Johannesburg, Dec. 27: South Africa's President, Jacob Zuma, has declared that having a pet dog is not African, and that black South Africans who buy a dog, take it for walks and to the veterinarian are copying white culture.
Zuma, 70, was speaking at a traditional event in KwaZulu-Natal province, his first public appearance since being re-elected president of the African National Congress a week ago.
He described people who love dogs more than humans as "having a lack of humanity", Durban newspaper The Mercury reported.
Black South Africans should stop adopting the habits of other cultures, Zuma told an audience of thousands yesterday: "Even if you apply any kind of lotion and straighten your hair you will never be white."
Zuma, a proud Zulu who adheres to traditional practices such as polygamy, said in an August interview that it was "not right" for women to be single, and that having children is "extra training for a woman".
In November, he endorsed traditional courts in South Africa, saying that problems should be resolved "the African way, not the white man's way". On Twitter, some black South Africans responded to Zuma's latest comments by posting photos of themselves being "un-African" by walking their dogs.