As South Africa confronts the brink of doom, many have begun citing the good old days with former president Jacob Zuma and started directing candid messages of apology to him.
The hashtag “Sorry Jacob Zuma” has shaken social media platforms, with people claiming there could be no statesmen or selfless leader to match him.
This comes at a time when South Africa is dealing with grave ills such the soaring petrol prices, load shedding, high unemployment rate, kidnappings and corruption that are among the most devastating things the government has failed to curb.
The Jacob Zuma Foundation responded to #SorryJacobZuma by saying it is humbled by the stream of messages flooding in.
“The @JGZ_Foundation is humbled in the #SorryJacobZuma. All these messages will be brought to the attention of H E President Zuma.”
News and current affairs host Flo Letoaba is among those who suggest that Zuma should tell people to shove their apologies as many continue to ask for forgiveness from the president.
This has also given birth to strong remarks that the South African media cooked lies about Zuma and painted him as a heinous person.
The hashtag had people reflect back to 2015, when Steve Motale, editor of The Citizen, wrote an article titled “I am sorry Jacob Zuma”.
A video in which Motale was interviewed on SABC was brought to light. On it he admitted to playing a part in spreading a false narrative about the former president.
“I am not saying I am suddenly his biggest fan, but it is time to admit I have been party to the unfairness, along with many of my colleagues.”
Motale then argued that, “Jacob Zuma has never been found guilty of a single charge of corruption, and yet he is constantly vilified in ‘the media' as corrupt.
“I did a lot of introspection and I said you know what, I need to clear myself. I had my own perceptions about the president. I have said it in the column there. The fact that he was not educated. The fact that he has multiple wives. I mean to a ‘clever black’ like myself, I could not perceive that particular individual becoming the president of the country.”
He further admitted that this particular perception he held up clouded his writing – hence he made a decision to apologise.
The public claims that they were sold lies by most media entities in SA, especially with this story of Motale serving as an example of what media can do and the power it possesses.