Zelda an embarrassment to whites - Zuma son

2015-01-23 07:59
Zelda la Grange (News24)

Zelda la Grange (News24)

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The Witness

Durban - Nelson Mandela's assistant, Zelda la Grange, may have apologised for her recent Twitter rant, but President Jacob Zuma's family is not forgiving her so easily, saying she was “an embarrassment to the white community”.

Speaking to The Witness , the president’s eldest son, Edward Zuma, 37, said La Grange’s apology was meaningless.

La Grange took to Twitter last Saturday, expressing her frustrations, reportedly following Jacob Zuma’s recent comments that the country’s problems began with Jan van Riebeeck.


Her tweets included:

•“I’m sure comments like: unAfrican to have dogs, stress is western creation, Van Riebeeck, etc, all good for investment in SA.”

•“Oh wait. Whites’ tax money is good enough for Nkandla but then you constantly have to be brutalised.”

•“White foreign investors must also stop making BEE partners rich. Jacob Zuma made it clear whites are not welcome in SA.”

She later released a statement saying, “I apologise unconditionally and without reservation to all South Africans who were offended by my tweets”.

But young Zuma, a businessperson, said he rejects La Grange’s apology because he believed that “what is done is done; it is out there”.

Racial divide

A livid Zuma said La Grange “was mischievous and was attempting to create a racial divide”.

He said he strongly believed that someone else was behind La Grange’s tirade.

“Zelda must form her own political party so that we know the enemy we are facing,” he said, accusing her of exploiting her status as the late president’s personal assistant.

“She is misusing the fact that she was once Nelson Mandela’s private secretary; she now wants to be Mandela.”

He rejected La Grange’s comments that whites were not welcome in South Africa, saying, “That is not how the president feels about white South Africans. To him, we are all the same.

“She says Julius Malema’s anger is justified, but this is the same guy that wants to take land away from white people.

“It’s nonsense that whites are not welcome; they are more than welcome in South Africa.”


Zuma asked La Grange to refrain from trying to dissuade investors from coming to South Africa.

“Investors know that South Africa is fertile. She is just trying to discourage investors from investing here. Businesspeople are happy and secure here.”

He said his father was leading a delegation at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, for a reason.

“He has gone there to try and lure investors to South Africa. He is doing exactly what he has been tasked to do by the ANC,” said Zuma.

He also accused La Grange of having a personal vendetta against the president.

“Zelda was mischievous in her comments. She must come out and say that she has a vendetta against Jacob Zuma, because this is the same ANC that she served.

Apology meaningless

“The apology may mean something to South Africans and the ANC, but to me, as his son, it means nothing. She’s already said it; it’s out there. Everyone debated her comments, but no one is debating her apology,” said Zuma.

He agreed with ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe that La Grange was “a spoilt white person”, but added that “she is an embarrassment to the white community”.

Zuma said the family understood that the president was accountable to the country, “but they mustn’t think that the things they say don’t affect us, because they do. The president is also a father.”

He said some people were abusing their freedom of expression.

“In South Africa, every right has a limit. People may have their thoughts and perceptions about my father, but the ANC is the only organisation that knows where the organisation is going; hence, I agree with him when he said the ANC will rule until Jesus comes back,” said Zuma.

La Grange would not be drawn to comment.

Read more on:    anc  |  zelda la grange  |  edward zuma  |  jacob zuma  |  politics

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