In spite of lack of enthusiasm for his leadership, Jacob Zuma has been overwhelmingly re-elected to lead the African National Congress (ANC). In all likelihood, he will get another term as President in 2014.
Kgalema Motlanthe, Zuma’s deputy, came in a distant second, having miscalculated his political fortune by trying to un-seat his boss.
Zuma is an affable man with an infectious smile, down to earth and well liked by average folk. While he may, allegedly, been governing on auto-pilot, his critics take him to task on his many marriages. But one could argue that he was elected president and not spiritual leader of South Africa.
But, all is not well in South Africa : the economy is sluggish, political violence is rampant, and education, according to some, has suffered.
Come in Cyril Ramaphosa: much rests on his shoulders, and many are hoping that he can turn into something of a prime minister, taking on the dirty day-to-day work of governing the country. He is said to be a capable manager and has what it takes to steer the country back on course.
But of late, this former trade union leader during apartheid compromised his stature by calling for tough police action against striking miners last August. He will have to mend fences, and political observers believe he has what it takes.
In the meantime, former apartheid president De Klerk has been heard mouthing off against Zuma’s presidency. There is an obvious stench of jealousness here. This man who was the last horseman of an evil and immoral system, apartheid, has no right to criticize. He belongs to the dustbin of history.