Jacob Zuma is the most bright and questionable president South Africa has had since white-minority administration finished in 1994.
His poor roots, difficulties disclose his capacity to clutch control, in spite of requires his acquiescence and endeavors to expel him as ANC pioneer.
He was most extremely harmed in March 2016 when South Africa’s most elevated court ruled that he abused the constitution by neglecting to compensate the administration for cash utilized on updating his private living arrangement
Mr Zuma’s private life has also grabbed the headlines, and has caused much controversy.
The 75-year-old is a proud polygamist – following a Zulu tradition – and currently has four wives. He is also known for his infidelity and has fathered a child with another woman.
His political career was written off in the run-up to the 2009 election when he was simultaneously battling allegations of rape and corruption.
He was acquitted of rape, though the corruption case has proved harder to shake off.
He always denied charges of money-laundering and racketeering, stemming from a controversial $5bn arms deal signed in 1999 and had said he would resign if found guilty of wrong-doing.
The case was controversially dropped by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) just weeks before the elections which saw him become president.
However, in 2016 a court ruled that some 786 counts of corruption should be reinstated. He has appealed, stalling the process.
- 2005: Charged with corruption over multi-billion dollar 1999 arms deal – charges dropped shortly before he becomes president in 2009
- 2016: Court orders he should be charged with 786 counts of corruption over the deal – he has appealed
- 2005: Charged with raping family friend – acquitted in 2006
- 2016: Court rules he breached his oath of office by using government money to upgrade private home in Nkandla – he has repaid the money
- 2017: Public protector said he should appoint judge-led inquiry into allegations he profiteered from relationship with wealthy Gupta family – he denies allegations, as have the Guptas
- No inquiry appointed yet
At the time of his election as president in 2009, Mr Zuma’s supporters saw his charismatic popular touch as a refreshing contrast to Thabo Mbeki, who was seen as a rather aloof president.
“He is a man who listens; he doesn’t take the approach of an intellectual king,” said one unnamed supporter, in an apparent swipe at Mr Mbeki, whose allies were accused of spearheading Mr Zuma’s prosecution after he had wrested control of the ANC in 2007.
Mr Zuma’s modest upbringing and promotion of traditional family values are seen as a major factor in his enduring popularity among many poor South Africans, especially in rural areas.
His rise to power earned him the name “the people’s president”, but this carefully crafted image lay in tatters following the controversy over the upgrading of his residence in the rural area of Nkandla in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
ANC supporters heckled and booed him in front of foreign dignitaries – including US President Barack Obama – at a memorial in Johannesburg following the death of South Africa’s first black leader, Nelson Mandela, in December 2013.
“He is eating when we are hungry,” one protester said, capturing the public anger over the Nkandla upgrade.
Nkandla was where he was born on 12 April 1942. Brought up by his widowed mother, he had no formal schooling.
He joined the ANC at the age of 17, becoming an active member of its military wing, Umkhonto We Sizwe, in 1962.
He was convicted of conspiring to overthrow the apartheid government and imprisoned for 10 years on the notorious Robben Island, alongside Mr Mandela.