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Pretoria - The Presidency says it is alarmed by statements about President Jacob Zuma made by political analyst Richard Calland.
On Thursday Calland told the Cape Town Press Club that Zuma's weakness is that he reads too little.
“It's not that he can't read, it's that he doesn't read and he doesn't read the proper stuff; he doesn't read Cabinet briefs, he doesn't read stuff that is the meat and drink of modern, sophisticated government,” Calland said.
“It is not easy for one to have such disrespect of our president. The truth is we have a leader who encourages that... and who is, in many ways, the embodiment of anti-intellectualism.”
In a statement released on Friday, Presidency spokesman Mac Maharaj said the statements were based on rumours and stereotyping.
“The statement is incorrect, unfortunate and misleading. It also serves to perpetuate stereotypes,” Maharaj said.
“Mr Calland has no knowledge of how the president works or how he prepares for meetings or any aspects of his work.
“It is therefore shocking that Mr Calland has taken gossip and rumours to be fact and has also decided to spread such rumours further,” Maharaj said.
Calland teaches constitutional law at the University of Cape Town and heads the democratic governance and rights unit.
He released a book earlier in the year, titled “The Zuma Years: South Africa's changing face of power”. - Sapa