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South African president Zuma claims 'it's actually not right' to be single, not have children

South African President Zuma claims that having children gives women "extra training."

The spear jacob zuma painting 22 05 2012Enlarge
Brett Murray's painting of Jacob Zuma, 'The Spear,' on display in Johannesburg prior to its defacement. (ALEXANDER JOE/AFP/Getty Images)

Unmarried or don't want kids? Female? South African President Jacob Zuma does not approve of your lifestyle. 

According to South Africa's Mail and Guardian, Zuma was speaking during an interview on a popular South African TV show when he made the remarks, as he discussed his daughter's recent marriage. 

"I was also happy because I wouldn't want to stay with daughters who are not getting married," Zuma said, according to the Mail and Guardian.

"Because that in itself is a problem in society. I know that people today think being single is nice. It's actually not right. That's a distortion. You've got to have kids. Kids are important to a woman because they actually give an extra training to a woman, to be a mother."

Read more from GlobalPost: Jacob Zuma orders inquiry into South Africa mine shootings

The comments were made during South Africa's Women's Month, an especially poor bit of timing. Twitter, predictably, is outraged. 

Zuma is known for his conservative beliefs, though they're tempered by his rather unabashedly womanizing nature. 

In May, Zuma took a Johannesburg art gallery to court, after it displayed a nude, rather Lenin-esque painting of the South African leader, according to the Guardian. (The painting was later defaced).

The Guardian adds that Zuma has 21 known children, and currently has four wives (out of a total of six). 

Read more from GlobalPost: 'The Spear,' controversial Jacob Zuma painting, defaced in Jo'burg gallery (VIDEO)

South Africa's News 24 reported in May that Zuma's children were embarrassed by the nude painting (which surprises no one).

Daughter Zuma-Sambudla called the portrait "hate speech" to News 24, and added she and her siblings find it hard to  "freely mingle with the public without a deep feeling of being ostracized by the demeaning discussions about my father’s private parts"

The Mail and Guardian quickly dubbed this latest incident Zuma's "Todd Akin" moment, referring to the much-maligned aspirant Missouri representative Todd Akin, whose uninformed comments on women's health and "legitimate rape" have set off incendiary debate in the USA. 

Some of the choicer Twitter reactions:

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/south-africa/120822/south-african-president-zuma-claims-its-actually-no