‘Zombie’ remark upsets Zuma’s son Edward
PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma’s son Edward says he isn’t accepting the apology of a Lotus FM radio personality for calling his father a “zombie” and an “uneducated creature” on social media.
Edward Zuma yesterday told The Star’s sister paper, The Mercury, that he would leave the ANC policy conference currently taking place in Sowetoto open a criminal case against Ravi Govender at a Durban police station.
This comes after Govender posted on Facebook: “Just heard a Zombie Zuma giving a speech on the news. Massacring the beautiful English language… Uneducated creature. Even the other moron Mugabe speaks much better.”
In a statement condemning the post, Edward said that over the years, his family had “endured humiliation that cannot be described as a result of many insults from radio presenters, journalists, columnists and cartoonists, aimed at tarnishing the image of my father…”
Govender has since deleted the post and apologised. “Yesterday, (Friday) I posted a comment that spoke about two politicians. Some felt it was inciting and ill-said. Sorry if you felt so, as I have always been neutral as far as politics go and will always remain so. So, if you were offended, heartfelt apologies.
“I’ve loved English all my life. I know it’s not his (Jacob Zuma’s) first language, my point was about the way it came across, it had no feelings, no emotions, that’s where the word zombie came in. It was not a personal attack.”
But Edward wasn’t buying it, saying he had no problem with people who criticised his father on governance issues, but he took exception to personal insults.
“That comment degraded Zuma, the human being, the father.
“The fact that this person (Govender) works for a radio station means his unfair insults could reach thousands of people, insults my father will never have the opportunity to defend himself against.”
He called for Govender’s employers to take action, or else he would hold them liable.
SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said they would be looking at whether Govender’s comments brought the organisation into disrepute. “When you are a personality at a radio station you have to understand that you are always carrying the brand.”
Kganyago said the views expressed were not those of Lotus FM or the SABC. He said it was also not for them to comment on the pending legal action.
Govender said involving his employers was not fair as it was “messing with my livelihood. I posted it on my own personal page, it has nothing to do with my employer,” he said.
He added that he had received death threats, and did not know what else to do to make people understand that he did not mean to hurt anyone.
“I have done everything I can to put this behind me. It’s sad at the way that this has gone. I think I’m being made a scapegoat, to make an example,” he said.
UPSET: President Jacob Zuma’s eldest son Edward Zuma wants to take legal action.