Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A not so personal life for Zuma

MaNtuli the second, “First Lady,” of South Africa has caused a media frenzy over reports that she was allegedly doing the nasty with a presidential bodyguard up until the guard committed suicide early this year. Further allegations are that she is carrying a bun in her oven thanks to Phinda Thomo, the bodyguard. What do you say about all this? Hooray to the information highway for a juicy scoop? Maybe not.

The media must take credit for elevating Jacob Zuma to the same position as Idi Amin and his ilk of African leaders whose private lives have been magnets of public interest and scrutiny. It reminds me of years back when the British tabloids kept millions of dirty minds fuelled with saucy details about how Prince Charles would sneak out at night to have quickies with Camilla Parker Bowles, while his wife Princess Di snoozed in bed. It is understandable therefore why Zuma has declared his private life a no go area and Thomo’s family has also asked to be left alone.

Easier said than done. I am blogging about it, Malema is gaining political mileage out of it, not to mention the search engines that have been working over time to whet our appetites for scandal and gossip by “crawling,” for the latest web postings.The oldest justification in the book by the gossip junkies is the one that claims that a president is a public servant and it is therefore in the interest of the nation, if not the world, to know this information. HA HA and another HA, what a laugh! If the wife of the CEO of a huge multinational company has an affair, will it be in the interests of the organisation’s shareholders, staff and customers to know about it?

I repeat what I have echoed on this forum before. Politics by its very nature does not normally yield all round role models with sound moral uprightness and politician’s families are often not your typical solid family. It is therefore irresponsible, if not silly to make comments like, “He should step down because his personal life does not set a good example for our children.” Choose other role models for your children, not politicians.

The crux of the matter is this: If what happens in JZ’s private life does not have a direct bearing on his performance at the Union Buildings, let us simply live and let live no matter how much our personal opinions sway us along the nosy, judgemental and privacy invading path.

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