SA youth disapprove of Zuma booing: Survey

By Drum Digital
20 December 2013

Over half of young South Africans think it wrong that President Jacob Zuma was booed at former president Nelson Mandela's memorial service.

Over half of young South Africans think it wrong that President Jacob Zuma was booed at former president Nelson Mandela's memorial service, a survey revealed on Friday.

Market research company Pondering Panda CEO Shirley Wakefield said 53 percent of those surveyed disapproved of the booing, 40 percent believed it was acceptable, and seven percent were unsure.

Sections of the crowd at the FNB Stadium in Soweto booed Zuma at the memorial service on December 10 whenever his face appeared on the big screens.

Of the youth who disapproved of the booing, just over half believed it was wrong because it took place during Mandela's memorial service. A quarter believed it was wrong to insult the president, and 17 percent said Zuma had not done anything wrong to deserve it.

Opinion on the booing differed according to race.

Young black people were the least likely to approve of the booing, with only 36 percent thinking it was okay.

Fifty-five percent of whites and 52 percent of coloured respondents believed the move was acceptable.

Wakefield said it was clear young people had a strong sense of respect for Mandela.

"However, it's also clear that a significant number of younger people hold a negative view of the president, with two in five believing that heckling him while he was giving his speech was acceptable -- even during the memorial service.

"This should serve as a point of interest for the president, who needs to find out where he falls short with younger potential voters, and address their concerns." The survey was completed by 3041 people between the ages of 18 and 34 from all parts of South Africa, except deep rural areas. Responses were weighted to be nationally representative in terms of age, gender and race. The interviews were carried out on cellphones through an interactive application on the Mxit social network.

-by Sapa

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