Zuma races ahead in Twitter trending stakes

Picture: Pauli Van Wyk
Picture: Pauli Van Wyk

Photographs carrying the logo of the Jacob Zuma Foundation on a team car for China’s Formula-E team are creating a buzz on social media‚ with questions being asked about why the South African president’s education and poverty alleviation trust is involved with another country’s electric car racing.

The president’s office and foundation have not as yet commented on the reports but the photos are being circulated on Twitter of a racing car with the Zuma Foundation logo clearly visible‚ alongside commercial brands including a tyre company and high-end watch brands.

The topic was beginning to trend on Twitter on Tuesday morning‚ generating views both supportive and cynical.

“Only a matter of time before #Nhleko announces that a race track (tarred defense barrier) will be built at #Nkandla. #zumaracing‚” @Jonathan_Witt tweeted‚ while ‏@Bra_banbani offered this view: “#ZumaRacing journalists are trying to hard to throw mud at JZ. Of course his current status draws funds to it but he owes us no explanation”.

The racing team was founded by Chinese businessman Yu Liu together with the Chinese Ministry of Sport‚ according to Radio 702. Liu reportedly moved to South Africa in the 1980s where he operated businesses in the gold and diamond sectors before returning to his home country in 2004.

The Jacob G Zuma Foundation was initially founded by the president with RDP funding. On its website‚ it says it is “respected both locally and internationally for its commitment to the socio-economic upliftment of the poor. The Foundation is committed to broadening its network of donor partners to enable life-changing upliftment of impoverished South Africans”.

Picture: Barry Bateman
Picture: Barry Bateman

Journalist Mandy Wiener ‏@MandyWiener posed this question on Twitter: “Apparently when a foundation is linked to a sports team they’re usually a beneficiary not a sponsor. So who is benefitting from #ZumaRacing?”

Brian O’Neil ‏@brian_66798 posed his question directly to the racing team’s account: “@PaulivW @MandyWiener @ChinaRacingFE #Zuma #ZumaRacing how much tax money is wasted on this?thug!!!!”‚ to which NEXTEV CHINA RACING‏ @ChinaRacingFE replied: “@brian_66798 @PaulivW @MandyWiener None of course.”

Tweep @byronlinsell seemed to be little concerned about possible corruption or conflicts‚ and his worry was more aesthetic: “Lets be honest the #ZumaRacing logo is probably the worst logo ever created. That’s the real crime.”

-RDM News Wire 

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