There is talk that His Excellency the President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma seems to be wondering how to share custody of the country with his ex-wife. Mr Zuma must retire as South Africa’s president in 2019. A quiet race is under way to pick the next president of the ruling party, the African National Congress.
Mr Zuma faced 783 charges of corruption, fraud, money-laundering and tax evasion before he became president. Mr Zuma’s critics speculate that he wants his ex-wife at the helm as an ally to argue that the charges-which he claims are politically motivated-should never see the light of day. The odds of another Zuma running South Africa are hard to gauge.
At the COSATU national congress in late November several unions openly backed Mr Ramaphosa, saying that the deputy president of the ANC should succeed as party president, as in the past. Mr Ramaphosa stands to benefit from the mess Mr Zuma has made of the country’s credit rating.
In December the president replaced a respected finance minister with an unknown backbencher, spooking the markets. Ms Dlamini-Zuma’s fans often say that “South Africa is ready for a woman president.” Would she be any good? Her record in government is not exactly impressive. Susan Booysen, author of the book “Dominance and Decline: The ANC in theTime of Zuma“, predicts that she would be much like her ex-husband.
“I think Zuma is going to be with us long after he has actually left office,” says Ms Booysen. Mr Zuma may not be able to name his own successor, however. Mr Zuma often giggles throughout his questions in Parliament for the year, despite the serious issues before him: a severe drought, an economy close to recession and reports that taxpayers are to fork out for a brand-new, 4 billion-rand presidential jet.
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