News / Africa

South African President Zuma Starts 2nd Term

South African President Jacob Zuma is sworn in for a second term in Pretoria, May 24, 2014.
South African President Jacob Zuma is sworn in for a second term in Pretoria, May 24, 2014.
South African President Jacob Zuma was sworn in for a second five-year term Saturday at a pomp-filled event attended by thousands from across the country, with dozens of foreign dignitaries from around the African continent also on hand.
 
But on the streets, South Africans expressed mixed opinions about five more years in office for a leader who has been embroiled in corruption scandals since first taking office.
 
Zuma took his second oath of office during a spectacular and colorful ceremony at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, as dozens of sitting heads of state, over 100 ambassadors and thousands of South Africans observed.
 
A supporter of the ruling African National Congress party checks her accreditation for the inauguration in Pretoria, South Africa, May 24, 2014.A supporter of the ruling African National Congress party checks her accreditation for the inauguration in Pretoria, South Africa, May 24, 2014.
x
A supporter of the ruling African National Congress party checks her accreditation for the inauguration in Pretoria, South Africa, May 24, 2014.
A supporter of the ruling African National Congress party checks her accreditation for the inauguration in Pretoria, South Africa, May 24, 2014.
The president began his second term after his ruling African National Congress party’s decisive 62 percent win in national elections May 7.
 
The official ceremony began with Zuma taking the oath of office in front of the country’s chief justice, Mogoeng Mogoeng. He vowed to “be faithful to the republic of South Africa, so help me God.”
 
The military paid tribute with a 21-gun salute and a series of aircraft flyovers, demonstrating its readiness to protect the president and the nation at large.
 
In his inauguration speech, Zuma said his second term would “involve the implementation of radical social-economic transformation.”
 
A scandal-plagued first term
 
Zuma began his final term in the midst of scandals. Parliament is set to consider a report that alleges millions of dollars in state funds were used for developments at his private rural Nkandla home.  
 
The official opposition party, the Democratic Alliances (DA), is fighting for the reinstatement of over 800 charges of corruption, tax evasion and money laundering against Zuma.  These had been dropped.
 
But Zuma’s ruling ANC government has delivered free houses, education, electricity and social grants to millions of the nation’s poor.
 
His inauguration attracted mixed reactions from South Africans.
 
Elizabeth Baleni, who did not bother to attend the inauguration ceremony, said Zuma’s second term in office spells doom for South Africa: “This will mean more money spent for his private businesses, more wives at the expense of the state and more corruption for him and his colleagues, more unemployment for youth and a whole lot of things.”
 
But others have showered praise on Zuma, saying his pro-poor policies have reduced poverty by a wide margin.
 
A choice for continuity
 
Sam Mthethwa, 29, said re-electing Zuma was the right thing to do.
 
“I believe Zuma’s installation will mean continuity,” Mthethwa said, adding it would give the president a chance to complete programs such as a national development plan.
 
Roger Southall, a sociology professor and political analyst at Johannesburg’s Witwatersrand University, told VOA that Zuma faces a number of challenges.
 
His second term “could be quite stormy,” Southall said. “II think we will see a continuation of the extensive protests around the country, a mixture of economic growth and continuing political difficulties.”
 
Many say the ball is now in  Zuma’s court to prove his critics wrong.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid