After being probed repeatedly about his rumoured romantic relationship with actress and socialite Thuli Phongolo, Duduzane Zuma simply said “I’m not smashing, let’s just start there. Let’s just be clear.”
Speaking on Podcast and Chill with Mac G, Zuma addressed everything from his status as a sex symbol, his life as the son of a prominent political figure and his own political ambitions.
“It popped up and I don’t know where it popped up from. The unfortunate thing is that there have been a lot of media reports of this nature and of other nature… corruption, fraud that have popped up and they are untrue,” he continued.
Duduzane explained that another reason for him addressing the headline was the fact that people took things as true just because they had been published on a media platform, even when they were not based on fact.
“She’s a beautiful young lady, I have only heard of her now. She’s doing her thing and all the best with whatever she is doing but I don’t know her, let’s just start there. Point number two, I’ve never met her. The third and obvious point is that I’ll categorically deny it.”
He said people had been sending him screenshots of links to reports about the romance.
“Look, from my side, there’s one thing I’ve never done. I do not comment on streets talking, I do not comment on allegations and gossip-mongering. It’s not what I do.”
“Fact, figures, talk to me, we’ll have a conversation. For me to have to worry about what people are saying… If I answer that question, there will be a whole host of other allegations. Now I’ve opened up the door to say ‘if I’ve answered on this topic, then I should be and honest enough to answer on a host of other topics’ and I don’t want to put myself in that position because I don’t owe anyone an explanation when it comes to my personal ongoings that are my business.”
The hour-long interview touched on a number of topics, however, here are some highlights:
Duduzane on polygamy:
Zuma has been married to Shanice Stork since 2015 and the couple have one child together. When asked about whether or not he would be following in his father’s footsteps by adding another wife to the mix, he could not be drawn on a definitive answer.
“‘I’m a traditionalist at heart. I mean, the way life goes, life goes. At this point I’m not sure, I’m not trying to Flava Flav it. At the same time, it’s life, you know. We live life and we see how it progresses.”
“We’ll see, we live life, I don’t have a crystal ball.”
On Julius Malema:
“I’ve only ever met him once, I think he’s a great guy,” said Zuma before adding that they had yet to speak on critical issues or spend a significant amount of time together for him to have a valid opinion on him.
“From my side, when it comes to sowing division based on racial lines, I’m not for that. As much as a lot of us have been disrespected, even by the white race for a period of time, up until today, or we’ve been called all sorts of names, we know what it is but at the end of the day, I still believe that’s not the way.”
On his presidential ambitions:
Zuma is very big on having younger people fill leadership positions in all spheres of society and spoke about this for the majority of his interview with Mac G.
“There is no way that South Africa, as we sit today in the next 10, 15 to 20 years is going to be led commercially, politically by the elder generation into what we expect it to be. So, like I said and with all due respect, there is no way that a 60 or 70-year-old can have a 10-15 year vision on where South Africa should be when a lot of them will not be here. Forget politically, but just physically. That vision needs to be driven by a much younger generation.”
When asked if he ever felt pressure to follow in his dad’s footsteps by carving out a career in politics, Zuma said he never did.
“There’s never been any pressure, there still is no pressure. He did what he needed to do, that’s been his life, he took the political route when he was 16/17 years old and that’s all he knows. Fortunately for some of us, we’ve had options in our lives. I’ve taken the commercial route, the business route and that’s who I became, that’s what I am today. The pressure of politics? No sir..”
He also spoke about being his own man and wanting to build his own legacy.
“Whenever the time comes, I want to be able to say ‘this is what I’ve built’ and it’s hard work.”