Zuma has gone into hiding after insulting all Africans in Africa (but not outside Africa), Maharaj has cried foul in the reporting of the now infamous “We Can’t Think Like Africans” speech.

Maharaj insists that the quote has been taken out of context by media houses and opposition political parties, claiming that reports have purposefully omitted important punctuation marks in president Zuma’s comment.

“You guys. You guys,” said a finger-wagging Maharaj earlier today.

“You have to understand, that when the president addresses a crowd, he’s not only answering queries in that exact moment, but also answering the voices in his head. Sometimes he hears things, and answers just blurt out.”

Talking to himself

Maharaj went on to explain that the president was actually talking to himself when he said, "We can’t think like Africans, in Africa, generally. We are in Johannesburg, this is Johannesburg. It's not some national road in Malawi," and that journalists present at the ANC Manifesto forum should have taken this into consideration.

To better understand the comment, Maharaj broke down exactly what was going on in the president’s head:

"We can't."
This statement was actually in response to the president’s wives requesting an on site spa and beauty parlour at Nkandla. “It shows how the president is being mindful of the publics’ money,” noted Maharaj.

"Think like Africans, in Africa."

Here, says Maharaj, the president is simply imploring us all to think like Africans in Africa, and not like Africans in Europe or the Americas, which is to say we should all think a bit more Africany.

"Generally, we are in Johannesburg."
In this instance president Zuma was simply reminding himself that he was in Johannesburg for the ANC Manifesto forum. “At his age, he often forgets where he is,” admits Maharaj. “By loudly stating his location, he’s able to remind himself and calm his nerves.”

"This. Is. Johannesburg."

“Okay, okay. There’s no getting around this one,” confirms Maharaj. “Last night we watched 300, and Jacob did tell me that he’d like to kick Juju down a mine shaft while declaring “This. Is. Johannesburg”. He must have been daydreaming during the forum, and it just slipped out.”

"It’s not some national road."
Just the other day the president was having a problem with cyclists on his Nkandla drive way. A group had taken to cycling up and down the quiet road, forcing the president to run outside and chase them away, reminding them that it’s his driveway and not “some national road.”

"In Malawi."
“I’ll admit,” says Maharaj, “that just before the forum I asked the president where he’d rather be. It took him a while, but this was his answer. If you have to blame anyway, blame me.”

“So you see,” concludes Maharaj, “the president has no problem with Malawi. In fact, he’s invited Joyce over many times. This was all a misunderstanding, with journalists and others present failing to pick up the subtle punctuation in the president’s comments.”

We can’t. Think like Africans, in Africa. Generally, we are in Johannesburg This. Is. Johannesburg. It’s not some national road. In Malawi.

- Follow @david_moseley on Twitter.

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