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ideas have consequences

You are here:Home>>Gideon Nyan>>Displaying items by tag: Zuma
Displaying items by tag: Zuma

United States of America president Barack Obama could have done more for the African continent especially because of his African descent, President Jacob Zuma said in Washington on Monday.

"[This African descent] has made him tread very carefully and I think that is a reality," he told a National Press Club (NPC) luncheon.

"I believe he could have done more, but I think he was always aware of this fact and therefore he has navigated that situation very well."

Zuma was fielding questions on a range of issues after addressing the NPC. A question was asked about whether Obama met Zuma's expectations in his dealings with the African continent. Zuma also answered questions about the conflict in Gaza, Ebola, Brics and South Africa's economy.

He was asked whether he agreed with the African National Congress's call for the Israeli ambassador in South Africa to be expelled. "As you know there was demonstration in South Africa where the call was made... I think as a free country, a country with free expression people indicated how they felt and made that call," he said.

"But we believe recalling an ambassador is not a simple matter."

Zuma said South Africa had experience it could offer to Israel and Palestine and did not want to do anything that could prevent the country from helping.

"We believe that -- and we have offered this to both sides -- that we come from a conflict that nobody else ever thought would be resolved [apartheid]... We resolved it and we are better off."

Earlier, Zuma told a US Chamber of Commerce business forum that South Africa was outraged by violence in the region. He said there would never be a military solution to the problem and urged both sides to sit and talk so that they could arrive at an internationally agreed solution of two states.

During the NPC luncheon Zuma was asked how Ebola was affecting South Africa and what it was doing to make sure it did not spread south.

"South Africa is in no risk so far. Ebola I think has been around for a long time in other parts of the continent. It has never come down to the south," he said.

"Of course South Africa is working together with all health institutions in the continent to address the problem but there is no imminent risk to South Africa.

Zuma reiterated during the luncheon that South Africa was open for business and ready for more US investment in the country.

A South African delegation, led by Zuma, were in the US capital attending a US-Africa summit, initiated by Obama.


(*Flight and hotel costs for Sapa's reporter covering the summit were paid by the SA presidency*)


South Africa's president, Jacob Zuma, was inaugurated for a second term on Saturday in a ceremony marked by dance, prayer, a 21-gun salute and air force flyovers.


Leaders from Nigeria, Zimbabwe and other African countries attended the event at the Union Buildings, a government complex in the South African capital of Pretoria. It was the same place where Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid leader who became South Africa's first black president, took the oath of office 20 years ago in a ceremony officially ending white minority rule.



On May 7, the ruling African National Congress won elections, continuing its political dominance since the end of the apartheid system that it had fought for decades. The party retains a comfortable majority, but opposition parties have capitalized with some success on allegations of official corruption and mismanagement. National elections are held every five years.


In an inauguration speech, Zuma said South Africa was " a much better place to live in now than before 1994" but that poverty, unemployment and other problems persisted despite many improvements.



"Economic transformation will take centre-stage during this new term of government as we put the economy on an inclusive growth path," Zuma said. He promised to promote "broad-based black economic empowerment" to address government concerns that much of the economy remains in the hands of South Africa's white minority.



This month's elections saw the rise of the Economic Freedom Fighters, a new opposition party that wants to redistribute national resources to the poor.



Zuma, a former anti-apartheid activist, was jailed for 10 years on Robben Island, the same prison where Mandela was held for many years. As president, Zuma has been hit by criticism over a scandal surrounding more than $20 million in state spending on his private home.



Those attending the inauguration included President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, who was recently in Singapore for medical treatment, and Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, whose government, backed by international assistance, is trying to free nearly 300 schoolgirls abducted by Islamic militants.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013 11:34

Dear Mr President, Africans Are Not Backward


South Africa; Dear Mr President, Africans Are Not Backward

President Jacob Zuma should withdraw his statement last night that "we can't think like Africans because we are in Johannesburg and not some national road in Malawi".

The President was saying we must welcome e-tolls and pay up because new freeways have been built in Johannesburg.

What the President doesn't realise is Africa is actually developing at a faster pace than he suggests.

Many governments in African countries have adopted investor friendly policies that create jobs.

They are not burdening citizens with double-taxation through an expensive e-tolling system.

The President should rather take a leaf out of the books of other African economies that are actually growing faster than us.

This is what President Zuma neglected to think about when he signed the e-toll bill into law.

Mr President, we are not being backward when we say we can't afford e-tolls.

Your claim that working class people with cars can afford tolls is false.

Who can afford to pay R400 extra month to drive between Soweto and Midrand?

Instead of insulting South Africans by saying we are backward when we oppose e-tolls, we should get rid of this backward and expensive tolling system.

The President should apologize and withdraw these insulting remarks.

Mmusi Maimane, DA Premier Candidate for Gauteng

Monday, 03 December 2012 15:54

D-Day looms for South Africa's Jacob Zuma

South Africa's governing African National Congress (ANC) is preparing for a leadership contest which could decide whether it will reinforce the pattern of Africa's well-documented post-colonial failures or break away from a dark past into a bright future for Africa's largest economy.


The stakes could not be higher for President Jacob Zuma - he is up for re-election at the conference in Mangaung, where the ANC was founded 100 years ago. With the ANC's huge majority in South Africa, whoever leads the party is virtually assured of leading the country after the 2014 elections.


In 2007 President Zuma was catapulted into the top job at the previous such conference, in Polokwane, when he ousted his long-term friend and comrade, then-President Thabo Mbeki in a humiliating defeat by a majority of 61% to 39%.


Since the ANC opened nominations on 1 October, those who support a second term for President Zuma seem to be in the majority compared to those who support his much loved but somewhat reserved deputy Kgalema Motlanthe - the only other candidate.


President Zuma's successes in his first term have been partially overshadowed recently by the Marikana massacre, when 34 striking miners were shot dead by police during a bloody pay dispute at the Lonmin platinum mine on 16 August - the most deadly police action since the end of apartheid.


His critics say that President Zuma's lethargic style of leadership is fuelling the decline of his ANC and the economy, which is struggling to maintain growth rates enjoyed elsewhere on the continent. Another dark cloud hanging over Mr Zuma, sometimes referred to by his clan name Msholozi, is his alleged use of public money to fund a multi-million dollar renovation at his private rural homestead in Nkandla.


Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is investigating whether a government department is funding home improvements amounting to 248m rand ($28m), at a time when miners are fighting to earn a salary of 12,500 rand ($1,400) per month.


Reports in local newspapers said the building costs include a clinic, helicopter pad and underground bunkers amongst other facilities. Mr Zuma denies any wrongdoing, saying he took out a mortgage for the development. Another charge which may affect President Zuma's support in Mangaung is that of widespread corruption.


There is a perception that under his leadership, corruption is on the rise and that his family is benefiting from nepotism by getting business deals purely because they are related to the president.

Enemy within?

His old friend turned political foe Mr Mbeki broke a four-year silence when he launched a scathing attack on Mr Zuma's lacklustre leadership style, saying he was "deeply troubled by a feeling of great unease that our beloved motherland is losing its sense of direction, and that we are allowing ourselves to progress towards a costly disaster of a protracted and endemic general crisis".


Mr Mbeki continued: "I, for one, am not certain about where our country and nation will be tomorrow, and what I should do in this regard, to respond to what is obviously a dangerous and unacceptable situation of directionless and unguided national drift." President Zuma's greatest challenge does not come from the opposition benches of parliament, it comes from within.


Mr Motlanthe, 63, is a quiet, popular former political prisoner who is a rather reluctant presidential candidate.

A former trade unionist in the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), he served as president for six months in 2008-9 after Mr Mbeki was recalled by a divided ANC.

In a BBC interview, he said he accepted that people were right to criticise the ANC:

"The harsher that judgement is, the better for the ANC. We ought to hear the truth as painful as it is and take steps to address the basis of those concerns," he told the Newsday programme.


"If we fail to stay on our toes because of the cries of the people, then we don't deserve deserve to hold these positions of responsibility."

Unlike Mr Zuma, who usually breaks into song and dance on podiums across the country, Mr Motlanthe is a very private and restrained man.

He has been nominated for the top job by most branches in South Africa's richest province, Gauteng, while those in six of the nine provinces have backed Mr Zuma.

He recently told journalists he was "agonising" over whether to challenge Mr Zuma.


Mr Motlanthe is supported by the expelled firebrand ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema, although the deputy president sought to downplay this, pointing out that the Youth League only had 45 votes in the Mangaung conference and so "is not a king-maker".


Mr Motlanthe does not want South Africa's rich mines to be nationalised, as Mr Malema has been demanding. If he decides to take on Mr Zuma and wins, he could breathe new life into the ANC. If he loses that would end his career in the party. But by failing to quash the speculation, it looks as though he may already have signed his political death warrant.

The pro-Zuma factions have now nominated Mr Motlanthe's former comrade in the National Union of Mineworkers, veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle and businessman Cyril Ramaphosa, for deputy leader. He has 65% of the nominations so far but this could change before the Mangaung conference.


If Mr Ramaphosa accepts the nomination and wins, Mr Motlanthe would lose his position in the party leadership. During the Marikana dispute, Mr Ramaphosa was criticised by some for his links to Lonmin but he remains popular in the business community and his nomination shows he has not lost his support within the ANC.


For Mr Motlanthe, who is described in Ebrahim Harvey's book Kgalema Motlanthe, A Political Biography, as a quiet man, a deep thinker, it is decision time. But what would Mr Motlanthe do differently from Mr Zuma if elected?


First and foremost, some say he would bring dignity to the highest office in the land, in contrast to the lurid headlines about the polygamous Mr Zuma's private life.

In the ANC, leaders can only bring their individual style but very little substance, purely because policy decisions are taken by the collective and therefore no leader can introduce policies that were not discussed at the ANC headquarters in Luthuli House.

So why does Mr Zuma remain the favourite to win?

Honeymoon over

He is a populist, good with crowds and with some noted success in the fight against HIV and Aids, getting South Africa recognised as one of the Brics group of developing nation (joining Brazil, Russia, India and China), getting his ex-wife and former Former Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma elected as chairperson of the African Union commission.

Under President Zuma, 70, also a former Robben Island prisoner, the HIV infection rates have drastically come down and he is currently overseeing the largest HIV/Aids treatment programme on the planet.


But more than 18 years after the end of apartheid, Nelson Mandela's "Rainbow Nation", has clearly come to the end of its honeymoon period. Can the beloved ANC of Madiba - the clan name used to refer to Mr Mandela - survive in the hands of the man from Nkandla? Some in the ANC believe that if Mr Zuma continues to lead for another term which translates into seven years, including a five-year presidential term, then it could prove to be the beginning of the party's demise.



South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has appealed to his ancestors to help him hold on to the leadership of the ruling African National Congress (ANC). Mr Zuma attended a ceremony at his village on Sunday, where 12 cattle were slaughtered and incense burnt as people prayed for his re-election.


His opponents are pushing for him to be ousted as ANC leader at the party's conference next month. Mr Zuma, a polygamist with 21 children, is a well-known Zulu traditionalist. He beat his predecessor Thabo Mbeki in a bitterly contested election in 2007 for the leadership of the ANC.


Spear and shield

He later forced Mr Mbeki to resign as South Africa's president, installing Kgalema Motlanthe as caretaker leader until the 2009 general election, when he took power.


The ANC's influential youth wing and several government ministers are now campaigning for Mr Motlanthe, the deputy president, to run against Mr Zuma at the ANC conference in Mangaung next month.


The Zuma family slaughtered 12 cattle and burnt incense at a traditional ceremony at their village in Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal province on Sunday to appeal to the ancestors to guide him ahead of the elections.


"We are here to give our father a send-off to Mangaung. With this ceremony we are now sure he is protected and he will come back to celebrate with us," Nomthandazo Zuma is quoted by South Africa's The Mercury newspaper as saying.


Traditional leader Inkosi Bheki Zuma gave the president, who was dressed in leopard skins, a Zulu spear and shield and told him to use the weapons to protect himself from his ANC opponents, the newspaper reports.


Mr Zuma has been dogged by corruption allegations throughout his term, but he is expected to be re-elected as ANC leader, analysts say.

South Africa's Auditor-General Terence Nombembe and Public Protector Thuli Madonsela are investigating whether taxpayers' money has been improperly used to upgrade Mr Zuma's residential complex in Nkandla, reportedly at a cost of about $27m (£17m).


It includes chalets, a security bunker, and bulletproof windows.


Earlier this month, Mr Zuma - who has four wives and 21 children - said he taken out a mortgage to pay for the renovations and he objected to being "convicted, painted black, called the first-class corrupt man, on facts that are not tested".


The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) dropped corruption charges against Mr Zuma shortly before his election as president in 2009.


He was accused of taking bribes from an arms company and his financial adviser Schabir Shaik - allegations he strongly denied.


Earlier this year, Mr Zuma's government unveiled The Traditional Courts Bill which would allow local chiefs to act as judge, prosecutor and mediator, with no legal representation and no right of appeal in certain cases.


It has been widely criticised for being unconstitutional, especially by women's groups, which argue it would take South Africa "back to the dark ages".


But Mr Zuma says the legislation will help "solve African problems the African way, not the white man's way".


Sunday, 31 July 2011 04:11

President Zuma Accepts Court Ruling

South African President Jacob Zuma has accepted a Constitutional Court judgment declaring that it was unconstitutional for him to extend now-outgoing Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo's term of office.

The press release issued from the office of the South African presidency detailed that," The Presidency accepts and respects the judgement of the Constitutional Court in relation to the unconstitutionality and invalidity of Section 8 (a) of the Judges' Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Act of 2001 and will abide by it. The law was valid until today's judgement, and government will now study the ruling to see what directives the Constitutional Court is giving to Parliament for remedial action. vThe President has begun the process of appointing a new Chief Justice and will do so in accordance with the provisions outlined in the Constitution of the Republic."

A South African newspaper reported that, " The Constitutional Court on Friday ruled that it was unconstitutional for President Jacob Zuma to extend now-outgoing Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo's term of office. The judgment was unanimous.

The court declared Section 8a of the Judges Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Act -- in terms of which Zuma extended Ngcobo's term -- unconstitutional.

The court found that the section allowed the president to "usurp" the power of Parliament and held that Parliament alone had the power to extend a Constitutional Court judge's term of office. Zuma and the Justice Minister were ordered to pay costs.

It was announced on Wednesday that Ngcobo had decided to withdraw his acceptance of Zuma's extension, which leaves the post of chief justice open from August 15 should a replacement not be found by then.

The application against the way Zuma offered Ngcobo an extended term was brought by the Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution, Freedom under Law, the Justice Alliance of SA and the Centre for Applied Legal Studies."