South Africa: Zuma says student did 'something untoward'

President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday said the student who allegedly gave his convoy the finger had recognised that he did something “untoward” because he had apologised for his actions.

“The man apologised. The fact that he’s apologising, he must then know that there is something untoward,” Zuma told the parliamentary press gallery association.

UCT student Chumani Maxwele alleges that he was manhandled and detained for nearly 24 hours by police who arrested him after he waved at Pres Zuma’s blue light convoy in irritation at its wailing sirens while jogging along the M3.

He denied a claim by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa that he apologised in writing for displaying “bad manners”, saying the Minister was referring to a statement he made to the police after he was arrested.

Pres Zuma said he had seen “the letter” Maxwele had written but could not deal with the case because he did not see what had happened and believed it was an issue for the police.

“Well I did not see him waving… I don’t know whether he was waving or not waving and I would not like to argue a matter that I did not see,” he said.

“That one to me is not an issue because I think the police (will) deal with the matter and they are competent to deal with such matters.”

Source: Sapa online, 20100224

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