Our special coverage of the closest race for years
Explore the personal stories of Syrian refugees in Lebanon
24 Oct 2013 12:45 GMT | Africa, Malawi, South Africa
Malawi has summoned a South African envoy over President Jacob Zuma's disparaging remarks about the country.Ntombile Mabude, the South African High Commissioner to Malawi, was asked to explain a statement Zuma made last Monday that was widely understood as suggesting that Malawi was backward, when discussing South Africa's road infrastructure.Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Quent Kalichero told the AFP news agency on Wednesday that Mabude was "summoned to discuss the issue".The envoy held a meeting with the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, George Mkondiwa, in the capital Lilongwe.
We are in Johannesburg, this is Johannesburg. It's not some national road in Malawi
President Jacob Zuma
Kalichero declined to provide details of the meeting.Zuma sparked controversy when he tried to convinced motorists to accept the country's plan to toll highways around Johannesburg.He said "we are in Johannesburg, this is Johannesburg. It's not some national road in Malawi."On Tuesday, Zuma's spokesman Mac Maharaj defended the statement, saying it was reported out of context.He said Zuma was trying to justify the sophisticated road system in the country's economic hub. But according to Africa Check, a non-profit organisation monitoring the accuracy of public figures across the African continent, "Zuma’s remarks were not ‘taken out of context’ or distorted and that he did indeed make remarks about ‘Africans generally’, and Malawi in particular, that were intended to disparage.”
Zuma's comments drew outrage across South Africa, with social media platforms buzzing with ridicule and condemnation for the president's remarks.
But others say that Zuma's sentiment is precisely what South Africans feel about its neighbours.
“Zuma is merely airing an often shy and hidden reality of the perceptions and arrogance that many South Africans share,” Ebrahim Fakir, a political analyst, told South Africa's Daily Maverick.
Source: Al Jazeera and agencies
South African President's remark made to ‘decolonise the African mind’, says spokesperson.
The move by President Joyce Banda comes after arrest of officials on suspicion of lining their pockets with state funds.
Politics, Africa, Malawi
Content on this website is for general information purposes only. Your comments
are provided by your own free will and you take sole responsibility for any direct
or indirect liability. You hereby provide us with an irrevocable, unlimited, and
global license for no consideration to use, reuse, delete or publish comments, in
accordance with Community Rules & Guidelines and Terms and Conditions.
Trash is a fast-growing import in the Scandinavian country, which turns it into heat for people's homes.
Environment, Europe, Sweden
Critics say the UK's home secretary is using Muslims as a 'political punchbag' in a bid to shore up right-wing support.
Human Rights, Politics, Racism
2014 was the worst year in more than a decade for polio infections, with at least 306 new cases reported.
Polio, Asia, Pakistan
Recent court ruling finds police unit not guilty of rounding up and executing 42 Muslim men during 1987 communal riots.
Human Rights, India, Asia
Egypt's president says heads of states at Arab League summit have agreed to begin forming joint unit of 40,000 troops.
War & Conflict, Politics, Middle East, Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
Gulf kingdom's top army officer says airstrikes into Yemen have pushed Houthi rebels out of contested air bases.
War & Conflict, Middle East, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iran
It is a source of sustenance but also of tension and new political realities are now increasing uncertainty.
Egypt, Sudan, Middle East
A media post-mortem into the UK's surveillance report. Plus, why five years on in Argentina the media looks so familiar.
Media, Edward Snowden, Security
The untold story of how the Lebanese community overcame the odds and found their place in multicultural Australia.
Asia Pacific, Australia, Lebanon
How to keep a telenovela profitable and demanding sponsors happy while inspiring the production team to stay passionate.
Arts & Culture, Mexico, Latin America