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

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    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.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.