South African leader dives into sensitive race debate with criticism of care for pet dogs

South Africa's president says a dog should not be a man's best friend.

The Star newspaper quotes President Jacob Zuma as making critical remarks about pet care that touch on sensitive race relations in South Africa, which was dominated by whites until apartheid was dismantled almost two decades ago.

In Thursday's edition, the newspaper cited Zuma as saying in a speech that the idea of having a pet is part of "white culture" and that the African way is to focus on the family.

The South African presidency says in a statement that Zuma was trying in his remarks to "decolonize the African mind" after independence from white rule, and that the majority Africans should uphold their own culture rather than adopt customs of minority cultures.