Did President Zuma really call his booers “empty vessels”?

The New Age said President Jacob Zuma referred to his booers “empty vessels”. Did he really say that? Doesn’t this remind you of the “dirty” votes comment by ANC member and Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane?

I read about this in a report this morning on the Times Online, carried by SAPA. The report was picked up by other several media outlets, including News24.com, The Citizen, and Sowetan, among others. All these reports only indicated that Zuma had referred to his booers as “empty vessels who make the most noise”.

When I looked up for the original source of these remarks, I came across a report carried by ANN7 – also owned by the owners of The New Age – which also claimed that the President only referred to his detractors as mere “empty vessels who make the most noise”. The report, by Qaanitah Hunter of The New Age, failed to state in full how the President used these words except only saying he said the booers were “empty vessels”.

The only other part of the report in which Zuma was quoted in full is when he said: “They boo. They have a lot to say… Don’t pay attention. Rather do your work. People talk a lot. They say this and that. They say we are doing nothing but they are staying in an RDP house.”

Interestingly, a further claim by the newspaper that the President also lashed at the “clever people” was also used by The New Age selectively. Why not quote Zuma in detail in which he makes all these remarks? I wonder… Who knows – the “empty vessels” could have been used by the newspaper for emphasis and not that Zuma said that.

Call me crazy, but unless the newspaper concerned can make a full disclosure of the statement in which Zuma made these remarks – I have a hard time believing the report although I admit that he is of course not happy about his detractors booeing him wherever he goes.

But “empty vessels”? It sounds more like “dirty” votes….


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