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

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project 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.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid