What would you do if the leader of the so-called free world approached you, hand stretched out and you were on the phone?

Well, if you were President Jacob Zuma you would smile, shake hands, but continue with your call.

A photo of US President Barack Obama greeting Zuma, who is speaking on the phone at a luncheon hosted by United Nations (UN) secretary-general Ban Ki-moon on Monday made the rounds this week on social media and news websites.

In the photo Zuma remains seated, phone pressed to the ear.

However, the humour is not lost on Obama who seems to tease Zuma by mimicking him on the phone.

Public sentiments seem to be mixed with some believing this was a sign of disrespect, while others felt it was a light-hearted moment.

The presidency could not be immediately reached for comment.

Zuma is currently leading a South African delegation to the UN General Assembly in New York.

During his address on Monday, Zuma called for reform of the UN Security Council pointing out the world had changed since 1945 and African countries were no longer colonies, but sovereign states.

Africa is pushing for two permanent seats on the council.

There was mixed reaction to the photo on social media.

Twitter user @ANC_LECTURES felt maybe it was Obama who was being disrespectful for approaching Zuma while on the phone.

Another Twitter user called it bad etiquette on Zuma's side.

Barack Obama is not the president of the world. If Jacob Zuma wants to take a call & keep Obama waiting, he can. and will. and did.

— Oh Ay Em (@MaS1banda) September 29, 2015

 

Some saw the humour in the photo and created their own context to it.

 

Others were not sure what all the fuss was about.

 

I thought folks were joking about being upset that Zuma didn't stand for Obama. Kanti anidlali? Lol! pic.twitter.com/HLELMQeuQx

— Gugulethu Mhlungu (@GugsM) September 29, 2015

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