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article imageJacob Zuma booed at Mandela memorial service

By Matthew Hendricks     Dec 11, 2013 in Politics
Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma of the ANC ruling party of South Africa was booed several times by the crowds at Nelson Mandela's memorial service in Soweto, Johannesburg.
Zuma was booed when the screens showed him arriving with his two wives, Bongi Ngema and Thobeka Madiba, and twice again when he was introduced by programme director Cyril Ramaphosa, according to mg.co.za.
Citypress.co.za reports that ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa had to appeal to the crowd to be disciplined several times in the build-up to Zuma’s address before the booing ceased, while international guests, including numerous heads of state, looked on.
In contrast, the crowds cheered loudly when the names of former presidents Kgalema Motlanthe, Thabo Mbeki and FW de Klerk were mentioned.
Zuma and senior ANC officials remained stony faced during the booing and organisers at one point used a choir to try to drown out the hostile reaction, says timeslive.co.za.
Timeslive.co.za reports that some in the crowd accompanied the boos for Zuma with thumbs-down gestures and rotating hand movements, the sign for substitution.
Reflecting the mood of the Zuma critics in the stadium, Funeka Gingcara-Sithole, 31, explains:
"Mandela had a vision, Mandela lived that vision. But what Zuma speaks, he doesn't live! He should do the honourable thing and resign."
In June 2013, businessman Kenny Kunene called Zuma a monster and a tyrant, according to timeslive.co.za.
In a letter, published on The Star's website, addressed to Zuma, Kunene said: "In public you smile and laugh, but in truth you behave like a monster, a tyrant who will target perceived enemies ruthlessly, and because of that fear few dare to speak openly."
He said Zuma's relationship with the Gupta family and the wedding scandal, and Nkandlagate detracted from the president's credibility.
"The extent of how much the Gupta family controls you, and by implication this country, has not even begun to be understood."
"The Gupta issue alone should be the last straw for many South Africans," Kunene wrote.
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