“That is my sister. What is wrong with my father kissing his daughter? There is nothing wrong with that photograph,” said President Jacob Zuma’s eldest son, Edward.
When asked if the young woman was a blood relation, Zuma was emphatic that the young woman was his “sister”.
Zuma said the Facebook account where the picture collage of Zuma and the young woman was published, was indeed a fake one, with a fake name and wrong age for the woman pictured on the photo.
The series of photographs showing a young woman kissing a man who appeared to be the president were circulated on social media on Wednesday.
News24 reported that the teenager, whose name according to the Facebook page is Lindokuhle Dlamini, posted a series of selfies of herself with the president on Tuesday.
‘We need to protect our youth’
It was captioned: “He is not just a blesser, we are in love and I am grateful for all that he has done for me, much love. Xo xo.”
A blesser, or sugar daddy, is an older man who gives a younger woman money or gifts in exchange for sex.
The president on Youth Day spoke out against the phenomena of “blessers” sweeping across parts of the country.
“We need to protect our youth, especially young women and girls, from abuse and exploitation through new shocking phenomena in our country such as the so-called sex parties or sex stokvels known as the mavuso,” Zuma said during the 2016 Youth Day celebrations at Orlando Stadium in Soweto.
“The long-term impact on their lives, and also on our successful fight against HIV and Aids is too ghastly to contemplate,” he said at the time.
The fake Facebook account has since been deleted.
Economic Freedom Fighters deputy president Floyd Shivambu tweeted the picture on Wednesday asking: “Okay cool? What kind of Grand Fathers and Fathers kiss their Grand Daughters & Daughters like this? Perverts??”
Zuma said Shivambu had a personal vendetta against his father because he was booted out of the South African Communist Party.
“The president got him kicked out of the SACP because he was misbehaving. He has a personal vendetta against the president.”
Zuma confirmed that the picture was real and that the young woman had every right to post pictures of her father.
“She can post pictures of her father, just like everybody else,” said Zuma.
The Presidency on Wednesday said it would investigate the veracity of the photograph.
Presidency spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga was not immediately available to comment on the matter.