President Jacob Zuma is to do a BCom degree‚ apparently to hit back at political rival Julius Malema‚ who graduated with a BA from Unisa this week.
Zuma has enrolled at the little-known College of Uttar Pradesh‚ a correspondence university in India‚ and is expected to graduate by the end of this year.
The course takes three years at regular universities in South Africa.
A source close to the president said Zuma had been irked by Malema’s recent graduation. “The president views Malema as a boy and he cannot stomach the fact that Malema is more educated than he is.
College of Uttar Pradesh rector‚ Professor Rapil Koje-Gupta‚ insisted the president was receiving no preferential treatment. “We can confirm that Mr Zuma has registered with us‚” the academic said in an email. “As president of South Africa‚ he effectively earns several credits in first- and second-year subjects including economics‚ accounting‚ corporate governance and pubic (sic) administration.
“That means he is entitled to go straight into final year. His two majors are Micro-Economics and Ethical Leadership.”
Koje-Gupta declined to say if he was related to the controversial Gupta family in South Africa.
The source close to the president said Zuma was eager to continue his studies beyond the year.
“He’s already talking about getting an MBA and a doctorate‚ perhaps as soon as next year. The president is even thinking about becoming the most qualified politician in South Africa.”