News / Africa

S. Africa's Zuma Confident About ANC Election Victory

Ballot boxes await voters as Election officials (background) await their arrival after they opened early for disabled people to vote in Nyanga township before Wednesdays official elections on the outskirts of the city of  Cape Town, South Africa, May 5, 2
Ballot boxes await voters as Election officials (background) await their arrival after they opened early for disabled people to vote in Nyanga township before Wednesdays official elections on the outskirts of the city of Cape Town, South Africa, May 5, 2
Anita Powell
South African President Jacob Zuma says he's confident his ANC party will win this week's elections "overwhelmingly", despite a mounting cloud of corruption allegations. The African National Congress has won every national poll for 20 years but has received increasing criticism in recent years.

Zuma has been busy in the final days ahead of elections Wednesday - the fifth national vote since South Africa became an inclusive democracy in 1994.
 
The ANC has dominated polls since that first free vote and Zuma told reporters Monday that he's sure they'll do it again on May 7. 
 
"We think the ANC will win the elections. Overwhelmingly, not just by, you know, skin of the teeth," said Zuma.

Local pollsters have predicted the ANC will win with 63 percent of the vote.
 
In a lengthy and wide-ranging two-hour briefing, Zuma struck a far different tone than he did Sunday during the party's massive "siyanqoba," or victory, rally.  

There, at a packed Soweto stadium, he sang, danced and appealed to the ANC's large base, which, like South Africa itself, is diverse but is mostly black and poor.
 
For Monday morning's press briefing, he jettisoned his flashy green and gold ANC outfit for a professorial oxblood red blazer. He also attempted to address a report by the nation's public protector that found he misused some $23 million dollars of public funds to make renovations to his private homestead, Nkandla.
 
Zuma devoted 20 minutes to explaining his case, but also said he wasn't worried about the corruption allegation's effect at the polls.

"I'm not worried about Nkandla," he said. "It's not my problem. Nor is [it] a problem of the people that I've been campaigning. In all the provinces I've gone, not a single person has asked a question …. not a single person has asked a question, either in the rallies or in the houses that I've gone to.

Zuma went on to say, "The people who have been talking about it is you guys, the media, and the opposition. The people are not worried about it."
 
Zuma's camp has said the improvements were for presidential security. Those improvements to his home in rural KwaZulu-Natal province included a swimming pool, a cattle enclosure, a chicken run, a visitors' center and an amphitheater.
 
But in a surprising disclosure, Zuma explained why he needed security at the estate.
 
"There were issues that called for security, particularly in my homestead," he said. "My homestead was burned twice during violence. And secondly, my wife, criminals came and raped my wife during the time I was still the MEC. … So the issue of security at Nkandla has not been a theoretical issue."
 
He declined to provide details, such as when exactly the attack happened - other than that detail that it was when he a member of the ANC's executive council (MEC), prior to his presidency. He did not say how many assailants were involved, if a police report was filed or which one of his four known wives was attacked.  
 
A senior ANC spokesman declined to give more details of the incident when asked, saying he was "not comfortable" doing so.
 
Zuma has given voters a lot to think about in a nation that has been on a 20-year roller coaster ride, from the end of apartheid to the inclusive, but hardly perfect, Rainbow Nation it is today.
 
Critics of the ANC tend to point out corruption scandals and the millions of South Africans who still lack access to electricity and clean water, two decades after the end of white minority rule.

Despite this, the party appears on track to win big in Wednesday's election, and spend another five years in power.

You May Like

Kurdish Party Pushes Political Gamble to Run in Turkey Poll

HDP announces it will run as political party instead of fielding independent candidates in June election, but faces tough 10 percent threshold More

Twitter Targets Islamic State

New research shows suspending Twitter accounts of Islamic State, its supporters has been effective; group, its backers are facing 'significant pressure,' says terrorism expert More

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

Majur Juac made the leap from being a refugee in Africa to a master chess champion in US, where he shares his expertise with students 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.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures. For now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid