Zuma e-tolls comment 'taken out of context'

2013-10-22 14:46
President Jacob Zuma (File, Sapa)

President Jacob Zuma (File, Sapa)

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Pretoria - A statement by President Jacob Zuma regarding e-tolls was taken out of context, the presidency said on Tuesday.

Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj said Zuma’s statement to the Gauteng ANC Manifesto Forum at the Wits University Great Hall was "taken out of context" and "blown out of proportion" by the media.

Zuma came under fire for telling the forum: "We can’t think like Africans, in Africa, generally. We are in Johannesburg, this is Johannesburg. It's not some national road in Malawi."

Maharaj said the president’s comments were made in the broader context of South Africa “achieving more” in the past 19 years of freedom and democracy.

Zuma spoke in his capacity as president of the African National Congress and remarked on a wide range of issues including economic party policies, BEE, youth employment and tolls.

Zuma said: "It is not fair to make the whole of South Africa pay for Gauteng's road use by taxing everyone's petrol more. We thank all citizens who have registered for the e-tolls so that we can continue to improve roads and boost economic growth in Gauteng."

The ANC on Tuesday agreed with the presidency that Zuma's comments had been taken out of context.

"The African National Congress welcomes the role played by traditional and social media in our national discourse," spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said in a statement.

"It is important therefore that those privileged to form opinion on these networks do so with the intention of promoting fair and balanced reporting, a call we believe would not have arisen had the president's comments been placed in context."

The Democratic Alliance’s Mmusi Maimane earlier called for Zuma to retract the statement while Malawi trended on Twitter.
Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  mac maharaj  |  mmusi maimane  |  jacob zuma  |  transport  |  tolls

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