Zuma, Obama and that phone call

2015-09-30 12:16
President Barack Obama greets South African President Jacob Zuma, who speaks on the phone as he arrives for a luncheon hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, at United Nations headquarters. (Andrew Harnik, AP)

President Barack Obama greets South African President Jacob Zuma, who speaks on the phone as he arrives for a luncheon hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, at United Nations headquarters. (Andrew Harnik, AP)

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Johannesburg - What would you do if the leader of the so-called free world approached you, hand stretched out and you were on the phone?

Well, if you were President Jacob Zuma you would smile, shake hands, but continue with your call.

A photo of US President Barack Obama greeting Zuma, who is speaking on the phone at a luncheon hosted by United Nations (UN) secretary-general Ban Ki-moon on Monday made the rounds this week on social media and news websites.

In the photo Zuma remains seated, phone pressed to the ear.

However, the humour is not lost on Obama who seems to tease Zuma by mimicking him on the phone.

Public sentiments seem to be mixed with some believing this was a sign of disrespect, while others felt it was a light-hearted moment.

The presidency could not be immediately reached for comment.

Zuma is currently leading a South African delegation to the UN General Assembly in New York.

During his address on Monday, Zuma called for reform of the UN Security Council pointing out the world had changed since 1945 and African countries were no longer colonies, but sovereign states.

Africa is pushing for two permanent seats on the council.

There was mixed reaction to the photo on social media.

Twitter user @ANC_LECTURES felt maybe it was Obama who was being disrespectful for approaching Zuma while on the phone.


Another Twitter user called it bad etiquette on Zuma's side.



Some saw the humour in the photo and created their own context to it.


Others were not sure what all the fuss was about.



Read more on:    un  |  ban ki moon  |  barack obama  |  jacob zuma

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