By: Dennis Cruywagen
Cape Town: A relaxed and good-humoured President Jacob Zuma joked about accidentally driving a golf ball into a television camera before teeing off in the annual Presidential Address Golf Challenge in Stellenbosch on Friday.
He did not hit the camera, but his first golf shot, played as he joked, only travelled a few metres. His second one was better, drawing applause from dignitaries that included the Deputy President of the African National Congress, Cyril Ramaphosa and Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.
His third shot was even better: going further and earning more applause on De Zalze Golf Club, which is set among mountains and vineyards in Stellenbosch, Cape Town. Afterwards, President Zuma joked that he did not have enough time to practise his golf. Aptly changing tone, Zuma stressed the importance of sport as unifying force.
Many African sports fans visited South Africa to watch the recently completed Africa Cup of Nations football tournament. This was good for the country and the economy, the President noted.
Soccer, he said, united the continent. “Just as the World Cup unites the world, the Africa Cup of Nations unites the African continent.” Proceeds from today’s challenge, hosted by the Ministry for Public Service and Administration, will go to the Jacob Zuma RDP Education Trust.
President Zuma said that because of events such as the yearly golf day, those less fortunate were able to make it in life.
“We are very happy as a trust that we can partner with you on this very important occasion. We are very happy and would like to encourage more companies to make it happen,” he said.
Helping to empower people was one of the most important contributions because helping individuals helped the country, he said. “The poor benefit. It’s important to lift up the poor,” he said.