South Africa's ruling party recalls Zuma

South Africa's ruling African National Congress has "recalled" the country's leader, Jacob Zuma, ramping up pressure on the scandal-hit President to resign.

Posted: Feb 14, 2018 6:06 AM
Updated: Feb 14, 2018 6:08 AM

South Africa's "Teflon President" Jacob Zuma has brushed off an extraordinary number of corruption allegations and scandals in his eight years in office. In the ultimate test of his political survivability, his ruling African National Committee party publicly demanded his resignation in a "recall" on Tuesday.

The recall does not remove Zuma from office, but it does corner him. If he doesn't resign, he will face a vote of no confidence in Parliament, which he will no doubt lose without his party's support.

How did we get here?

The magnitude of corruption allegations against 75-year-old Zuma is astounding. He faces more than 780 allegations relating to a 1990s arms deal alone, and faces criticism for his links to a family of powerful businessmen, the Guptas.

But the reason his demise now seems inevitable is because his party, the African National Congress, appears to have judged that he's too much of an electoral liability.

Under Zuma, the ANC's popularity has plummeted. The party suffered huge losses in municipal elections in 2016. It even lost control of key areas in the party's heartland to the opposition Democratic Alliance.

The ANC had previously supported Zuma through several periods of scandal. But with the 2019 general election looming, the ANC appears to have judged that it needs to be rid of President sooner rather than later if it is to have any hope of restoring its once-proud image with South African voters.

The ANC has led South Africa since Nelson Mandela became the country's first black president in 1994, after the gradual end of apartheid.

Zuma often claims the ANC will "rule until Jesus comes back," but South Africans are showing appetite for something else.

Absolute loyalty from its members has always been paramount to the success of the liberation party.

In Tuesday's press conference announcing Zuma's recall, ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule continued to defend the man his party was seeking to oust.

"President Zuma has not been found guilty in any court of law and when we took these decisions we did not take these decisions because comrade Zuma has done anything wrong," he said.

Who is Jacob Zuma?

Zuma was once a wildly popular figure who was celebrated as an anti-apartheid hero in Mandela's realm.

He was arrested by the apartheid government in 1963 and was sentenced to 10 years on Robben Island, the penal colony that also then held Mandela.

He took on official government positions as the country transitioned to democracy and he served as deputy president from 1999 to 2005.

Born in Nkandla in rural KwaZulu-Natal to a policeman and a domestic worker, Zuma joined the ANC and South African Communist Party at a young age.

He never received much of a formal education, but he emerged a cunning politician able to outsmart his political opponents.

He helped oust President Thabo Mbeki, and at the end of 2007 he beat Mbeki to become ANC leader. Zuma became president after elections in 2009 and was re-elected in 2014.

But his story is very much one of a fall from grace, and the leader has at times been the subject of ridicule in the country.

After being charged with the rape of a woman with HIV in 2005, he was mocked for saying he did not fear contracting the virus because he took a shower after sex. A court acquitted him in 2006 of rape, finding the sex to have been consensual.

In 2016, South Africa's top court ruled that Zuma had acted unconstitutionally when he used $15 million in public funds to upgrade his private home and ordered him to repay some of the money.

Why does he keep surviving?

The ANC has tolerated Zuma's antics for some time. Previously the party believed ousting him would be a blow to the ANC as it would hand an easy win to the opposition.

Zuma is not the first ANC member to be accused of corruption, and the party has sought to show a unified front to the South African people. It also valued and preached loyalty among party members.

Zuma has also used his stealth to stay in power. He has reshuffled his Cabinet several times to reward those loyal to him and punish those against him.

Although he has seen his popularity slide, Zuma has been one of South Africa's most colorful and charismatic leaders, and is still popular with some South Africans, particularly in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal.

Terre Haute
Broken Clouds
59° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 59°
Robinson
Broken Clouds
61° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 61°
Indianapolis
Broken Clouds
63° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 63°
Rockville
Scattered Clouds
61° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 61°
Casey
Broken Clouds
54° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 54°
Brazil
Broken Clouds
59° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 59°
Marshall
Broken Clouds
59° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 59°
Turning Cooler
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 295720

Reported Deaths: 8916
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1454625225
DuPage17786563
Lake17151488
Will14239382
Kane13285326
St. Clair6747192
Winnebago6300151
Madison5828143
Champaign481821
McHenry4653118
Peoria355552
McLean332523
Rock Island307177
Kankakee277677
Unassigned2562244
Sangamon247945
Kendall205425
Tazewell180927
LaSalle175857
Macon163645
DeKalb162239
Coles150831
Williamson142649
Jackson127625
Clinton122221
Adams119910
Boone115323
Randolph95811
Effingham8833
Vermilion8304
Whiteside78421
Ogle7486
Knox7043
Monroe69016
Grundy6876
Henry6795
Morgan67423
Bureau67112
Jefferson64138
Marion5732
Macoupin5677
Christian56511
Franklin5523
Stephenson5486
Union52424
McDonough49015
Logan4691
Crawford4664
Fayette4376
Woodford4327
Livingston4086
Shelby4084
Cass40411
Jersey39817
Lee3941
Montgomery38913
Iroquois36819
Saline3624
Perry35815
Bond3426
Warren3342
Douglas3187
Wayne3005
Jo Daviess2752
Lawrence2633
Carroll2386
Greene23513
Hancock2283
Moultrie2224
Richland2206
Cumberland2195
Washington2191
Jasper21210
Fulton1900
Clark1833
Pulaski1831
White1760
Johnson1630
Wabash1623
Mason1611
Clay1590
Piatt1430
Mercer1415
Pike1391
De Witt1292
Menard1281
Massac1172
Edgar1168
Marshall1110
Ford1085
Alexander851
Scott800
Gallatin752
Hamilton742
Henderson710
Brown690
Edwards680
Putnam630
Calhoun620
Stark562
Schuyler500
Hardin390
Pope301
Out of IL30

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 120019

Reported Deaths: 3632
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21671768
Lake10772325
St. Joseph6763116
Elkhart6755112
Allen6411206
Hamilton4997110
Vanderburgh390632
Hendricks2789125
Monroe270837
Tippecanoe265213
Johnson2383126
Clark229357
Porter223347
Delaware204162
Cass19619
Vigo190628
Madison173575
LaPorte153241
Warrick142847
Floyd142064
Howard134164
Kosciusko130117
Bartholomew120357
Marshall102924
Dubois102119
Boone100346
Grant97237
Hancock95143
Noble93532
Henry83027
Wayne78115
Jackson77910
Morgan73940
Shelby68929
Daviess68429
Dearborn67928
LaGrange65111
Clinton64414
Harrison60124
Putnam59211
Gibson5606
Knox54410
Lawrence53029
Montgomery51222
DeKalb50111
White49114
Decatur46339
Miami4394
Greene43236
Fayette42314
Jasper4032
Steuben3997
Scott39611
Posey3712
Sullivan33912
Jennings31812
Clay3155
Franklin31525
Ripley3098
Whitley2956
Orange28924
Adams2833
Carroll28313
Wabash2758
Starke2747
Wells2734
Washington2702
Spencer2693
Huntington2543
Jefferson2543
Fulton2472
Tipton23323
Randolph2308
Perry22613
Jay1931
Pike1771
Newton17511
Owen1721
Martin1690
Rush1584
Vermillion1330
Fountain1302
Blackford1243
Pulaski1141
Crawford1110
Parke1112
Brown1023
Benton870
Ohio797
Union790
Switzerland680
Warren411
Unassigned0227