Zuma holds key to his legacy

The New Age (Western Cape) - - Comment -

PRES­I­DENT Ja­cob Zuma’s re­flec­tions on his legacy has sparked a me­dia frenzy. In his ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with this pub­li­ca­tion, Zuma was bullish about his achieve­ments as leader of the ANC and the coun­try. He ex­panded at length on his ef­forts to erase in­ef­fi­cien­cies in gov­ern­ment, his ef­forts to im­ple­ment eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion and to man­age the frac­tures within the rul­ing party and its al­liance part­ners.

In the same in­ter­view Zuma was un­equiv­o­cal on his de­ter­mi­na­tion to com­plete his term as pres­i­dent of the coun­try. This has no doubt cre­ated a co­nun­drum for the ANC as it gears up to choose a new leader in De­cem­ber. The sce­nario where he could be re­called will be eas­ier if Cyril Ramaphosa is elected as ANC pres­i­dent. The back­ers of Ramaphosa have made this abun­dantly clear through­out his cam­paign for the top party post.

How­ever, Zuma’s in­sis­tence on com­plet­ing his pres­i­den­tial term does cre­ate a prob­lem for the other lead­ing con­tender, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma. Un­til now she has re­mained mum on how she will deal with the chal­lenge of two cen­tres of power.

Im­me­di­ately after the De­cem­ber con­fer­ence, the ANC will have to gear up for the 2019 na­tional and provin­cial elec­tions where it is pre­dicted that the party will have its hands full to re­tain its stran­gle­hold at the polls.

If it is to suc­ceed in con­vinc­ing a scep­ti­cal elec­torate that it still holds the keys for ex­tri­cat­ing the coun­try from its nu­mer­ous chal­lenges, the ANC will have to re­solve the two cen­tres of power co­nun­drum.

De­spite his stated in­ten­tions to re­main in power, Zuma might make his party’s task eas­ier by of­fer­ing to step down vol­un­tar­ily and in the process en­hance his legacy.

PIC­TURE: AFP

SUF­FER THE LIT­TLE CHIL­DREN: Young Ro­hingya refugees line up for food aid at Thankhali camp in Bangladesh yes­ter­day.

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