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South Africa's Jacob Zuma says owning a dog is 'un-African'

Jacob Zuma, the South African president, said in a speech that black Africans who buy a dog, take it for walks and to the veterinarian are copying white culture.

zuma dogs un-african Enlarge
South Africa President Jacob Zuma speaks on Jan. 6, 2012 in Botshabelo, South Africa. (Alexander Joe/AFP/Getty Images)

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Jacob Zuma, the South African president, has declared that having a pet dog is not the African way.

Black South Africans who buy a dog, take it for walks and to the veterinarian are copying white culture, Zuma said in a speech Wednesday, according to Durban newspaper The Mercury.

Zuma, 70, was speaking at a traditional event in KwaZulu-Natal province, his first public appearance since being re-elected president of the African National Congress a week ago.

He described people who love dogs more than humans as “having a lack of humanity,” The Mercury reported.

Black South Africans should stop adopting the habits of other cultures, Zuma told an audience of thousands.

“Even if you apply any kind of lotion and straighten your hair you will never be white,” he said.

Zuma, a Zulu traditionalist who adheres to practices such as polygamy, said in an August interview that it is “not right” for women to be single, and that having children is “extra training for a woman”.

In November, he endorsed traditional courts in South Africa, saying that problems should be resolved “the African way, not the white man’s way”.

On Twitter, some South Africans responded to Mr Zuma’s latest comments by posting photos of themselves being “un-African” by walking their dogs.

Zwelinzima Vavi, leader of ANC alliance partner Cosatu, a trade union federation, tweeted a photo of himself holding his Jack Russell named Maradona, while standing next to his Boerboel named Superhero.

Zuma's office said the message of the speech "was the need to decolonize the African mind post-liberation".

"This is not to say that animals should not be loved or cared for. The message merely emphasized the need not to elevate our love for our animals above our love for other human beings," a statement from the presidency said.

More from GlobalPost: South Africa: Jacob Zuma fights off challenger at ANC conference

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/south-africa/121227/south-africas-jacob-zuma-says-owning-dog-un-african

M_Heidemann More than 1 year ago
GRRRRRRrrrrrr!!!!! Dogs don't Discriminate they just love & make our Africaness (black , white, coloured, indian) that much more special .....Zuma is an IDIOT!!! & incompitant fool !!!
Johan Claassens More than 1 year ago
Seriously - I think Zuma might be scared that dogs might run the country better than him ! I love my dogs and if it means walking them, taking them to the vet, buying them canned food and the occasional piece of biltong makes me un-african, than so be it, i would rather then call my self European!
C More than 1 year ago
He has lost the plot!
Laetitia Clark More than 1 year ago
He never had one to lose other than the plot to create his own luxury retirement village.!!!!!!
C More than 1 year ago
That stupid fat idiot of a president should start concerning himself with the running of the country and not interfering in domestic set ups. Or is he not aware of what his job is. Illiterate fool
Denotus More than 1 year ago
Come NOW... people it is so obviou, this is a two-fold statement:: ONE is that (he is 'trying to say;) Africans are virtuous, why? -: because they concern themselves with others (UBUNTU) while simultaneously seperating and denigrating Whites with auto-suggestion that THEY fret more about animals than humans. Hmmm, let's see: ANY Africans adopting whites - ever - ?? Whites adopting and caring for Africans! Ahh.. but rather he stooops to politcal 'divisiveness' -: the dog is iconic for D.A. and Zille duhh .. yeah, LOL
MULESAMM More than 1 year ago
CITIZENS OF SOUTH AFRICA, THERE HAS BEENN A MILITARY COUP.THE CATS HAVE TAKEN OVER SA WITH JACOB ZUMA AS THE COMMANDER.ALL DOGS MUST SURRENDER BY 31 DEC 2012.
Mpaka Losako More than 1 year ago
zUMA 'S FIRST NAME IS JACOB WHICH IS A JEWISH NAME, HIS SON FIRST NAME IS EDWARD, WHICH IS AN ENGLISG NAME, zUMA IS PROTESTANT AND THEN IS A A FOLLOWER OF A RELIGION THAT WAS BROUGHT AND IMPOSE BY TH WHITE MANT, THE OPPRESOR. sO RABBI jACOB , WHO IS ALIENATED?
Tara Rick McIntyre More than 1 year ago
ever wonder why the media puts up stories like this. its the media there's always an agenda .after hearing this how do you feel about african politicians?
Maria Carlin More than 1 year ago
When will people get it into their heads......we might be WHITE but that's because our ancestor's left Africa thousands of years ago and moved away from the heat of the sun and Evolution happened........we all come from the African DNA Eve....look it up.....and domesticated dogs began in Africa...........no matter what the colour of our skin if you love to have a dog you do it........too many bossy 'leader's' over the centuries telling us what to do and have made a right mess of it!!!!.........Happy New Year to you all....:)
zbop More than 1 year ago
in ferica dogs should only be eaten! mr. zuma is right on! what a nut! lol!
Matthew Campaigne-Scott More than 1 year ago
If you watch little children, the ones who grow up being cruel to animals are inevitably cruel to humans in later life. Another thought however, is there is certainly, among many wealthy people, a streak of placing a disproportionate financial manifestation of their adoration toward animals relative to the human need on their doorstep. This certainly places a question mark over their humanity in my opinion, in this I feel sympathetic to JZs opinion.
maokafor More than 1 year ago
I hate dogs too, SO WHAT?
Cobus Theron More than 1 year ago
Good for you, a true example of ubuntu
HenriLeRiche More than 1 year ago
If you can't love animals, how on earth will you be capable of loving humans??
Darren Allan More than 1 year ago
he isnt just saying he hates dogs he is questioning the culture of people that own dogs, he is saying that it is un african to own a dog. but thanks for letting us know you dont like dogs, you must be a REAL AFRICAN.
Rafique More than 1 year ago
Life is like, you either cherish it or you don't...during apartheid the police brutalized black people in the township...and guess what did they become good people at home..the answer is no they ruffed up their wives are were abusive to their children.Even the bible talks about caring for animals.That said Africans have always had dogs to hunt for them and protect them.....Zuma has just shown that he has a rudimentary level of education, confront any historian or anthropologist and they will tell you its African to care for dogs.In as much as I am humane..id rather spend time with my dogs than with some people.....