There was no surprise for what proved to be a resounding victory for Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma and the African National Congress (ANC). Zuma is the come back kid of all time; the man who against all odds came back from political abyss. In 2005 he was sacked as deputy leader of the ANC by then South African president Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki..
Zuma never forgot that sacking, aggrieved and fuming he publicly waged a bitter feud; fighting tooth and nail against his nemesis Mbeki. It was true to Zuma’s character and his Zulu fighting instincts, which resulted in Mbeki resignation following a loss in vote of no-confidence within the ANC party.
Mbeki resigned in shame after he was accused and publicly criticised by a South African judge for interfering in a court case against Zuma. Zuma at the time was being tried for corruption, the basis of a multimillion dollar arms deal that went sour.
Zuma has never shielded from controversy, fighting corruption charges for nearly 7 years and was recently found not guilty. Showing that he can be focused, determined with a mentality of a warrior.
Zumas judgement has to be questioned following his involvement in a rape trial with a lady who was known to have HIV. Zumas candid and somehow ill judged comments during the court case, stating that he had a shower so as to washing away any infection of the disease. Hence such comments only served to fuel concerns across the world that he may not be the best candidate to be in charge of South Africa.
Despite facing a recession, South Africas economic development has been sound and good with average growth of 5% a years. Recent inclusion in the G20 elite club of nations only confirm that South Africa is a supper power on the African continent. South Africa providing a magnet for refugees from Zimbabwe and Africans from across Africa in search of jobs and a better life.
It is a fact that life for most South Africans is a struggle and a constant strive for jobs. It is not surprising, as was witnessed last year how frustrated South Africans unleashed xenophobic violence against other Africans, who were competing for same jobs in their country.
Despite the ANC’s electoral victory, they failed to achieve the magic 2/3rd majority that would have allowed the Zuma’s government to change the constitution unimpeded; allowing sweeping reforms to be implemented.
New advances by opposition party (DA) Democratic Alliance and that of (COPE) Congress of the People; is a clear indication that ANC’s dominance on the political scene may be coming to an end.
Young South Africans who are the next generation are finding it increasingly difficult to support an ANC that is unable to address the issues of poverty. Zuma’s ANC is now desperate to keep their hardened supporters whom have been part of their transition from a liberation movement to that of a political party. Zuma and his ANC must be mindful that they have been ridding the wave of liberation for a while, despite 15 years of widening poverty gap, disease and lack of housing and jobs for large numbers of South Africans.
If Zuma is to survive and thrive as president of South Africa he must provide confidence to 3 million tax paying white South Africans who make a significant contribution to the economy, whom more than likely have dual passport holders, poised to leave and move elsewhere if Zuma does not deliver.
The Enigmatic Zuma is a proud Zulu who will have to endure challenges and issues from all sides providing confidence and resolving problems as he goes along. His survival is now dependant on his ability to negotiate with the unions, despite their strong influence in South African politics; constantly campaigning for better working conditions, equal pay and job creation for all South Africans.