Opposition politicians say that this latest scandal threatens to undermine Zuma's credibility fighting HIV/AIDS. Helen Zille, the leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance party, told reporters that Zuma's behavior set the country back "at least a decade" in fighting the disease.
But Spio-Garbrah thinks the common man's disdain for Zuma's latest scandal is less about sex and more about economics. South Africa has an unemployment rate upwards of 30 percent. In some communities the percentage is even higher. The idea that a president would spend more time dealing with sex scandals instead of fixing the country's economic woes does not sit well with many people, says Spio-Garbrah.
"Zuma has always presented himself as the common man. The problem for many South Africans is 'if half of us are unemployed and the rest are barely surviving, how come you can afford to have 19 children, three wives and one girlfriend?'" he says. "For someone who doesn't have job, who can't even afford to feed his family, for Zuma to be going around and fathering children left, right and center would irk such a person."