South African’s top political analyst puppet, Chester Missing, poses for a photograph at the Saturday Star.
 Picture: Itumeleng English
Johannesburg - What is the best thing that Jacob Zuma has done during his nine years as president of South Africa? For South Africa’s most famous puppet, Chester Missing, Zuma’s biggest contribution happened this week. 

“He resigned. That is the best thing he has done,” says Missing.

The Saturday Star caught up with the comedian to chat about Zuma’s resignation and the country’s new president, Cyril Ramaphosa.

Now that Zuma is gone, where are you going to get your jokes from?

There are always political jokes! And much of my comedy is not about politics. In fact, most of it is in a theatre space.

You tweeted recently: “What are white people going to complain about now that Zuma is gone?” What do you think white people are going to complain about now?

The South Africans do the weather, losing sports teams and calls from blocked numbers.

How much of an upgrade are we getting with Cyril Ramaphosa?

We’ve gone from a BlackBerry to the new iPhone.

Puppet Chester Missing interviews then Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa during the fifth annual Ahmed Kathrada lecture at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Newtown, Joburg, in 2014. File picture: Katlholo Maifadi

What is the best Zuma joke you have ever told?

Wow. That’s a big question “Jacob Zuma reads speeches so slowly it’s like someone is texting it to him one word at a time.”

How would you sum up Zuma’s time as president?


What was the best thing that Zuma did for South Africa?

He resigned.

What do you see Zuma doing now that he has resigned?

About 25 to life.

Which other SA politicians are your favourite to write jokes about and why?

Helen Zille, because she is in the public eye and, love or hate her, she has lots of personality. Also Bantu Holomisa, because he has a great sense of humour. Julius is also hilarious, but the dynamics of race, class and how I write make it more complex. And Fikile Mbalula, because he’s also a muppet.

Saturday Star