Malawi awaits Zuma explanation

2013-10-24 15:42

Blantyre – Malawi has demanded an official explanation from South Africa after comments by President Jacob Zuma labelling his near neighbour as backward, an official has said.

Malawi has already summoned South Africa’s top diplomat, High Commissioner Cassandra Makone, over the gaffe.

“The next step is to wait and receive the official statement and map the way forward,” senior foreign ministry official George Mkondiwa told privately owned radio Zodiak today.

He said a statement from Pretoria was expected today.

On Monday, Zuma sparked controversy when he tried to convince South African motorists to accept a plan to toll highways around Johannesburg.

“We are in Johannesburg. This is Johannesburg. It’s not some national road in Malawi,” said the president.

South Africa has said that Zuma was “quoted out of context”.

Mkondiwa insisted that “there was no tension at all” between the two countries over the incident.

Zuma has not commented on the incident but his spokesperson, Mac Maharaj, apologised for the remark yesterday during a radio interview.

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