Saturday 3 December 2016

South Africans use ballot to speak to leaders

The ANC's electoral losses after 22 years of dominance are a watershed moment for the Rainbow Nation, writes Justice Malala

Justice Malala

Published 07/08/2016 | 02:30

ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MIEN: Jacob Zuma is well known for his antipathy towards urban black intellectuals. GETTY
ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MIEN: Jacob Zuma is well known for his antipathy towards urban black intellectuals. GETTY

South Africa's controversial president, Jacob Zuma, is well known for his antipathy towards urban black intellectuals, whom he labels "the clever blacks".

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In 2014, when he was asked about public concerns that he had used state funds to build himself a e15.3m palace in his home village in rural KwaZulu Natal, he replied that only "very clever and bright people" cared about the issue. In a speech in November 2012, Zuma slammed urban blacks "who become too clever", saying: "They become the most eloquent in criticising themselves about their own traditions and everything."

Last week, the "clever blacks" had their revenge on Zuma, delivering the heaviest electoral loss to Nelson Mandela's African National Congress since democracy dawned in 1994 while setting up a mighty contest for national elections in 2019.

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