1 September 2014

South Africa: The Survival Game - Why Zuma Will Outlast the Nkandla Crisis

Photo: G Stolley/SAPA
President Jacob Zuma's residence in Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal (file photo).

There have been many times when President Jacob Zuma's political career seemed to be teetering on the edge. Headlines warning of his imminent political demise came when he was named as Mr X in the Scorpions' arms deal investigation, when he was fired as deputy president after the Schabir Shaik trial, when he was charged with fraud and corruption, when he was on trial for rape, and even for a while during the ANC policy conference in 2012 when his camp looked to be on the back foot. Zuma survived against all odds, rose to be president and secured second terms as ANC and state president. Now political obituaries are again being scripted. But Zuma will likely survive this round too.

On Sunday, SABC television news carried a story of the ANC in the Free State declaring its support for President Jacob Zuma. ANC provincial chairman Ace Magashule claimed there was a "co-ordinated plan to discredit the president" and that "an attack on the president is an attack on the ANC". Magashule went on to say that "Jacob Zuma is indeed the treasure of the African National Congress" and that he needed to be defended against "attacks...

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