The African National Congress under Jacob Zuma is destroying Nelson Mandela’s legacyby Justice Malala / June 20, 2012 / Leave a comment
Published in July 2012 issue of Prospect Magazine
A painting by a Johannesburg artist shows a 12-year-old boy who died of Aids performing an autopsy on Nelson Mandela as politicians look on
It is a sweltering 38 degrees Celsius in the packed stadium. Jacob Zuma, president of the African National Congress (ANC)—a poor, uninspiring reader at best—is an hour into a long speech and the wheels are coming off his carefully choreographed party.
It is 8th January 2012, and the ANC is celebrating its birthday in Mangaung, the conservative town where Africa’s oldest and most admired liberation movement was founded by black professionals a hundred years ago. More than 100,000 supporters have turned up.
As Zuma struggles through his text the crowd starts leaving. About 5,000 diehard supporters are left in the stadium when he finishes an hour and a half later. Zuma’s deputy, and most likely his challenger for the presidency when the party holds its elective conference in December, Kgalema Motlanthe, proposes a toast.