Cape Town – The developer of the 'Fallen Zuma' extension on Google’s Chrome web browser says he built it because South Africans feel “powerless”.
Digital artist Mitch Said developed the extension for the popular web browser which removes the mention of "Zuma" from a user's internet experience.
“The combination of a striking repudiation of Zuma’s conduct by the country’s highest authority and the lack of meaningful consequence left us (and a fair amount of South Africans, at least judging by my Twitter feed) feeling somewhat powerless,” Said told Fin24.
There have been persistent calls from politicians and civil society groups for President Jacob Zuma to step down following a Constitutional Court ruling last month concerning his Nkandla homestead.
Said developed the extension with friend Simon Shear because they felt in part that President Jacob Zuma’s statement, which followed the Constitutional Court ruling, was a “disappointing half-apology”.
The extension was also modelled on a similar one for US presidential candidate Donald Trump.
“We’d really enjoyed how John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight had recently created a browser add-on to transform all online instances of ‘Trump’ to ‘Drumpf’ (the original Trump family name), in an attempt to remove some of the lustre of celebrity from his name (and allow people to signal their disdain for him, of course),” said Said.
“It seemed like we could do something with the same medium to regain some feeling of control over the fate of our young-ish democracy. With calls for the president’s impeachment reaching fever pitch, it became clear that perhaps we could achieve online what seemed impossible in real life,” he added.
Google Chrome is South Africa's most popular web browser with a 48% market share according to figures from StatCounter.com.
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