Monday, January 18, 2016 4:08 pm
South Africa’s presidency today issued an embarrassing correction to rectify an erroneous reference last month by President Jacob Zuma to Africa being the “largest continent”.
Speaking at a business dinner on Dec. 9, Zuma, who has no formal education, also described Africa as so big that “all continents put together will fit into Africa”.
The comments were seized upon by Zuma’s opponents, who argue that his lack of schooling makes him unfit to lead a sophisticated emerging economy.
It was unclear why the presidency decided to issue the correction after a delay of nearly six weeks.
“Africa is in fact the second biggest continent in terms of population size, and the biggest continent in this regard is Asia. The President regrets the error,” the statement said.
Zuma’s comments about Africa’s size came hours before he fired respected finance minister Nhlanhla Nene in favour a relative unknown, triggering financial turmoil that sent the rand, bonds and stocks plummeting.