Meet South Africa's Next President


To the threatening sounds of "Bring Me My Machine Gun," a song he appropriated for his 2008 campaign, supporters of African National Congress (ANC) president Jacob Zuma gathered at party headquarters to celebrate the South African state prosecutor's decision to drop all corruption charges against a man widely seen to be the country's next leader.  Zuma, who has called homosexuality "a disgrace to the nation and to God" and recently went on trial for allegedly raping a family friend, has a rather colorful background, as described in a long, detailed, and depressing piece by Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday:

Zuma is wholly African. He has at least four wives and 18 children. He has for years avoided standing trial on fraud and corruption charges. Nobody seriously believes he ever will: his approaching election is already spreading fear in South Africa's legal establishment.

Mr Zuma joined the Communist Party in 1962 (he only left a few years ago), and has a dark and inadequately examined past as a much-feared intelligence chief in the ANC's ruthless armed wing, Spear of the Nation. He underwent 'military training' in the old Soviet Union in 1978, when the KGB was very much in charge of such things…

He once spoke of how, in his youth, he would knock down any 'pansy boy'…He has hinted he might restore the death penalty. He is keen on traditional medicine men. He thinks teenage unwed mothers should have their babies taken away; that school prayers should be compulsory and that there is too much sex on TV. He completely lacks the Westernised polish and smoothness of Mandela and Mbeki. His political party, the African National Congress, sometimes seems aghast that it has chosen him as leader. Too late.

Full article.