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Deciphering President Zuma's Speech

10 December 2013, 19:22

Like most concerned South Africans, I was deeply worried about the booing crowd ahead of Zuma’s speech. Much as we’d like to register our disapproval of the crowd’s behaviour; it is still their democratic rights. I know this is hard for many straight-minded people to fathom and accept as the reality experienced by most people on ordinary ground level.

Democracy is like an empty page without borders, whereupon people can write and register their deepest emotions and feelings; without being intimidated by powers that be. Like the Freedom Charter declares: The people shall govern..

Besides some sporadic disorderliness displayed at different intervals, general, we can all agree that the crowd has been magnificent and somewhat patient; given the longest day they had to endure. I salute the crowd for their dedication under extreme and unusual wet weather conditions for this time in Gauteng!

It was kind of scary when the crowd started to boo very loudly as Zuma was gesturing to begin with his speech; very telling. The band and the choir started to sing in attempt to bury the embarrassment that was about to unfold. I cringed and hoped the crowd will not continue with their booing once the choir stopped singing. And…thank God, common sense prevailed!

I must say and admit that Zuma did very well in projecting his voice as he began slowly to recover his gesture after from being booed by crowd minutes earlier. For the first time ever, Zuma spoke eloquently, lifted his head and faced his audience as if he was rehearsing his speech.

I believe that this speech was Zuma’s personal best since he became the president of the Republic.

I also want to believe that Obama’s speech earlier, must have worked wonders for President Zuma, it inspired him to rise to the occasion, and sure he did. The content of his speech was well written and fitted the occasion and was very appealing; thumbs up, to all who contributed to its contents. 

And again, up to here, the crowd was marvellous..

Finally, towards the end of his speech, Zuma regressed to the usual rhetoric of repeating himself over and over again. I can point it out without fear that the official Zuma’s speech ended when he started to speak in Zulu.

From this point onwards, it was the usual Msholozi speaking right up the end. In short, Zuma would have scored a cool 75% of my vote in terms of speech rendering, had he ended it where he started to speak in vernacular. I give Zuma 60% for this speech today, he’s done well, in my book, that is!

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