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S. Africa Summons Zambia Diplomat Over Scott’s Comment

South Africa said it will summon the Zambian High Commissioner to raise concerns about disparaging comments made by Vice President Guy Scott against the nation and its president, Jacob Zuma.

In an interview published yesterday in the London-based Guardian newspaper, Scott said South Africans were “backward” and compared Zuma to F.W. de Klerk, South Africa’s last white leader, saying Zuma has taken a similar unilateral approach to managing the political impasse in Zimbabwe.

“I dislike South Africa for the same reason that Latin Americans dislike the United States,” the newspaper quoted Scott as saying. “It’s just too big and too unsubtle.”

South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation summoned Zambia’s senior diplomat in the country to “seek an explanation behind the remarks and what it means in the context of our bilateral relations”, it said in an e-mailed statement today.

South Africa, the continent’s biggest economy, and Zambia are both members of the Southern African Development Community, a regional political bloc. Zambia’s government backed South Africa’s ruling African National Congress when the group was banned under apartheid and its members were living in exile in Zambia.

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