Polygamist president of South Africa Zuma defends polygamy

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Polygamist president of South Africa Zuma defends polygamy
jacob-zuma.wives-bcn

South Africa’s Zuma defends polygamy

Special to USAfricaonline.com and CLASSmagazine

(AFP) Davos, Switzerland — South African President Jacob Zuma defended Thursday having more than one wife, saying polygamy is part of his culture and that those who think their culture is “superior” have a problem.

Zuma, who has three wives, dismissed a suggestion from a panel interviewer at the World Economic Forum in Davos that polygamy was “symbolically a great step backward,” or inherently unfair to women.

“It depends what culture you come from. People interpret cultures in different ways. Some think that their culture is superior to others, that’s a problem we have in the world.”

In South Africa, “we follow a policy that says you must respect the cultures of others. That’s my culture. It does not take anything from me, from my political beliefs and everything, including the belief on the equality of women…. It’s my culture. And I’m sure there are cultures (that) do that kind of thing,” he said.

And he added: “The problem is that when people have their own culture .. think that their culture is the only right one .. the only one accepted by God.”

Polygamist president of South Africa Zuma defends polygamy
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Asked whether he treated his own wives equally, he said “absolutely, totally equally,” drawing laughter from his audience.

In other comments, Zuma said that talk of so-called “white flight” from South Africa — which next month celebrates the 20th anniversary of the release of Nelson Mandela, heralding the end of apartheid — was exaggerated.

“Nobody is excluded,” he said. “We are a very proud rainbow nation, that is working together,” downplaying concerns. “There is an element of exaggerating things.”