WHEN Jacob Zuma resigned as South Africa’s president on Valentine’s Day in a late-night televised address, his countrymen could scarcely believe he was going at last. For years the increasingly unpopular Mr Zuma had ignored calls to step down. Mass protests under the “Zuma must fall” banner had failed to move him. Appeals from respected veterans of the anti-apartheid struggle had also had little effect. Mr Zuma, seemingly unperturbed, shook off scandals with his trademark chuckle. He had taken to the airwaves once before in an address some thought would be a resignation. In 2016, after South Africa’s top court found he had violated the constitution by failing to pay back public funds spent on his private rural estate, Mr Zuma announced a prime-time broadcast to the nation. Instead of bowing out, he apologised for “frustration and confusion” the matter had caused. So why did he quit now?
Mr Zuma is facing the reinstatement of corruption, fraud, money-laundering and racketeering charges related to an arms deal. These include 783...Continue reading