Zuma, Afrikaners bond at braai

2007-03-27 13:18

Johannesburg - He calls it nyama, they call it meat.

This little difference did not stop Jacob Zuma and a few well-known Afrikaners to enjoy a good old barbecue in Houghton, Johannesburg.

"Meat shouldn't be braaied on a braai grid. It should lie there between the hot coals, fighting for its life," Zuma told his companions.

The former deputy president Zuma grabbed the braai tong to show Steve Hofmeyr, Leon Schuster, Kallie Kriel and Dr Dan Roodt how it's done.

Hofmeyr said: "Zuma is one of the few leaders with whom I would sit around a fire. He's an honest man and speaks like an Afrikaner - a straight forward person."

Zuma and the group of about ten Afrikaners enjoyed their braai until late at night, while 12 security guards kept a watchful eye.

Zuma admitted his Afrikaans was 'vrot' (pathetic): "But in 1963 I had to learn very quickly when the police arrested me and shouted the word 'kakie' all the time. They hit me and I couldn't understand why. Only later I realised that they were looking for my identity card. I will never forget the word 'kaartjie' (card)."

"A lot of things have changed and it is now a real pleasure to sit around a table with Afrikaners," Zuma added.

Hofmeyr agreed: "We come from different backgrounds, and what's better than sitting around a braai and chatting about our differences."

The only thing that Schuster regretted was, that he did not bring his Mama Jack-mask along.

When someone asked Zuma whether Sean Else, one of the guests, should also write a song like De la Rey about Zuma, Zuma replied that he would feel very flattered if it every happened.

Else didn't fall for that, though: "I'm sure there are much better songwriters than me who've got the right background to write something about Zuma."

The braai was organised by Elzilda Becker, publisher of De Kat magazine, for the front page of the magazine's May edition.