News / Africa

    Zuma Corruption Scandal Dogs ANC Ahead of May Elections

    Zuma Corruption Scandal Dogs ANC Ahead of May Electionsi
    X
    April 16, 2014 4:25 AM
    In just a few weeks, South Africans head to the polls to vote in parliamentary elections. Since Nelson Mandela won the presidency in 1994 as South Africa’s first democratically-elected black leader, his African National Congress, or ANC, has won every election in a landslide. But an ongoing corruption scandal involving its leader, South African President Jacob Zuma, has analysts wondering if the iconic ANC can keep its grip on power. Laurel Bowman has more.
    Zuma Corruption Scandal Dogs ANC Ahead of May Elections
    Laurel Bowman
    In just a few weeks, South Africans head to the polls to vote in parliamentary elections.  Since Nelson Mandela won the presidency in 1994 as South Africa’s first democratically-elected black leader, his African National Congress, or ANC, has won every election in a landslide. But an ongoing corruption scandal involving its leader, President Jacob Zuma, has analysts wondering if the iconic ANC can keep its grip on power.
     
    Voters still connect the African National Congress with the late Nelson Mandela and the hard-fought battle to end apartheid.
     
    “Me? I am voting for them for the history, especially for Nelson Mandela," explained an ANC supporter.
     
    The ANC is expected to do well in the May 7 elections, but President Zuma’s latest corruption scandal has some activists seething and some voters on pause.
     
    “The leaders who are there are not there to rectify the mistakes of the past, they are there to live the good life,” said one man.
     
    The scandal surrounds Nkandla, the private residence of President Jacob Zuma, who has three other official homes. The government spent $23 million on what officials described as security upgrades to this home, including an amphitheater, a helicopter pad, cattle pens and more.
     
    “For example, there is a swimming pool that is being characterized as a water source for fire prevention,” said former U.S. ambassador John Campbell, speaking by satellite from the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Campbell monitors South African politics.
     
    “The water could be pumped out of it in case of a fire emergency.  But most South Africans, if you want to go by the blogosphere, simply don’t buy that as an explanation,” said Campbell.
     
    South Africa's government ombudsman, Thuli Madonsela, released a report in March, ruling that President Zuma had violated the country's ethics code by failing to protect state resources.
     
    Gareth Newman, of the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria, told VOA via Skype that many South Africans are fed up with Mr. Zuma.
     
    “At least two-thirds of South Africans believe that he benefited unduly in his personal capacity from taxpayer money, that the money was excessive, it was spent incorrectly, and that is what most South Africans believe,” said Newman.
     
    Analysts predict the ANC will take a slight hit in the coming elections. And if the party’s numbers do fall, its leaders could decide to replace Jacob Zuma, sacrificing the ANC leader for the sake of the ANC.

    You May Like

    Turkey, US Splits Deepen Over Support for Kurdish Militants

    Ankara summons American ambassador to protest remarks by State Department spokesman who said Washington does not consider Syria's Kurdish Democracy Union Party (PYD) a terrorist organization

    Obama Seeking $19 Billion for National Cybersecurity

    Move, touted as attempt to build broad, cohesive federal response to cyberthreats, calls for increase in cybersecurity spending across all government agencies

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire, who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen

    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.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.