The African National Congress has endorsed its new leader, Jacob Zuma, who will be the ANC nominee for South African president next year, a virtual shoe-in to the office.
Zuma is a Zulu tribe leader who has a popular campaign song called “Bring Me My Machine Gun,” which his supporters chant and sing at rallies. He is an old ANC hard-line leftist, beholden to the socialist trade unions and to the SA Communist Party.
Zuma is a particularly greedy and aggressive kleptocrat. He was recently indicted for massive bribery and theft.
Not long ago, a jury acquitted him of the forcible rape of a young woman, a friend of his children. He claimed the sex was consensual, though the woman had HIV, which Zuma knew. She testified that he forced her.
Zuma is accused of taking $200 million in bribes for the purchase by South Africa of naval frigates, fighter jets, attack helicopters and submarines. Submarines?
South Africa has no enemies who could mount a military challenge to their country worthy of those armaments or the expenditure of the billions of dollars they cost.
Not all the money is believed to have gone to Zuma, some of it supposedly went to the ANC itself, and some of it may have landed in President Thabo Mbeki’s pocket.
Many whites, a small but important economic base, have said they will leave the country if Zuma takes over.
We’ll be hearing a lot more about Jacob Zuma in the months to come.