As the father of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, was laid to rest, the results of a poll conducted by Ipsos and reported by the Sunday Times shows a struggle of sorts going on in the African National Congress (ANC), with 51% of registered ANC voters want current president Jacob Zuma to resign because he cannot filled Madiba’s shoes. This poll comes as Zuma was booed during the service for Nelson Mandela Memorial service in Soweto.
Of the 1 000 ANC voters polled in a representative survey, 33% said they were less likely to vote for the ANC over allegations that Zuma used public money to upgrade his luxury private residence to the value of about R200-million. 42% said they believed he had abused taxpayer funds.
On Tuesday, South Africans booed their president at a memorial service attended by tens of thousands of people for Mandela, whose legacy is one of selflessness and sacrifice. Many of those who jeered later spoke of their disillusionment and anger at Zuma’s lifestyle at a time that many South Africans remain poor, unemployed and without formal housing in a society that is among the world’s most unequal.
Zuma’s immediate predecessor, Thabo Mbeki, though unpopular at the time of his party ouster by Zuma in 2008, received a warm welcome at the memorial. Mbeki, who succeeded Mandela as president in 1999, on Sunday challenged South Africa’s leadership to ask if they were living up to Mandela’s standards, in a pointed public challenge to his ANC comrades.
Despite growing disgruntlement, the party retains a firm grip on power on the back of its historic status as the liberator of a long-oppressed people, and will likely retain a large majority. The ANC had claimed the booing was orchestrated by other political parties. Source: Mail & Guardian
I seriously doubt Jacob Zuma can fill Nelson Mandela’s shoes and it may not be entirely fair to make that demand, though I believe he should live up to Madiba’s ideals. If he fails to do that, the ANC may very well see its demise.