A rebirth

South Africa’s phoenix president Zuma wants to rise from the ashes

By Damien Glez

Posted on October 3, 2022 08:17

 © Image by Damien Glez
Image by Damien Glez

Provocation or self-suggestion? Still in trouble with the law, South Africa’s former President Jacob Zuma has not ruled out returning to politics through the ANC.

Popular wisdom dictates that you will not die as long as you stay in politics, which means that every leading politician does their best to remain in the local political landscape, just like 86-year-old Silvio Berlusconi, who was seen during Italy’s election weekend.

Those in power are trying to lock in their position, like Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang Nguema, who at 80 years-old plans to run for another term at the head of the country he has ruled for 43 years. Harder, however, is resurrecting the fallen.

Forced to resign as president of South Africa in 2018 for alleged corruption for which he has still not finished answering in court, the boastful Jacob Zuma says he is now free to serve the African National Congress (ANC), Nelson Mandela’s historic party.

The ANC will decide at the end of December whether to nominate the current head of state Cyril Ramaphosa for the next presidential election. Zuma has already made it clear that he will not be backing Ramaphosa, as he intends to support his ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s candidacy.

Is the ex-husband preparing a U-turn?

Is this a tentative comeback or a blustery one? Zuma can appreciate how important the element of surprise is, as he posted his statement at midnight on 26 September on his daughter’s Twitter account, rather than the Zuma Foundation.