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

Multimedia US Defense Secretary: Iraqi Forces Lack 'Will to Fight'

Ash Carter criticizes Iraq's reaction to Islamic State; National Security Advisor Susan Rice echoed Carter's concerns in an interview on CBS More

Boko Haram Surrounds Havens With Land Mines

Chad and Cameroon say huge numbers of land mines planted by Boko Haram fighters along Cameroon's border with Nigeria are a danger to people, livestock and soldiers More

Women Peace Activists Cross Korean DMZ

Governments of Koreas give international delegation of women peace activists permission to pass through heavily fortified border, but some critics say symbolic crossing only benefits Pyongyang More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs