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Zuma gets revenge by humbling Ramaphosa's ANC

by Staff reporter
03 Jun 2024 at 04:57hrs | Views
In a turbulent political journey spanning over six decades, Jacob Zuma has weathered charges of rape and contempt, facing dismissal from both the positions of deputy president and president of South Africa. Despite these setbacks, he has consistently bounced back.

Just five months after the formation of a party led by Zuma, it secured nearly 15% of the vote in the May 29 elections, a significant blow to the African National Congress (ANC) which has held parliamentary majority since the end of apartheid three decades ago (it secured 40% of the vote). This victory marks a moment of triumph for the charismatic octogenarian.

Zuma's tenure as South Africa's leader was marked by scandals, lasting almost nine years before he was compelled to resign by the ANC in 2018, facing potential impeachment. He was replaced by Cyril Ramaphosa, the party's new leader. Three years later, Zuma was imprisoned for refusing to cooperate with a judicial inquiry into the widespread corruption during his rule. However, he served less than two months before being released on medical grounds.

Although acquitted in a rape trial in 2006, Zuma still faces bribery charges from the 1990s, which he vehemently denies, attributing them to a political agenda against him, an accusation without substantial evidence.

Despite his suspension from the ANC, Zuma denies any personal vendetta against Ramaphosa and claims to remain loyal to the party. However, he criticizes the ANC for deviating from its commitment to serving the interests of impoverished Black South Africans.

Zuma's party, the uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP), advocates for the nationalization of key sectors like mines and banks, and seeks to empower traditional chiefs, a stance that resonates with his supporters but is viewed unfavorably by investors and businesses.

Although the nation's highest court barred Zuma from standing for parliament due to his contempt conviction, he still holds significant influence through the MKP, especially in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal, where his strong following secured nearly half the vote.

With the ANC requiring support from a major rival to maintain governance, the MKP emerges as a contender. The formation of the new administration will involve intense negotiations in the coming days.

Zuma's continued presence ensures his significant role in South African politics, positioning him once again at the forefront of the nation's political landscape.

Source - bloomberg