On January 10th, the African National Congress (ANC) officially endorsed Jacob Zuma as their candidate for the forthcoming South African elections. While Zuma is considered the front runner for the presidency, his nomination is mired by corruption charges. On January 12th, the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled in favor of the National Prosecuting Authority, allowing them to re-instate the 783 counts of alleged corruption against Zuma. Earlier today Zuma declared he would launch an appeal to have these changes dropped.
I’m all for innocent until proven guilty, but Zuma is just bad news, plain and simple. The majority of his charges stem from a $5 billion dollar arms deal made back in 1999, and include money laundering, racketeering and corruption. Not to mention previous charges of rape and HIV denial.
South Africa is the economic engine of the region. It can not afford to fail. In late 2008, the ANC fractured, creating a new Congress of the People (COPE). While local analysts believe the ANC will likely win the forthcoming election, COPE may be just the official opposition the region is in desperate need for. At any rate, something has got to give, before it’s too late.