South Africa’s former President, Jacob Zuma, is not ruling out a political comeback after he was forced to step down in 2018 amid a storm of corruption allegations.
The former president was accused of placing the interests of corrupt associates ahead of those of his country in a type of corruption known as “state capture”. He denies any wrongdoing.
On Monday, he said was approached by party members to take up the position of the national chairperson of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party ahead of its national conference in December
“I will not refuse such a call should they deem it necessary for me to serve the organisation again at that level or any other,” he said in a statement Tweeted by his daughter, Dudu Zuma-Sambudla.
He said the ANC party was facing serious organisational challenges and threw his weight behind Cabinet Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, to lead the party.
Jacob Zuma is the most colourful and controversial president South Africa has had since white-minority rule ended in 1994.He has been a politician of nine lives, surviving a series of scandals which would surely have ended anyone else’s career.
But Mr Zuma, the man born into poverty who went into exile to fight apartheid before rising to become “the people’s president”, could only hold on for so long.He was facing his ninth vote of no-confidence in Parliament before he left office, forced out by his own party – the ANC.
And those charges of corruption – always vehemently denied – finally caught up with him. In April 2018, he was charged for alleged fraud and racketeering linked to a 1999 arms deal.
For many years, it was unwise to write Mr Zuma off: his Zulu name, Gedleyihlekisa, means the one who smiles while grinding his enemies.He did not leave power without a fight but carried on long after the writing was on the wall, reportedly negotiating his departure.
After all, long before he became President Zuma, and “Nkandla” and “state capture” had entered the everyday lexicon of South Africans, his lawyers were already busy. -BBC