What a relief to figure out this week that our president reads Twitter. It’s not Dickens or Time but at least against all other beliefs he is trying to become literate, 140 characters at a time.
Unfortunately, just because you read the word of the everyday citizen, it doesn’t mean you can quote the everyday citizen, especially out of context to support a lost cause.
President Zuma made headlines this week with his utterances about Malawi and other South African towns, including my home, Rustenburg. Alright, 014 is no 011. We have traffic problems (mainly because we have a public transport system in the works, set to be completed in 2015), we have no water (another upgrade in the works) and we have union “wars” but we’re definitely not at complete standstill as he implied.
Where does Twitter come in?
On any given Sunday, you can search #rtb and you’ll be sure to find things like “traffc 2 #rtb is 2 slow” or “standstill in bank. #lunchhour #rtb LOL”. Just last week my cousin in Malawi tweeted: “this road from Kasungu to the farm is the worst”. Maybe we’re responsible for our president’s believe that the rest of Africa is worse off that his precious Jo’burg. Or maybe not. But I can clearly see that his information didn’t come from a trusted source (Twits did pronounce Madiba dead something like a hundred times this year and last we know of, he was alive, though not quite kicking).
His comment might have sparked outrage across borders, but let’s forgive him. Again. His buddies’ multimillion e-toll scam is falling apart so it was only a matter of time before he stepped in to help them (again) by making a poorly written speech…again.
Let’s just hope he doesn’t make this kind of mistake... #again
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