An old saying goes: "Some people speak because they have something to say, others speak because they have to say something." The presidential spokesperson, Mac Maharaj's arrogance and failure to admit wrongdoing has rendered him very vulnerable and extremely predictable. It has become a norm that whenever president Jacob Zuma says something that results in his credibility being questioned by the public, Maharaj always claims that the president's assertions were quoted out of context. It then begs the question: "What is context?"
Zuma made remarks about people of Johannesburg to 'stop thinking like Africans in Africa because this is Johannesburg and not some national road in Malawi' and those words meant exactly that, but Maharaj insists the president never intended to say what the public believes he was saying.
How on earth can we be proud of having a president who talks in riddles, a president whose statements are said to be forever misquoted? What is Maharaj saying about Zuma's reasoning capacity? Is he saying that Zuma always utters statements that people hear but never understand? Does this mean that all the promises that Zuma makes to the public in his speeches should not be taken seriously because what we hear is not what the president is really saying?
In all fairness, Maharaj should just stop to constantly defend Zuma's reckless uttering because what the public hears is what the president has said. Zuma will continue to say things he should not be saying because he knows his spin-doctor always comes to the rescue. As Alexander Pope once wrote: "To err is human" and Zuma is no exception.
The president may have had tried to be funny with his remarks, but his jokes were not well-received. The spokesperson should just swallow his pride and lead by example, apologise to the public and to the people of Malawi for the unfortunate statements made by the president.
As Abraham Lincoln once said: "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time." Maharaj must know that the president needs to take responsibility for his actions and stop shifting the blame in the name of misquotation.
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