January 5, 2010 |
South Africa gained its third first lady on Monday when President Jacob Zuma married Tobeka Madiba, his fifth marriage and third concurrent spouse. With another fiancee in the wings and rumors about a possible future engagement, the country may have five or more first ladies before Zuma's presidency is over. Zuma's polygamy sits uneasily with the ruling party's commitment to gender equality and has been criticized by women's rights and AIDS activists. But despite the disquiet in some quarters, Monday's wedding passed without media controversy.
August 26, 2009 |
As South African runner Caster Semenya returned home Tuesday to a hero's welcome, President Jacob Zuma chastised the International Assn. of Athletics Federations over gender tests carried out on the athlete and declared there was no way she would be stripped of her gold medal in the women's 800-meter world championship. Thousands of people came to celebrate the 18-year-old Semenya's return at O.R. Tambo International Airport -- and to vent their anger at what they see as her ill treatment.
August 19, 2009 |
Even before he became president, Jacob Zuma vowed to "transform" the South African judiciary. Translation: There were too many white male apartheid-era judges and too few nonwhites and women. Now Zuma will appoint four new judges to the 11-member Constitutional Court in coming months, his chance to effect a transformation that will shape the country's highest court on constitutional matters. But the nebulous definition of "transformation" has some people worried. To critics, the term has been so diluted by nepotism and cronyism that it's come to mean appointing your political friends.
August 9, 2009 |
Relations between the United States and South Africa have been so rocky in recent years that former U.S. Ambassador Eric Bost used to complain that he couldn't get South African Cabinet ministers to return his calls. With South Africa pulling in the opposite direction under former President Thabo Mbeki on issues such as how to deal with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and the move to arrest Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir on war crimes charges, the Bush administration found itself stymied.
July 30, 2009 |
When he was 13, Celi Xaba protested against South Africa's white-minority government over the lack of water in his township. Now 29, he's still protesting, and there's still no running water in Tokoza. But this time he's fighting the black-led government that promised salvation from poverty and unemployment. As thin as a whip, he stands in the bitter winter wind, his bare feet shoved into sandals a couple of sizes too small. "There's no services here.
May 11, 2009 |
South Africa's new president named his Cabinet on Sunday, moving the widely respected finance minister to a new position that will still give him a role steering the economy on a course intended to reassure international investors. The decision to shift Trevor Manuel, who had become the emblem of South Africa's impressive economic performance over the last 13 years, was a delicate matter for President Jacob Zuma.
May 10, 2009 |
The whistle has blown, the time has come! We're taking Jacob Zuma to the Union Buildings. -- As rays of sunshine broke through after the morning's stormy downpour, the dignitaries at Jacob Zuma's inauguration Saturday in Pretoria leaped to their feet, danced, cheered and ululated as he was sworn in as the president of South Africa. At the top of their lungs, they sang about Zuma's ascent to the Union Buildings, South Africa's presidential residence and seat of government.
April 25, 2009
Jacob Zuma, the man destined to become South Africa's president after his African National Congress party swept national elections this week, is a polygamist, a former communist revolutionary with little formal education, an alleged taker of lavish bribes and a man so stunningly clueless about his nation's No. 1 public health threat that he once declared his belief that he could fend off HIV by showering after sex. Needless to say, he makes many foreign observers very nervous.
April 23, 2009 |
South Africans lined up before dawn Wednesday in chilly temperatures for an election expected to slightly narrow the ruling party's large parliamentary majority, yet still result in the installation of controversial leader Jacob Zuma as president. A large turnout was reported, and in some areas election officials ran short of ballot papers and had to call for more. Results were expected today.
April 22, 2009 |
When South Africa's chunky, bespectacled president-in-waiting, Jacob Zuma, gyrates onstage, stamping his feet and shaking his tail feather, his fans go wild. But five minutes later, he delivers a deadening, wooden speech that leaves the crowd of African National Congress supporters fidgeting and talking among themselves. As Zuma leads his ANC into the election today, the big question is not whether the party will win (it will), nor even the margin of victory.