South Africa has demanded an explanation from Zambia on remarks its vice-president Guy Scott reportedly made about President Jacob Zuma and others.
“We shall be summoning the high commissioner of Zambia… to seek an explanation behind the remarks and what it means in the context of our bilateral relations,” international relations spokesman Clayson Monyela said on Thursday.
“South Africa has taken note of the negative remarks about South Africa… In view of this development, the SA government has decided to take the matter up through the appropriate diplomatic channels.”
The report that irked South African officials was written by The Guardian’s correspondent in Lusaka.
It initially appeared on the publication’s UK website on Wednesday, and was issued by the Mail & Guardian in South Africa on its website on Thursday.
Scott told The Guardian newspaper in the UK Zuma was like former apartheid leader FW de Klerk, and that South Africans were “backward”.
Said Scott: “He’s [Zuma] very like De Klerk. He tells us: ‘you just leave Zimbabwe to me.’ Excuse me, who the hell liberated you anyway, was it not us? I mean, I quite like him, he seems a rather genial character but I pity him his advisers.”
Scott went on to speak about South Africans, and black citizens.
“The South Africans are very backward in terms of historical development… I hate South Africans… they really think they’re the bees’ knees and actually they’ve been the cause of so much trouble in this part of the world,” Scott told the newspaper.
“I have a suspicion the blacks model themselves on the whites now that they’re in power.”
He said he disliked South Africa because it was too big and “unsubtle”.
Scott noted that South Africa had more than 80 tribes and several major language groups.