Diplomatic tension has arisen between Zambia and South Africa following a remark by Vice President Guy Scott who said South Africans were backward and their President Jacob Zuma conducted himself like one of the apartheid era leaders.
The South African government intends to summon Zambia’s High Commissioner to that country over the remark.
According to a Press statement from the Department of International Relations And Cooperation (DIRCO),South Africa has taken note of the negative remarks on South Africa attributed to Dr Scott.
Speaking in an interview with the Guardian of UK in Lusaka recently, Dr Scott dismissed South Africans as “backward”
Dr Scott is reported to have scoffed at the inclusion of South Africa in the Brics grouping of emerging economies, “They think in Brics that the ‘s’ actually stands for South Africa whereas it stands for Africa. Nobody would want to go in for a partnership with Brazil, China, India and South Africa for Christ’s sake.
“The South Africans are very backward in terms of historical development. I hate South Africans. That’s not a fair thing to say because I like a lot of South Africans but 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,” said Dr Scott
Dr Scott was further reported to have said that he disliked South Africa for the same reason that Latin Americans dislike the United States.” I think. It’s just too big and too unsubtle. ”he said
Warming to his theme, Scott let rip at South African President Jacob Zuma, comparing him with the last apartheid leader, FW de Klerk.
“He’s 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.” Dr Scott said
But South Africa’s DIRCO spokesperson Clayson Monyela said “In view of this development, the South African Government has decided to take the matter up through the appropriate diplomatic channels,”
Mr Monyela said accordingly, Pretoria would be summoning the High Commissioner of Zambia to South Africa to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation to seek an explanation behind the remarks and what it meant in the context of the two countries bilateral relations.
“South Africa has taken note of the negative remarks on South Africa attributed to Mr Guy Scott, the Vice President of the Republic of Zambia.
“Accordingly, we shall be summoning the High Commissioner of Zambia to South Africa to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation to seek an explanation behind the remarks and what it means in the context of our bilateral relations,” he said
Dr Scott is further reported to have said that he had far less time for South Africa, the continent’s biggest economy.