Lazola Ndamase
Lazola Ndamase

The ‘uneducated’ Zuma…

The notion that a person with no formal education possesses no intellectual faculties and thus must be dismissed as a hapless intellectual zombie is so antiquated and unscientific such that even those who once held it as a basis to oppress Africans are now embarrassed when reminded of such nonsensical views. Seemingly Prince Mashele harbours no such inhibitions, and repeats it with impunity at every opportunity he gets.

The view that intellectual rigour is the preserve of those who have spent time behind a classroom desk, assumes that there are only western forms of education. This betrays lack of knowledge about the various ways to impart knowledge in society, particularly, among indigenous Africans. The fact of the matter here is that long before there were classrooms, there were always various means through which knowledge was shared and acquired.

Communities taught their young, how to engage in economic, social, religious and political activity; gathering plants for food, hunting wild animals, rearing cattle, planting crops, running initiation schools, slaughtering cattle or goats for ancestral rituals, paying tribute to kings, attending traditional courts, even engaging in war. Who would deny that this was education in the fields of agriculture, politics and law?

As a result of its ability to organically develop intellectuals that were its products, our pastoral communities produced orators whose persuasiveness could swing decisions in traditional courts and in lobola negotiations. They did not have to be lawyers to perform such tasks, but had been schooled in the University of Life.

No one can now dispute that military strategists and organic intellectuals such as King Shaka and Moshoeshoe could turn defeat into victory in the battlefield. Were these not intellectuals? Not in Prince Mashele’s book.

I am reminded of an anecdote. A young man was sent to university by his uneducated parents. They sold all their livestock risking their livelihood in order to realise their son’s dream only to be later confronted by the horror of their son being embarrassed of them as soon as he received his university qualification and ultimately rejecting them. In this case, who are the non-intellectuals here: the overzealous parents or the ungrateful son? The answer is clear.

The “uneducated” Jacob Zuma started serving in the ANC NEC in 1977, was re-elected into the NEC in 1985, elected its deputy secretary-general in 1991, was elected its national chairperson in 1994 and in 1997 was elected its deputy president, but Mashele is not embarrassed to allege that Zuma is where he is today because of “victimhood” : “If Zuma did not incarnate victimhood in the faction-ridden politics of the latter-day ANC, nothing exceptional would have propelled him to the fortuitous heights he now occupies.”

Is it so difficult for Prince Mashele to appreciate the fact and fix it firmly to his mind that Zuma may have risen to the dizzy heights he now occupies because of his dedication to the struggle against apartheid when many of his peers hid behind the skirts of their families and homelands.

Surely, with the above evidence, Mashele’s statement ranks as nothing but a figment of his imagination.

Although pretending to write about the intellectual inaptitude of Zuma, Mashele shows the shocking disdain with which he holds us “ruralitarian” ANC members. We are all guilty by association. The fact that we grew up in villages renders us thoughtless mobs that supported Zuma because he could “dance” and sing just like we do.

Mashele must accept that we supported Zuma because we were tired of the “educated” former president Mbeki who we felt treated many with disdain. One’s level of education is no weapon to insult the rest but should assist one to act as a resource to the rest of society. There is no necessity for the gratuitous insults and disdainful assumptions that we suffer incurable levels of intellectual bankruptcy.

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    • Gavin Foster

      Zuma is not educated, but he is a cunning and astute politician who knows how to please the ignorant and uneducated masses who follow him mindlessly no matter what. What he isn’t, is intelligent. Or morally upright. Or a good role model for anybody except wannabe dictators. Or honest. Cunning, astute and fairly charismatic is as far as it goes.

      He’s able to earn the love of the very same voters he’s screwing stupid every day. South Africa deserves him, as those who follow him mindlessly will find out the hard way over the next few years. He may even sell our country out to the Chinese when things get bad enough. Dan gaan die poppe dans.

    • Sterling Ferguson

      @Beddy, the educated people in the US built this country and not the dummies. The US educational system must be doing something right to develop all of those patients and copyrights. In order to understand Zuma, one must look at the people around him and this will tell the story about the ANC led government. You must remember the US gave the world Du Bois.

    • Sterling Ferguson

      @Unzola, the ruling parties all have a disliked for intellectuals in Africa and they are encouraged to leave Africa. One should read the profile of all of the people that have been appointed in the ANC led government, to understand how the ruling party in SA thinks, about educated people. One should look at the people that Obama has appointed in his administration and one will see that they are the cream of the crop in the US from the best universities.

    • dillon

      Any person, in any capacity, can have as much formal and/or informal education as they can handle. What separated people with substance from those with a lack thereof are values like honesty, integrity and above all, HUMANITY.

      Unfortunately, but evidently, Jacob Zuma falls short of the above by a hell of a long way.

    • Sterling Ferguson

      @Beddy, Obama was educated at two of the best universities in the US. He and his wife both received their law degree from the best University in the world and that was Harvard. Education is a life long process and when Obama went to Kenya that was an education to understand his farther culture.

    • ntozakhona

      LwaziM and Tumi let us not write out of sycophancy, let us examine Zuma’s record in governanance and if need be tear it apart. An arduous task I think hence the resort to slander by those afflicted by the Mbeki personality cult. The Big Man syndrome that nearly destroyed Africa, of western educated leaders who were deemed to be the only ones who can think and thus deserving of life presidency.

      It has always boggled my mind that how can anyone who fails to understand the simple logic of an immune system destroying virus causing a syndrome can be celebrated as the only thinker in an organisation with a proud intellectual heritage. It is an insult to the likes of Moses Mabhida, Walter Sisulu, Sol Plaatje and Chris Dlamini who themselves did not have much formal education but are still acknowledged as towering intellectuals of our movement.

      Graham J

      What are you saying Vervoed did? Where and for whom? I know of concetration camps called homelands that he pioneered and Bantu education amongst many horrors. Your comparison reveals a very disturbing mindset.

    • http://none Lyndall Beddy

      Andrew Carnegie was once the Richest Man in America – then he gave all his money away and became the World’s biggest philantropist. Bill Gates is often called “the New Andrew Carnegie”

      He was totally self-educated and started out dirt poor, starting work in a grocers packing boxes, at the age of 14, to support his breadwinner mother, who took in washing for a living, because her husband was disabled.

      BECAUSE he was self taught, through Libraries, with the help of Librarians, he established 900 Libraries around the world – 3 of them in South Africa.

    • Lennon

      Are there actually any university courses which deal specifically with how to be a state president and, if so, is there a universal standard to these courses?

      Unless there are, then this debate is utterly pointless.

    • Tofolux

      @Gavin, since when is common descriptions used for animals fit to describe human beings? This is not on.There are some who will decribe JZ as intelligent, a strategist, a person who has enough emotional intelligence to make sound decions, a good leader etc etc. All of the descriptions you have are those that have been motivated by media.
      @Lazola, i think that people should be called to order when comparing TM and JZ. All our Presidents post 1994 contributed greatly to our country and ALL of them brought their own uniqueness to plethora of leadership. It is totally out of order to call into question TM’s intellect when he together with others consolidated the international struggle against apartheid. This was a huge contribution amongst all other contributions he made. In fact it is arrogant to measure his contribution noting that those who criticise did not make any notable comparable contribution. These notions of creating divisions must be challenged and rejected with the contempt it deserves.

    • Marianne de Leuca

      @ Dave Harris

      “Whose ethics should Africans be measured against?”

      Are you saying that indigenous Africans have a different standard of ethics and morality, and that justifies corrupt practices and Jacob Zuma’s lack of integrity?

      That is as ludicrous as some white people of a certain religious persuasion trying to justify Apartheid because they believed it was the teaching of their Bible.

    • http://none Lyndall Beddy


      Which is exactly my point – Obama got the best education he could get in America, and then went to Kenya – and found out that almost all he had been taught about Africa was inaccurate. His book was a fascinating read, and taught me a lot about the myths and fantasies being taught to American children.

    • mike venter

      “Lennon #
      Are there actually any university courses which deal specifically with how to be a state president and, if so, is there a universal standard to these courses?

      Unless there are, then this debate is utterly pointless.”

      What you are saying then that any misfit can run a country?

      Or that being educated means the individual has at least some knowledge behind them on the workings of an economy and administrative teachings? Which will go along way in the decision making capabilities of such an individual. MBA, Bcom…whatever. Anything one of those will aide a statesman in decisions wrt his country.

      For sure, try beat the odds with an uneducated statesman and in this case the proof is there for all to see in Zuma. Uneducated statesman’s do not do perform so well.

      And his financial illiteracy you can add to that. He can not manage his own finances now and in the past. Yet he and the ANC voters expect him to understand the basics of an economy that affords him his Nkandla home, wa’benzie and the likes?

      You are correct there’s no debate here. For future generations look for educated people to be president and ministers. N

    • GrahamJ


      “Graham J
      What are you saying Vervoed did? Where and for whom? I know of concetration camps called homelands that he pioneered and Bantu education amongst many horrors. Your comparison reveals a very disturbing mindset.”

      Verwoerd was prime minister during a period of great SA growth. For example, black heath facilities and life expectancy were raised considerably during his tenure. It’s a pity he had an inappropriate mindset and spoiled what could have been a great reputation.

      Many in our present government say that Bantu education is better than what Zuma presides over today.

      No, my mindset is fine, it is anchored in reality. It is not disturbed. Relax. Grow some cojones.

    • http://none Lyndall Beddy


      Obama has another advantage – having lived in Indonesia he knows that the Extremist Wahhabi Sunni Saudi interpretation of Islam is NOT the only interpretation.

      Our Cape Malays come from that part of the world as well and their interpretation of the Koran was always monogamous.

    • Stephen

      @ Tofolux: what planet do you live on? “All our Presidents post 1994 contributed greatly to our country”. And SA is poorer now than under apartheid. This is downright immoral. Are you patently unable to think for yourself? But I guess in another life you were probably bullying people in Munich beer halls.

    • Garg Unzola
    • Really???

      “Communities taught their young, how to engage in economic, social, religious and political activity; gathering plants for food, hunting wild animals, rearing cattle, planting crops, running initiation schools, slaughtering cattle or goats for ancestral rituals, paying tribute to kings, attending traditional courts, even engaging in war. Who would deny that this was education in the fields of agriculture, politics and law?”

      Subsistence farming with no commercial elements, one tribal leader who got given everything he wanted and the successor was always a relative – politic where? And law? Please, give me a break. Law is a set of rules to be applied – not an old man sitting and giving judgment in favour of the person he likes the most. Customary “laws” change with the mood of the chief. Where is the law which has the element of equality in it? Women can’t even approach the courts or inherit and are SOLD as property – law? Please.

    • Enough Said


      Tofolux does behave a bit like a cyber bully/political spin doctor. She had a nasty and unnecessary go at me on another thread and generally does post a lot of make believe as well.

      God bless our Zuma/ANC loyalist Tofolux.

    • http://none Lyndall Beddy

      Americans are convinced that South Africans genocided their Natives like the White Americans genocided the Native Americans in the biggest genocide in World History – after which the .0000001 percent of the Native Americans that survived were dumped in Indian tribal lands of stony arid ground that the White Americans did not want for farming representing about . 00000001 percent of the land of America.

      You can tell them, till you are blue in the face, that South Africa never had a genocide, never had Black Slavery, in fact had an anti slavery fleet catching the American, Brazilian and Arab slavers from 1807 until 1860s (American Civil War) and gave the Blacks MORE than half the land of Southern Africa – but they will never believe you!

    • Graham


      “It is totally out of order to call into question TM’s intellect when he together with others consolidated the international struggle against apartheid.”

      Are you saying any person involved in the struggle qualifies to be president, and is not to be criticised?

    • Lennon

      @ Mike Venter: Hitler didn’t have any degrees either. He was nothing more than a failed artist who carried resentment from WW1 over Germany’s punishment. He turned a failed state into a powerful military machine.

      Zuma received almost 10 years of education while he was on Robben Island. He might not have a degree on paper, but his tutors were not political wannabe’s.

      He also headed up the ANC’s intelligence wing and, along with Thabo Mbeki, was involved in the first negotiations with P.W. Botha during the 1980’s.

      Zuma might be a greedy douchebag, but he is far from stupid.

    • ntozakhona

      Graham J

      Who are these many in our present goverment? Vervoed was an author of the mass murder of African people. He escalated the idea of separate facilities with the ones being used by Africans being suffocatingly overcrowded, he designed the forced removal and uprooting of communities throwing them into arid areas and overcrowded compounds.

      There was growth yes at the back of the enslavement of Africans boosted by the looted mineral wealth of the country.

      You really need help.

    • Sterling Ferguson

      @Beddy, Zuma before becoming president of SA was very honest when asked about his qualifications to become president. He says that he he knew nothing about running the government except, to do what the party tells him what to do. He thought the individual shouldn’t be making decisions but, the collective members of the ANC. He didn’t see himself in a position like Obama where the president can make decision. As a matter of facts, Zuma has very little power as the president of SA because, he wasn’t elected by the people of SA. If Zuma goes against the wishes of the party, he can be removed by the party but, Obama was elected by the people and the party can’t remove him.

    • Sterling Ferguson

      @Lennon, yes there are education courses that one can study to learn about how to run a government. The problem with being the president of SA, if one had five degrees that person would have the same problems as Zuma. The president is not elected by the people but, a bunch of king makers in SA and they are the ones telling him what to do. I think you are expecting too much from Zuma and you should be calling for the reforming of the whole system in SA. Many of you are trying to use western standards to judge Zuma and they don’t exist in SA.

      For example of what I am talking about, if Zuma wants to remove somebody from office that the king makers wanted in office, he is powerless to do so. Malema has been doing his thing a long time but, the party decides to take actions against him because he is an outcast. The justice system in SA is controlled by the party along with the tax system and as long you are in good standing, the party will protect you.

    • http://none Lyndall Beddy


      De Klerk reassured White South Africans that Communism had failed,
      so it was safe to hand over to the ANC – but he did not consider the strength of Communist Denialism, nor did he understand anything about Black American Kwanzaa Cult Mythology.

      De Klerk was an outsider, former education minister, and not part of the Security Cluster of the Nationalist Party.

      Not only did White South Africans NOT dump Blacks on arid semi-desert
      like White Americans did to their Natives; but they turned arid, semi desert, which had never been farmed before by anyone, into farmland.

      Any country, including Botswana, with a similar problem should read the book “Plains of Camdeboo” by Eve Palmer to see how the Karoo became farmland producing 1/3 of South Africa’s food.

      Zuma inherited this problem,and is a vast improvement on Mbeki. White South Africans thought Black South Africans educated sufficiently to hand over to them, and that the rest of Africa had collapsed because Africans had been not sufficiently educated – but this has nothing to do with education at all, and EVERYTHING to do with Africa’s exile leaders being indoctrinated in exile.

    • http://none Lyndall Beddy

      There are 4 Simple Steps to take to get rid of Islamic Fundamentalism and Arab Nationalism in South Africa, Africa, The West, and The Middle East:

      1. Send all Wahhabi priests and Imams back to Saudi Arabia.

      2. Remove all Saudi translated or sponsored Korans from the bookshops and schools, and send them back to Saudi Arabia. It would not be a good idea to destroy them because the majority of Muslims have no idea that they are mis-translations.

      3. Convene an International body of Islamic Scholars, including from Turkey, Egypt and Iran, to do an accurate translation of the Koran from Ancient Arabic to Modern Arabic.

      4. Give that Arabic Translation to the top liquists in every country to translate as accurately as possible.

    • http://Nonde Monndz

      @Ntozakhona, your assertion that “It is an insult to the likes of Moses Mabhida, Walter Sisulu, Sol Plaatje and Chris Dlamini who themselves did not have much formal education but are still acknowledged as towering intellectuals of our movement” is a lie of the century. According to Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, Moses Mabhida had a Masters degree in English among other qualifications. Sol Plaatjie was education in America.

      What brings about this topic from the point of view that is mostly espoused by Prince Mashele, is that the lack of education on the part of the current President JZ is what causes his lack-lusture performance as a leader generally. But also, his traditionalism and tribalistic tendencies, all of which would have been expected to be polished had he possesed some form of formal education.

      Quite repeatedly, the ANC itself has to issue a statement after another in order to clarify statements already made by the President. In order to accomplish this, Mac Maharaj had to be brought back from running away since his brush with the law in the days of TM.

      It is an academic dishonesty to suggest that President Zuma is any intelligent. The President tries struggles to find a specific agenda to address in his term of office. We are coming to a closure of his first term, but we can hardly attribute a specific issue we know him to have been passionate about. Mandela dealt with Reconciliation. Mbeki dealt with African Rennaissance and GEAR. JZ has nothing…

    • http://none Lyndall Beddy


      At the time of the American Civil War South Africa was not a Dutch Colony any more but had been a British Colony for half a century, AND had run an anti-slavery fleet out of Cape Town to catch American, Brazilian and Arab Slavers (the ONLY slavers left)and free the slaves in Cape Town FOR 50 YEARS! There are therefore considerable Historic records in Cape Town. Consider the following facts:

      The North was the AGGRESSOR in the Civil War and attacked the South who wanted to pull out of the Union where they were being outvoted on all issues including their own taxation. Lincoln made no anti-slavery speeches BEFORE the war started, and there were Northern Slave owning states fighting on the side of Lincoln. AFTER the war started the South appealed to Britain and France for help against the Northern AGGRESSORS. Only THEN did Lincoln start his anti-slavery speeches, which, in my opinion were to impress the French and British and stop them coming to the assisstance of the Southern States.

      In other words I consider the Lincoln speeches pure politics – born out by the events after the Civil War, and the Black Americans having to fight against segregation and for the vote FOR ANOTHER HUNDRED YEARS!

      There was never any Black Slavery in South Africa by Whites – but Blacks were enslaved by their Feudal Tribal Chiefs in their Homelands who refused to allow any change of – which is why both Mandela and Zuma ran away from their Homelands.

    • Dave

      An interesting view. There is more to education than the information contained in the books. Education is about training the mind and engendering mental discipline. Those skills are critical.
      I would not enter a building not designed and built by qualified engineers. I would also like the national budget to be run by someone who has a western education and understands net present values, amortisation and other financial concepts. I would like hospitals to be run by doctors who have the best training in how to diagnose a patient using X rays, blood tests and other modern concepts. Modern media is run through the western alphabet which you the author have learnt to use. The ability to understand communications require a good vocabulary and grammatical training. These are not learnt from a tutor on Robin Island.
      Winnie Mandela just wrote her matric and passed. Well done to her. learn from her example. if we are to compete in a world with modern amenities like telephones, engineering, financial and medical skills then lets equip ourselves to compete on that level.
      All cultures develop. embrace those changed and be the best person you can rather than try to justify not having an education Get off your derriere and raise your personal standard and demand the best from our national leaders.

      Do not accept mediocrity when those around you have raised themselves to a higher level as you will be left behind. That applies to you the person as well as us the nation of South…

    • http://none Lyndall Beddy

      Winnie Mandela has both a High School, and College Education as a Social Worker ,from before she even married Nelson Mandela.

    • http://none Lyndall Beddy


      South Africa was never a British Criminal Penal Colony .

      Which might explain why there was no genocide in South Africa like in Australia and America, and no Black Slavery like in America.

      South Africa was a Dutch Colony from 1652-1807, and the Dutch allowed no slavery of Natives in any of their colonies. Dutch settlers were literate educated Civil Servants who chose to stay and not go home, not criminals from the prisons of Britain.

      South Africa was a British Colony from 1807-1910, but by then Britain had abolished the slave trade.

      There was a brief period of a few years, called the First British Occupation, when the Brits defeated the Dutch -but then the Dutch defeated the Brits again.

      When Britain could no longer send their criminals to America, they tried to send them to South Africa, but South African burghers refused to allow their ships to land – so the Brits had to send their criminals on to Australia.

    • http://none Lyndall Beddy

      British Transported Convicts were WHITE SLAVES

      Which is why the Burghers of Cape Town would not allow the British Ships to land – they opposed both White AND Black Slavery.

      The Mountain Passes of the Cape Colony were built by Convict Labour

      But they were convicts, not slaves, and were sought after labour after their sentences were ended because they had been taught to read and write and also taught construction skills, AND had earned money for building the passes.

    • Tofolux

      @Monddz, what this is, is nothing but afro-pessimism. In fact, all this black-bashing by whites and liberals smacks of everything we have become so accustomed to, ie white racism. If you want to deny it then go ahead. To my mind, there is NO credible incident that makes the case of an ”unintelligent” President. The case that is made is a euro-centric one. It attacks the traditions, culture and practises of those who live in Africa. The fact that Prince does it is to be expected, its nothing new. These ppl claim to be the elitist intelligentsia of our society and yet their only intelligence is learnt, parrot-fashion from a book. In fact, they or liberals in our country hold no mandate to speak on behalf of anyone but in the interest of the minority and their narrow agenda. You in particular have added no value to our country, you have not defended our democracy, you have not upheld any constitutional principle and yet you who have done nothing, sits arrogantly and question those who made a significant contribution to our country not as a mere man but a human being who is willing to lay down his life to protect this country. So, can you,Prince and others claim any of this bravery? I guess jealousy in this case, does makes you and others ever so nasty.

    • Pingback: The ‘uneducated’ Zuma… | Thought Leader « Habari Gani, America!()

    • Rick Baker

      To suggest that someone who is not educated is therefore not intelligent is ridiculous.
      What is equally ridiculous is to appoint someone to run a country who has no formal education in how to manage an extremely complex organisation. The drafters of the SA constitution erred badly by not making it a prequisite for presidents and goverment ministers to have the formal training/education in the areas for which they are responsible. Its not by accident that Cameron and Milliband in UK and Obama in USA are graduates of top universities.
      South Africa is an extremely complex country to manage and to elect a leader purely on the basis of his popularity however streetwise and clever he may be is insane and doomed to fail. Ramaphosa has a better chance of success as he is a qualified lawyer which means he would have been exposed to some economic and financial concepts.

    • mawela ndlamlenze

      it always mind bobling,when one thinks about the criteria used to judge a person,does one judge a person who is searching for spiritual enrichment by using a monetary based measurement or does one use a spiritual measurement.In this case of president zuma do we judge him against his educational background or do we judge him using the standard that presidents are required to be judged upon.I personally i think it fair that he puts the stats down of his presidential achievements and we use that as our yardstick to judge.

    • Sterling Ferguson

      @Beddy, some of your comments about the US history are true but, some of them aren’t true. When the civil war began in the US, General Lee had defeated all of the Federal forces until he met General Meade at Gettysburg, PA. After the battle of Gettysburg the Union Army wiped out General Lee’s army and Lincoln began to put demands on the south by calling for unconditional surrender. Prior to Gettysburg, Lincoln thought that he would have to sue for peace with the Southern forces.

      However, Lincoln was antislavery and thought that it was against the will of god. You should read Lincoln and Douglas debate to hear his views on slavery. Also, you should read Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address to understand his views. You should go into key words read about the battle that decided on the future of the US. At this battle over 150,000 troops died in three days at Gettysburg,PA. It was on the farm of a free black in PA.

    • Sterling Ferguson

      @Beddy, when discussing the slavery issue in the US, you should read about the people of all colors that risked their lives to fight against slavery. Below you will find a list of events that led to the civil war:

      In 1846 the US started a war with Mexico and took a vast track of her territory. The Southern states wanted this territory to be slave states, and the Northern states wanted this territory to be free states. In 1847, California was admitted to the Union as a free state and the south found themselves outnumbered in Washington.

      In 1849 a book written by Harriet B. Stowe called “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” this book was the first bestsellers printed in the US. The printing press couldn’t print enough copies to keep up with the public demand for this book. This book gave fuel to the anti-slavery movement in the US. When you get a chance you should read this book if you haven’t already have read it.

      Frederick Douglas came back to the US from England and went on a speaking tour with Lloyd garrison against slavery. Douglas was a slave in Maryland and escape and taught himself how to read and write. He started a newspaper called the North Star for the slaves on the run from their masters.

    • Sterling Ferguson

      @Beddy, continue, in the 1850s there was the compromise reached in Washington that made the north and south angry. Missouri was admitted as a slave state and all other states would be free states. A law was passed that give the slave owners the right to go into free states and take any black back south. Finally, the Dread Scott decision made the people in the anti-slavery movement very unhappy. This decision said that blacks had no rights and were the property of their masters. In other words, they were not human beings.

      Speaking of England and France role in the slave trade, both of these countries freed their slaves, but, they paid the slaves owners and not the slaves. In the case with France, this country forced Haiti to pay the slave owners for their lost.

      @Beddy, when studying history, one can’t try to change the past, but study why all of these events happened. The black Africans, US, Europe, Arabs and Brazil played a major role in the slave trade. Yesterday, this subject was discussed on the US TV to let the American people know how far this country has come.

    • Sterling Ferguson

      @Beddy, at the time of the US civil war, France was looking across the Rhine at what Bismarck had done in Germany and wasn’t in no position to help the southern part of the US. As a matter of facts, Germany sent observers to Gettysburg to see what Meade’s military plan was in this battle. Guess what? The Germans did the same thing to France in the Franco Prussian war.

      @Baker, Zuma doesn’t run the government in SA and he nothing but a figurehead like the Queen in England. The ANC was elected to rule SA and not Zuma. In the case with Obama, he was elected by the American people to be president and not king makers like in SA.

    • http://Nonde Monndz

      The issue is not whether one can be an intellectual without education. That question has been laid to rest. John Major was a Prime Minister in Britain with no formal qualification.

      The central issue that this conversation seeks to explore is whether in choosing JZ as the President of the RSA, we have ourselves someone who possess the required cerebral vigour to deal with the heavy demand of the office he hold.

      In the period in which the incumbent has been in office, nothing whatsoever has come from his table to suggest or indicate in any way that indeed he is an intellectual.

      In fact, no records exists even in the ANC of a JZ who was admired for his intellectual peers in the ANC. What remains are the recording of Professor Kader Asmal in his Autobiography, who, when he mentioned the performance of those who were in cabinet with him, is that the performance of the former Deputy President at that time was below par. This would have been way before he had a rough run with the law.

      Where you would have expected that perhaps when he was involved in the KZN cabinet as an MEC, his performance might have shown signs of capacity, even there was no showing.

      Finally, yes the president can sing, – but it’s amazing that those who keep defending hm are not giving us any specific reference to instances of intellectual performance which might have dazzled those who interacted with the president.

      If indeed JZ is an intellectual we are made to believe he is, prove it in…

    • ntozakhona


      You began the bickering about Zuma’s qualifications and even lying about Sol Plaatje’s education and that of Moses Mabhida. I refer you to Native Life in South Africa wriiten by Plaatje in 1913 and it is clearly stated the morulaganyi ( editor) had no formal education beyond primary education.

      Now coming to the real issues. Even Kgalema Motlanthe was accused by Ramaphosa who preceded him as NUM General Secretary as being below par. We all hold certain opinions about certain people at certain times influenced by whatever may be going on at the time.

      Zuma has inspired the National Development Plan, he ha saved us from being the laughing stock on the AIDS matter but more importantly lives are being saved and according to the UN the increase in our lifespan is dramatic. He has brokred what seems like lating peace in Burundi and despite being withdrawn at the last minute by the SA goverment the then warring parties honoured him.He has an infrastructure development plan that will create employment. He has the NHI as a solution to our ailing health system. The simplicity of his intellectual message that teachers should teach and learners learn is beginning to bear fruit as witnessed in matric results eish space is …..

    • ntozakhona

      Ps I had served in ERAPO with Chris Dlamini and was there in a memorial service held in his honour, he only had matric. He offered much more and had persuaded the Mandela administration to adopt a one China policy and was subsequently punished for that. The real reason for the hatred of Zuma, Dlamini et al is their pro working class and alignment with BRICS, nothing else.

    • Miss O

      Zuma is indeed a very intelligent and strategic politician. He’s definitely not “uneducated”.

    • Aubrey

      So with all due respect,what then do you think fellow South Africans must rectify economic ssituation in this country.

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