The fact that President Jacob Zuma did not attend a public meeting in Vuwani on account of an “unrepresentative” crowd is a silly excuse, says Daily Maverick's Ranjeni Munusamy.
It was reported earlier that Presidency spokesperson Dr Bongani Ngqulunga says the reason the President left without addressing residents was because not all communities were represented at the meeting and residents had no intention of booing Zuma.
Munusamy says Zuma's no-show at the meeting can be read as a dismissal of those present there, and their feelings.
The fact that people turned up in large numbers; how can you say that they are not good enough. It's just bizarre.— Ranjeni Munusamy, Associate editor at the Daily Maverick
She adds that Zuma's withdrawal from the meeting shows that the Presidency may not want Zuma to be boo-ed again.
According to Munusamy, Zuma is meant to mediate among those residents who feel disgruntled by the demarcation changes the most, instead of addressing those in agreement.
The people who need to be addressed are the people who are opposed to the municipality; the people who have the problem. Why would you address those who don't have the problem, unless all you want is a chorus line of people congratulating you.— Ranjeni Munusamy, Associate editor at the Daily Maverick
She adds that the list of Zuma's no-go zones is growing.
On Sunday, President Jacob Zuma withdrew from addressing a large community meeting in the volatile town of Vuwani.
Last week, Zuma was heckled and denounced at a May Day which Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) had to cancell due to protests.
Munusamy says Zuma has addressed many hostile meetings in the past and would have been capable of speaking at the recent engagements that he withdrew from .
She juxtaposes recent incidents with events in 2004, where Zuma was insistent on campaigning at hostels despite facing threats of violence from IFP supporters.
He didn't just run away, he did speak to them and explain why he was free to go in.— Ranjeni Munusamy, Associate editor at the Daily Maverick
Take a listen to her analysis: