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Jacob Zuma: "Polygamy is part of my culture"
South African President Jacob Zuma has once again caused sensation at the World Economic Forum in Davos by defending the fact that he has more than one wife. He said that polygamy is part of his culture and that those who think their culture is "superior" have a problem.
Zuma, who has three wives, dismissed a suggestion from a panel interviewer at the Forum in Switzerland that polygamy was "symbolically a great step backward," or inherently unfair to women.
"It depends what culture you come from. People interprete cultures in different ways. Some think that their culture is superior to others, that's a problem we have in the world."
In South Africa, "we follow a policy that says you must respect the cultures of others. That's my culture. It does not take anything from me, from my political beliefs and everything, including the belief on the equality of women,” he said
"The problem is that when people have their own culture .. think that their culture is the only right one .. the only one accepted by God" he added.
Asked whether he treated his own wives equally, he said "absolutely, totally equally," drawing laughter from his audience.
In other comments, Zuma said that talk of so-called "white flight" from South Africa - which next month celebrates the 20th anniversary of the release of Nelson Mandela, heralding the end of apartheid - was exaggerated.
"Nobody is excluded," he said. "We are a very proud rainbow nation, that is working together."