A diplomatic row has erupted between Zambia and South Africa over negative remarks by Zambian Vice-President Guy Scott. The South Africa government has announced that it wiil summon the Zambian High Commission in that country over Scott’s insults to South Africans in general.
Scott told the Guardian newspaper of UK: “The South Africans are very backward in terms of historical development.
“I hate South Africans … 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.”
He also likened President Jacob Zuma to FW de Klerk, leader of the apartheid government that ended in 1994.
In a brief media statement today, South African government spokesperson Mr Clayson Monyela said in view of the Zambian government statement by Guy Scott, the South African Government has decided to take the matter up through the appropriate diplomatic channels.
“Accordingly, we shall be summoning the High Commission 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,” read the statement released today to the South African media.
The Zambian government that is already facing international isolation from other countries over some reckless conduct including human rights record described the South African people as backward and Zimbabwean president as “a funny chap who seems to doze off and then suddenly laughs at a joke while in the middle of dozing, and very articulate, without a note, without a scrap of anything”.
Scott, perhaps the only white person to hold such as senior position in any African government also 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.
“I dislike South Africa for the same reason that Latin Americans dislike the United States, I think. It’s just too big and too unsubtle,” he told the highly influential UK’s Guardian newspaper.
But the reckless remarks by the PF’s Zambian senior government official did not go well with other responsible governments in the region who have decided to summon the Zambia High Commission in South Africa over the insults.
Last week, the Post newspaper’s PF aligned media organisation run various condemnation statements over the statement allegedly issued by UPND president Hakainde Hichilema who was accused of having described Guy Scott as the “most stupid white man” in Zambia.
Scott has so far survived disparaging remarks on the Zambian people when he described them as thieves and corrupt.
Last month, the same PF’s Post newspaper was tipped by the Zambian government intelligence sources about the impending visit by former president Rupiah Banda to the South African High Commission in Zambia and run several insulting stories about that government and its president Jacob Zuma.
And in the continued souring relations with other governments, President Michael Sata himself literally insulted the Botswana government and its people during his visit to that country last year.
Below is the brief statement issued today:
02 May 2013
South Africa to raise concern about negative remarks made by Zambia’s Vice President Guy Scott
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.
In view of this development, the South African Government has decided to take the matter up through the appropriate diplomatic channels.
Accordingly, we shall be summoning the High Commission 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.
For further information, please contact Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, on+27 82 884 5974
ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION
OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road
See story in the UK newspaper here