Photoshopped images doing the rounds on social media groups poke fun at revelations over the weekend that President Jacob Zuma is allegedly planning to relocate to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
The image shows the president in traditional Arab headgear, known as a keffiyeh, on his new ID residence card. The keffiyeh in the pic features a red and white pattern more closely associated with the Arab state of Jordan and certain factions of Palestinian resistance, while most men in Dubai would probably opt for the plain white keffiyeh, though “Arab Zuma” is probably still to learn this.
Amusingly, Zuma’s job in Dubai is presented as “minister of finance”.
It’s not the only photoshopped image doing the rounds, with another one on Twitter putting the president in a turban.
So if Jacob Zuma will reside in Dubai then they should respectfully call him Jacobta Gedleygupta Zupta ???? pic.twitter.com/FKifXwiL45
— Voldemort ???? (@Waylin666) May 29, 2017
Talk of Zuma and Dubai reignited after extraordinary emails came to light on Sunday suggesting that the president and his friends the Guptas have been helping each other to both take control of the South African state and repatriate their “loot” to the Gulf state so that they can retire in peace later, far from the troublesome arms of law enforcement.
EFF leader Julius Malema alleged last year already that Zuma was planning to flee the country and that he was taking huge amounts of money to the UAE in bags.
City Press reported on Sunday that an email from Ashu Chawla, the CEO of Gupta-owned Sahara Computers, to Zuma’s son Duduzane contained a draft letter from the president to Abu Dhabi Crown Prince General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, which showed how close Zuma is to the Guptas.
Zuma allegedly wrote in the letter: “I fondly remember our meeting in the UAE [United Arab Emirates] and the gracious hospitality and warmth extended to me during my visit. It is with this sentiment that I am happy to inform you that my family has decided to make the UAE a second home. It will be a great honour for me and my family to gain your patronage during our proposed residency in the UAE.”
Zuma, through his spokesperson, Bongani Nqulunga, rubbished allegations that he had any plans to live in Dubai.
“I have my home in Nkandla and I have no intention of living anywhere else. When I retire I will go home to Nkandla. This is a pure fabrication. Duduzane has never spoken to me about living in any other country,” Zuma said. “He has never shown me any letter. It’s shocking in the extreme. It’s absolute mischief aimed at sowing confusion.”
— Mweli Masilela (@mwelimasilela) May 28, 2017