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Zuma booed, jeered at Mandela memorial

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 01:44

Dec. 10 - South African President Jacob Zuma said Mandela ''laid a firm foundation for the South Africa of our dreams'' during his speech at Madiba's memorial in Johannesburg. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) South African President Jacob Zuma was booed and jeered at a memorial to anti-apartheid legend Nelson Mandela on Tuesday (December 10), a major public humiliation in front of other world leaders six months before national elections. The hostile reaction from the thousands-strong unruly crowd erupted as Zuma prepared to address the high-profile ceremony in Johannesburg's Soccer City stadium bringing together leaders from around 90 countries. He remained stony faced during the booing and organizers at one point used a choir to try to drown out the hostile reaction. Zuma, who has ruled Africa's biggest economy since 2009, had been hoping to get a boost from the wave of national emotion triggered by Mandela's death on Thursday, aged 95. "Never before has our country celebrated a life, as we are doing with that of Madiba today. We do not call Madiba the Father of our Rainbow Nation merely for political correctness or relevance. We do so because he laid a firm foundation for the South Africa of our dreams. One that is united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous," Zuma said. The mourning for Mandela has distracted attention from corruption scandals affecting Zuma and his administration. But memories of the former president's five-year tenure up to 1999 have reminded many just how distant Zuma's South Africa still is from the "Rainbow Nation" ideal of shared prosperity and social peace that Mandela proclaimed after his 1994 election.

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Zuma booed, jeered at Mandela memorial

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 01:44