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

    Video Twists and Turns Aplenty in US Presidential Race

    Even as Americans pause for this week’s Memorial Day holiday, much attention is focused on the presidential contest

    Iran Orders Social Media Sites to Store Data Inside Country

    New requirements are expected to affect the instant messaging app Telegram, which has more than 20 million users inside Iran

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora