Jacob Zuma

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Jacob Zuma


Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma is the president of South Africa, elected by parliament following the African National Congress victory in the 2009 general election.

Early life

Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma was born on 12 April 1942 at Nkandla in northern KwaZulu-Natal (then Zululand), the son of Nobhekisisa Bessie and Geinamazwi Zuma.

He was the first born of five children from his father's second wife. When his father died he and his mother left for his mother’s parental home in Maphumulo. Zuma began herding cattle while other children his age went to school.

Zuma spent his early years moving between Zululand and the suburbs of Durban, where he worked in shops and did domestic work. According to Zuma, in an autobiographical report for the South African Communist Party , he organized and influenced an anti-pass campaign in the Noxamalala district in the Nkandla area.

In 1958, he joined the African National Congress and the ANC Youth League, and began to attend ANC and Trade Union meetings at Lakhani Chambers in Durban.

In 1959, he joined the South African Congress of Trade Unions , and in 1961, Zuma became involved in the discussions organized by SACTU in the Durban area.

The banning of the ANC in 1960 led to the formation of its armed wing Umkhonto we Sizwe . Zuma participated in sabotage actions in Natal and planned to leave South Africa for military training abroad.

In 1962, he was introduced to a political study group in Cato Manor (Mkhumbane), and was recruited by South African Communist Party leader Moses Mabhida as an active member of MK. In 1963, he was recruited into the South African Communist Party.[1]

Arrest

When Zuma left the country for military training in June 1963, he was arrested with a group of 45 recruits near Zeerust, in the then Western Transvaal. Zuma, Andrew Mlangeni and others were convicted for conspiring to overthrow the government and were sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment on Robben Island.

On Robben Island, he was among the prisoners from Natal who initiated political study groups. He also served in a number of positions in ANC structures, which included being a group leader, a Public Relations Officer, cell leader and Chairman of the Political Committee.[2]

Underground work

On Zuma’s release in December 1973, he helped mobilise internal resistance and was instrumental in the re-establishment of ANC underground structures in Natal between 1974 and 1975.

He later became part of an initiative, led by Harry Gwala, to send young people out of the country for military training. After Gwala’s arrest, Zuma left the country in December 1975 for Swaziland.

Over the next 12 years he was based in Southern Africa, first in Swaziland and then Mozambique. During this period, he was involved in underground work with former President Thabo Mbeki and others, supporting ANC structures operating inside South Africa.

During this time, Zuma was involved in internal work, and he served in the Natal military machinery, the ordinance department, as ANC Deputy Chief Representative in Maputo, a member of the political committee and Secretary of the senior organ.

Later, he served on the ANC's Military and Political Committees after its formation in the mid-80s, and the Intelligence Department at the ANC Head Office in Lusaka, Zambia.[3]

ANC work

Early in 1976, Zuma secretly entered the country to re-establish contact with activists in the Durban area. A few months later he was detained by the Swazi police with two others, after Joseph Mduli was arrested and murdered in Durban. Zuma was then deported to Mozambique, where he worked for the ANC.

In Mozambique, Zuma dealt with the thousands of young exiles that left South Africa after the Soweto uprising in June 1976. He was then co-opted as a member of the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) in 1977 and was re-elected to the NEC at the Kabwe Conference in 1985. [4]

SACP work/Soviet Union

In 1977, Zuma began working for the SACP, and completed a three month leadership and military training course in the Soviet Union in 1978. By the end of the 1980s, he was head of the ANC Intelligence Department. [5]

"Sensitive matters"

In his study ANC: A View from Moscow (Mayibuye Books, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, 1999), the former member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and former senior Soviet state and party liaison officer with the African National Congress and the South African Communist Party, Dr Vladimir Shubin, writes of Jacob Zuma and Joe Nhlanhla that "both comrades were Soviet graduates and understood Russian perfectly." Both of them, writes Shubin, were "heavily involved in sensitive ANC matters." (p.367)

Intelligence work

In his biography of the former Umkhonto leader Mac Maharaj, Professor O'Malley states that in the mid-1990s Moe Shaik "served as deputy coordinator of intelligence in the Ministry of Intelligence, where he worked under Joe Nhlanhla", and that he became a "close friend and confidant of his former Intelligence boss [in the Umkhonto underground in KwaZulu-Natal] Jacob Zuma". (p.416) Moe Shaik is one of the brothers of Zuma's imprisoned former financial adviser, Schabir Shaik. The final report of Judge Josephus Hefer's commission, of January 2004, cited a statement by Moe Shaik as to his "complete faith in and undying loyalty" to Zuma. (quoted in Gordin, p.96) In the complex network of Zuma's relationships, this tends to confirm the centrality of his former post as ANC intelligence chief: a matter of major importance in the successful campaign to displace former President Mbeki and his supporters from the ANC, first at the ANC national conference at Polokwane in December 2007 and then as they were routed from government in 2009.[6]

High level work

By 1984, Zuma had been elected the Deputy Chief Representative of the ANC, the year the Nkomati Accord was signed between Mozambique and South Africa.

After this accord was signed, Zuma was appointed as Chief Representative of the ANC and remained in Mozambique. In January 1987, he was forced to leave Mozambique, and was appointed Head of Underground Structures and Chief of the Intelligence Department in Lusaka.

Along with Thabo Mbeki, Zuma formed part of then ANC President Oliver Tambo’s negotiation team, which met with the South African government in the late 1980s.[7]

ANC intelligence head

Jacob Zuma was head of counter-intelligence in the African National Congress in exile in the late 1980s, and for about three years after his return to South Africa in 1990. In his informative study of both the apartheid state and ANC intelligence services, James Sanders notes that "Jacob Zuma continued as head of the DIS Intelligence section until 1993, when Patrick Lekota was appointed". [8] This refers to Zuma's position as head of counter-intelligence in the ANC's Department of Intelligence and Security, known - and feared - among the troops as iMbokodo (the grindstone).

Sanders notes that following the mutinies in Umkhonto in Angola in 1984 - which arose largely as a protest against the brutal practices of iMbokodo - its most notorious chief up to that time, Mzwandile Piliso, was "retired in 1986 and the intelligence department was administered by an ‘interim directorate' which included Alfred Nzo, Joe Nhlanhla, Jacob Zuma and Sizakele Sigxashe".[9] Zuma's tenure as ANC securocrat appears to have covered the seven years from 1986 to 1993, the transition period from apartheid to post-apartheid state.

SACP Politburo

Professor O'Malley writes: "Zuma was elected to the Politburo [of the SACP, its most powerful executive organ - PT] at the party's seventh conference in Havana , Cuba , in April 1989." (note 5, p.602).

ANC work in South Africa

After the ANC was unbanned in February 1990, Zuma was involved in the Groote-Schuur Minute, which outlined important decisions regarding the return of exiles and the release of political prisoners.

In November 1990, Zuma was elected chairperson of the ANC’s southern Natal region. In 1991, at the first ANC conference held in South Africa since 1959, he was elected Deputy Secretary General and attended the Convention for a Democratic South Africa and served as an ANC representative in December 1991.

In 1993, Zuma was involved in negotiations between the ANC and the Inkhata Freedom Party ), when violence erupted in Natal. He was later elected National Chairperson of the ANC and as Chairperson of the ANC in Natal in December 1994.

In January 1994, he was nominated as the ANC candidate for the Premiership of Natal, a position the ANC lost to the IFP. Later that year, Zuma was appointed MEC of Economic Affairs and Tourism for the KZN provincial government. In December 1994, he was elected ANC National Chairperson.

After the 1994 elections, Zuma requested to be deployed to KwaZulu- Natal to work to cement peace between the ANC and IFP within the multiparty government of South Africa.

Zuma was later elected as the ANC’s Deputy President at its National Conference held at Mafikeng in December 1997. He then served as Deputy President of South Africa from 1999 until June 2005.

During his tenure he was involved in mediation with Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and between Rwanda and the DRC. Zuma also launched the Moral Regeneration Movement to galvanise government and civil society.

In October 1998, Zuma received the Nelson Mandela Award for Outstanding Leadership for his role in ending political violence in KwaZulu-Natal in Washington DC (USA).[10]

Zuma vs Mbeki

According to Mark Gevisser, Thabo Mbeki, Jacob Zuma, Josiah Jele, Joel Net****enzhe, Aziz Pahad and several other high-ranking members of the South African Communist Party "did not attend the SACP's first open congress in 40 years, in December 1990 in Johannesburg." He considers this to have been a "serious miscalculation" on Mbeki's part, since "through the 1990s and into Mbeki's presidency, the Party - now run by a younger generation - would become the standard bearer for left opposition to Mbeki's economic policies, and many of its leaders, specifically the general secretary Blade Nzimande - would become fervent supporters of Jacob Zuma after Mbeki fired him in 2005."

Though Zuma and Mbeki each abandoned his membership of the SACP - in which both had served at Politburo level - in 1990, they interpreted this differently. As Gevisser continues in a reliable explanation, as Zuma "became estranged from Mbeki, he would make a point of courting the left in the ANC-SACP-COSATU alliance - and particularly the leadership of the Party, which felt marginalised by Mbeki and his new power elite." In this new conjuncture, Zuma "went out of his way to distance himself from Mbeki's departure from the Party in 1990. Attending a Party policy conference in 2000 at a time when the ANC and the SACP were barely on speaking terms, he referred to the 1990 split - the primal wound in the relationship between the two fraternal organisations - and made it clear that if some had left the Party for ideological reasons, he was not one of them. The imputation was clear: while he, Zuma, might have left the Party for strategic reasons, Mbeki did so because he had lost the faith." [11]

For the SACP, this declaration of continued faith in its ideological goals was a key component of a now dominant political praxis which is certain to reverse the economic policy of Mbeki, after the election in April. In the eyes of the SACP, Mbeki's own reversal of ANC economic policy in 1996, through his high-handed replacement of the ANC's previous statist economic Reconstruction and Development Policy (RDP) with the free-market policy of Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR), was an act of treason, by which he earned the undying hatred of the Party.

For the SACP, this declaration of continued faith in its ideological goals was a key component of a now dominant political praxis which is certain to reverse the economic policy of Mbeki, after the election in April. In the eyes of the SACP, Mbeki's own reversal of ANC economic policy in 1996, through his high-handed replacement of the ANC's previous statist economic Reconstruction and Development Policy (RDP) with the free-market policy of Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR), was an act of treason, by which he earned the undying hatred of the Party.

African National Congress

As at 20 December 2007, Jacob Zuma was listed as President on the National Executive Committee, and a member of the National Working Committee of the African National Congress. The African National Congress is South Africa's current ruling party and has been since April 1994 when the government became a non-racial democracy. The ANC is supported by its tripartite alliance with the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the South African Communist Party (SACP).[12]

Controversies to Presidency

During his tenure as Deputy President of South Africa, Zuma was also involved in controversies, which resulted in legal problems for Zuma. In 2002, Zuma was implicated in a major corruption scandal, in connection with the trial of his close associate Schabir Shaik.

Further controversy arose in November 2005, when Zuma was accused of rape. Zuma informed the NEC that allegations of rape had been made against him, but issued a denial through his lawyer Michael Hulley. He went on trial in February 2006.

The trial was heavily publicised in the media and when Zuma was acquitted in May 2006, he endured both negative and positive public response to the case. Despite public response, Zuma was reinstated as ANC Deputy President a week later.

In December 2007, Zuma was then elected to the office of ANC President at the national conference in Polokwane, Limpopo. A month before this event, the South African Court of Appeal ruled that investigators’ raids on Zuma’s home and office were legal, which allowed for the reinstatement of Zuma’s corruption charges, and a trial was set for August 2008.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) withdrew all 16 charges (of racketeering, corruption, fraud and tax evasion) against Zuma in the Durban High Court on Wednesday, 6 May 2009. Zuma was later elected him as South Africa’s fourth democratic President, and was inaugurated on 9 May 2009 at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.[13]

Wives

In January 2008, Zuma married his fourth wife, Nompumelelo Ntuli, at his Nkandla homestead. Zuma now has four wives, including Sizakele (MaKhumalo), Nompumelelo (MaNtuli) and Tobeka Madiba. He was formerly married to South Africa's current Foreign Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.[14]

Addressed 12th International Meeting of the Communist and Workers Parties

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Jacob Zuma Addressed the the 12th International Meeting of the Communist and Workers Parties (ICWP) 3 – 5 December 2010, Swan Lake Conference Centre, West Centurion, South africa.[15]

General Secretary of the South African Communist Party, Comrade Blade Nzimande;
Comrades delegates to the 12th International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties from various parts of the globe;
Comrades and friends,
I bring revolutionary greetings from the African National Congress.

It is a great honour to welcome you to South Africa for this important meeting of the International Communist and Workers Parties, which is taking place in South Africa for the first time. This forum is an important legacy of the internationalist struggles of working peoples across the globe.
This has been attested to by leading communists in the past. Speaking, in Moscow on June 16, 1969 as part of his final contribution and delivered as the general secretary and leader of the South African delegation at the international meeting of Communist and Workers Parties, Moses Kotane, amongst other things said:

"The very nature of our struggle has taught our revolutionaries, communists and non-communists alike, the fundamental lessons of internationalism. We know full well from practical experience that our struggle against imperialism is one with that of our brothers fighting the same enemy in every country of the world."
This thesis connects the international solidarity with the struggle for the abolition of apartheid and racism in our country. It is for this reason that we welcome our international guests, as your presence confirms our movement’s internationalist and anti-imperialist character.
This meeting reaffirms the bonds of comradeship and solidarity between the ANC and worker movements and communist parties internationally. While the ANC is a multi-class organisation it has always had a working class bias. Many of our members and leaders come from the ranks of the working class, while many working class people regard the ANC as their party of choice and a political home...
This gathering also highlights the fact that the bonds which moulded the common struggles of communists and non-communists in the context of the South African revolution, embodied in the historic Tripartite Alliance, continue to be a key pillar of our national democratic revolution in post-apartheid South Africa...
Comrades over the years have been able to serve all three organisations, the ANC, SACTU and the SACP concurrently. An example is our stalwart Moses Mabhida. He rose through the ranks of the Communist Party to become its General Secretary, while for many years he was Vice President of the South African Congress of Trade Unions.
Comrade Oliver Tambo remarked about this at the funeral of Comrade Mabhida in Maputo, Mozambique in March 1986. He said: "This combination of functions sometimes surprised and puzzled our friends who wondered why Comrade Mabhida had to serve in so many senior positions in different organisations. But, above all, it enraged our enemies.

"This combination of functions in one leader of our people upset our adversaries because it reflected the permanence and acceptability among our people of the idea and the practice of the unity of the revolutionary democratic, the socialist and the trade union movements in the South African struggle for national liberation"...

The progressive movement, especially communists and workers must answer the question why we still have a crisis of jobs, even when we say our economy has been doing well over the past few years. The recent economic downturn saw the loss of over a million jobs in our country, and job losses were continuing in the first six months of this year despite the return of economic growth.
These developments point to the core importance of redirecting and transforming economic growth in order to bring about greater equity based above all on the creation of decent employment for many more of our people.
We trust that we will be able to glean lessons from international delegates here, as to how they responded to such challenges in their own countries. On our part we have introduced a New Growth Path for discussion. It is a framework that takes into account the new opportunities for the developing world. The strong and robust growth in China, India, Brazil and large parts of the African continent provide enormous opportunities...
Our recent National General Council underscored that the ANC continues to be the strategic centre of power, the leader of the Alliance, a disciplined force of the left, a mass movement, an internationalist movement with an anti-imperialist outlook.
Therefore the question of international solidarity remains uppermost on the movement’s agenda. We continue to support the campaign for the release of the Cuban Five and reiterate the ANC’s commitment to the cause of the Cuban People.

The NGC also called for increased trade between South Africa and Cuba as a reinforcement of our Foreign Policy and International Solidarity with Cuba. We will depart for Cuba tomorrow, the 4th of December, for a State Visit which takes place on 6-7 December, which will serve to strengthen relations between the two countries, and also boost economic relations.

In the Middle East, The ANC continues to support the calls for finding lasting, just and humane solutions to the Israeli- Palestine question. As we stated in our January 8, 2010 statement, we firmly believe in a two-State solution, this being the view upheld by the majority of the people of that region, particularly those oppressed in the West Bank and Gaza. Such a two State solution must also recognize the right of the Palestinian people to live in freedom along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as part of their territory.

Therefore, it is our firm belief that both the Israelis and the Palestinians would consequently live peacefully, side by side, with Israel enjoying better relations with the rest of the Arab world. We also reaffirm our solidarity with the people of West Sahara, and for world peace, sustainable development and coexistence of the peoples the world-over.

We will continue to support causes that advance the respect for human rights and promoting global democratic institutions at a global level. We will use our regained seat in the UN Security Council to promote these positions.
Let me reiterate our warm welcome to you all!
We trust that you will have fruitful deliberations which will enable us to take forward the quest for unity of purpose and action amongst the progressive forces in the world.
I thank you.

S.A.C.P. 90th anniversary rally

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Jacob Zuma supported the S.A.C.P. 90th anniversary rally in July 2011.

References

  1. [ http://www.sahistory.org.za/pages/people/bios/zuma-j.htm SAHO • sahistory.org.za bio, accessed December 24, 2010]
  2. [ http://www.sahistory.org.za/pages/people/bios/zuma-j.htm SAHO • sahistory.org.za bio, accessed December 24, 2010]
  3. [ http://www.sahistory.org.za/pages/people/bios/zuma-j.htm SAHO • sahistory.org.za bio, accessed December 24, 2010]
  4. [ http://www.sahistory.org.za/pages/people/bios/zuma-j.htm SAHO • sahistory.org.za bio, accessed December 24, 2010]
  5. [ http://www.sahistory.org.za/pages/people/bios/zuma-j.htm SAHO • sahistory.org.za bio, accessed December 24, 2010]
  6. [ http://www.sahistory.org.za/pages/people/bios/zuma-j.htm SAHO • sahistory.org.za bio, accessed December 24, 2010]
  7. [ http://www.sahistory.org.za/pages/people/bios/zuma-j.htm SAHO • sahistory.org.za bio, accessed December 24, 2010]
  8. (Apartheid's Friends: The Rise and Fall of South Africa's Secret Service, John Murray, London , 2006. p.300)
  9. (Apartheid's Friends: The Rise and Fall of South Africa's Secret Service, John Murray, London , 2006. p.290)
  10. [ http://www.sahistory.org.za/pages/people/bios/zuma-j.htm SAHO • sahistory.org.za bio, accessed December 24, 2010]
  11. Jeremy Gordin Zuma: A Biography (Jonathan Ball, Johannesburg, 2008), (p.472)
  12. National Executive Committee
  13. [ http://www.sahistory.org.za/pages/people/bios/zuma-j.htm SAHO • sahistory.org.za bio, accessed December 24, 2010]
  14. [ http://www.sahistory.org.za/pages/people/bios/zuma-j.htm SAHO • sahistory.org.za bio, accessed December 24, 2010]
  15. Address by ANC President Jacob Zuma to the 12th International Meeting of the Communist and Workers Parties (ICWP) 3 – 5 December 2010, SACP website, accessed dec. 24, 201