Jacob Zuma: 4th President of South Africa
President of the African National Congress (ANC)
Zuma is the President of the African National Congress (ANC), the governing political party, and was Deputy President of South Africa from 1999 to 2005. Zuma is also referred to by his initials JZ and his clan name Msholozi. Zuma became the President of the ANC on 18 December 2007 after defeating incumbent Thabo Mbeki at the ANC conference in Polokwane.
He was re-elected as ANC leader at the ANC conference in Manguang on 18 December 2012, defeating challenger Kgalema Motlanthe by a large majority. Zuma was also a member of the South African Communist Party (SACP), briefly serving on the party's Politburo until he left the party in 1990. On 20 September 2008, Thabo Mbeki announced his resignation after being recalled by the African National Congress's National Executive Committee. The recall came after South African High Court Judge Christopher Nicholson ruled that Mbeki had improperly interfered with the operations of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), including the prosecution of Jacob Zuma for corruption.
Zuma has faced significant legal challenges. He was charged with rape in 2005, but was acquitted. In addition, he fought a long legal battle over allegations of racketeering and corruption, resulting from his financial advisor Schabir Shaik's conviction for corruption and fraud. On 6 April 2009, the National Prosecuting Authority decided to drop the charges, citing political interference.
Rise to national leadership
Zuma had experience in national leadership, as he started serving in the National Executive committee of the ANC in 1977 when the party was still a guerrilla movement. By the time he became its president he had served the ANC for thirty years. After the 1994 general election, with the ANC becoming a governing party but having lost KwaZulu-Natal province to the IFP, he was appointed as Member of the Executive Committee (MEC) of Economic Affairs and Tourism for the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government, after stepping aside to allow Thabo Mbeki to run unopposed for deputy presidency. In December 1994, he was elected National Chairperson of the ANC and chairperson of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal, and was re-elected to the latter position in 1996. He was elected Deputy President of the ANC at the National Conference held at Mafikeng in December 1997 and consequently appointed executive Deputy President of South Africa in June 1999.
On 14 June 2005, President Thabo Mbeki removed Zuma from his post as Deputy President due to allegations of corruption and fraud related to the $5-billion weapons acquisition deal by the South African government in 1999. Zuma's successor as Deputy President of South Africa was Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the wife of Bulelani Ngcuka. Mlambo-Ngcuka had been Minister of Minerals and Energy since 1999. While her appointment was widely welcomed by the business community, she was booed publicly at many ANC rallies by Zuma supporters between the time corruption charges had been filed but before rape charges were made, with the first booing taking place in Utrecht.
Election as ANC President
In terms of party tradition, as the deputy president of the ANC, Zuma was already in line to succeed Mbeki. The party structures held their nominations conferences in October and November 2007, where Zuma appeared favourite for the post of ANC President, and, by implication, the President of South Africa in 2009. With then-incumbent ANC- and South African President Thabo Mbeki as his opposition, Zuma was elected President of the ANC on 18 December 2007 with 2329 votes, beating Mbeki's 1505 votes. Mbeki had sought a third term as ANC president, though the South African Constitution would not have allowed him a third term as President of South Africa.
President of South Africa.
In September 2008, the breakdown in the relationship between the ruling ANC and its presidential appointee, Thabo Mbeki, reached a tipping point, with the ANC NEC's decision that Mbeki was no longer fit to govern South Africa. Mbeki elected not to challenge this decision and resigned as President of South Africa. The ANC announced that the party's deputy president, Kgalema Motlanthe, would become president until 2009 general elections, after which it was intended that Zuma would become president. Zuma declared that he would prefer to only serve one term as president.The ANC won the national election on 6 May 2009 and Zuma was sworn in as President of South Africa on 9 May 2009.Zuma officially announced the death of Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first democratically elected president, in a press conference on December 5, 2013.
On January 18, 2014 it was reported that Zuma would be the sole candidate for the ANC in the upcoming national election. It was reported that, in spite of speculation to the contrary, because of the controversies surrounding him, the ANC was "united behind Zuma" and would not field another candidate for the presidency in the upcoming national election. ANC Deputy Secretary General Jesse Duarte stated “The policy is that the president of the ANC is always the candidate for the election. We don't have another candidate and there will be no other candidate. Let us be clear.”
On January 26, 2014 it was reported that at least four of the 11 ANC regional leaders in KwaZulu-Natal had confirmed the existence of a “resolution” taken to approach Zuma to ask him not to run for a second term as the country’s president. The resolution had reportedly gained momentum in November, 2013 when the ANC was preparing for the national list conference, however, it "lost traction" after the death of Nelson Mandela.On 21 May 2014, following the 2014 general elections, in which the ANC retained their majority, Zuma was elected for a second term as president by the National Assembly.
xenophobia in South Africa
Xenophobia in south Africa and reaction of Jacob Zuma
Despite Zuma's attempts to pacify the crowd saying South Africa was not trying to send away foreign nationals from the country, the furious gathering, mainly consisting of foreigners, jeered him.
;These attacks go against everything we believe in. The majority of South Africans love peace and good relations with their brothers and sisters in the continent," Zuma said in a statement as he cancelled a visit to Indonesia to address the situation.
Later, in a televised address, Zuma assured: "We are certainly going to stop the violence. Those who want to go home, when the violence stops you are welcome to return."
Following the xenophobic attacks, South African President Jacob Zuma was heckled by an angry crowd when he visited a refugee camp in Durban. They said his visit was a late response to a worsening crisis over anti-immigration.
"It is not every South African who says go away, not at all. It is a very small number who say so. We don't want the countries in the region where the citizens are going to look at each other in a hostile manner. We want to live as sisters and brothers."
So far, at least six people have been killed in anti-immigration violence, which is threatening to snowball into a bigger conflict. As many as 150 people have been arrested for violence-related offences.
South Africans are blaming immigrants for snatching away their job opportunities amid rising unemployment rate, which currently stands at 24%.
Meanwhile, reprisal attacks against South Africans in other nations in the continent have also taken place. People hurled stones at South African vehicles in Mozambique and some South African-run firms in Nigeria have been asked to shut down.
Imprisonment and ban
Zuma began engaging in politics at an early age and joined the African National Congress in 1959. He became an active member of Umkhonto we Sizwe in 1962, following the South African government's banning of the ANC in 1961. Zuma joined the South African Communist Party (SACP) in 1963. That year, he was arrested with a group of 45 recruits near Zeerust in the western Transvaal, currently part of the North West Province. Convicted of conspiring to overthrow the Apartheid government, a government led by white minorities, Zuma was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment, which he served on Robben Island with Nelson Mandela and other notable ANC leaders also imprisoned during this time. Whilst imprisoned, Zuma served as a referee for prisoners' association football games, organised by the prisoners' own governing body, Makana F.A.
After his release from prison, Zuma was instrumental in the re-establishment of ANC underground structures in the Natal province. Zuma first left South Africa in 1975 and met Thabo Mbeki in Swaziland, and proceeded to Mozambique, where he dealt with the arrival of thousands of exiles in the wake of the Soweto uprising.
Zuma became a member of the ANC National Executive Committee in 1977. He also served as Deputy Chief Representative of the ANC in Mozambique, a post he occupied until the signing of the Nkomati Accord between the Mozambican and South African governments in 1984. After signing the Accord, he was appointed as Chief Representative of the ANC. He served on the ANC's political and military council when it was formed in the mid-1980s, and was elected to the politburo of the SACP on April 1989.