April 20, 2009

South Africa Will Survive Zuma

Polakow-Suransky & McKaiser, Newsweek

On April 6, South African prosecutors dropped all corruption charges against the country's president-in-waiting, African National Congress leader Jacob Zuma. With elections coming this week, skeptics saw the move as a sign that the courts had been cowed by a demagogic strongman and that the country's fragile democracy was crumbling.

There are plenty of reasons to fear a Zuma presidency: he surrounds himself with followers who vow to kill on his behalf, threatens to diminish the role of the constitutional court, has been linked to a corrupt financial adviser and once declared that he was able to ward off AIDS from a woman he was accused of raping by taking a shower. This is a far cry from the days of Nelson Mandela, when South Africa's leader commanded the respect of the...

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TAGGED: Jacob Zuma, South Africa, African National Congress