Recall that Jacob Zuma was born in the distant 1942 year, 12 April, and South Africa led 8 years ago, 9 May 2009 year. Zuma is a veteran of the South African national liberation movement. Zulu by nationality, Zuma was born in the family of a policeman and a housemaid. His father died when Jacob was still a child, and the family lived in poverty. Zuma did not even receive a formal school education. The youth of Zuma fell on the period of the intensification of the national liberation struggle against the apartheid regime. At the age of seventeen, in 1959, he joined the African National Congress, and in 1963, he became a member of the South African Communist Party.
History Jacob Zuma’s life and political career is typical of many members of the modern South African political elite, the “nestlings of Mandela’s nest.” In 1975-1990 Zuma lived outside South Africa - the apartheid regime fought hard against political opponents from the ANC and the SACA, so most prominent opposition figures emigrated to neighboring countries. Zuma lived in Swaziland, Zambia and Mozambique. In 1990, he returned to his homeland, and already in 1999, he was appointed Vice President of South Africa under President Thabo Mbeki. In 2009, Mr. Jacob Zuma was elected President of South Africa. His political views can be described as African nationalism, in some aspects even bordering on “black racism”. It should be understood that the formation of Zuma as a policy took place in the 1950-1970-s, when the African National Congress waged a stubborn struggle against the apartheid regime, with which the entire "white" population of the country was associated. In those years, which entered the history of the world as the era of the decolonization of Africa, various afronationalistic theories spread on the continent, based on the concept of “Negro exclusivity”. In milder or more rigid forms, but African nationalism and even “black racism” were preached by very many postcolonial politicians of the continent - both those who were oriented towards cooperation with the West and pro-Soviet supporters of the so-called. "Socialist orientation". But then afronationalism began to gradually go out of fashion, and African politicians became more and more pragmatic.
Against this background, Jacob Zuma is one of the most ardent supporters of African traditionalism. For example, it is known that he is an official polygamist. Zuma remains loyal to this ancient custom of the Zulus and is proud of it in every way. Back in 1973, 31-year-old Zuma first married Gertrude Sisakele Hualo, then Kate Zuma (she died in the 2000 year). The third wife was Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, with whom the president, however, divorced. The fourth wife is Nompumela Ntuli, whom Zuma married in 2007. In 2010, Zuma concluded another marriage with Tobeka Madiba, and in 2012, the 70-year-old president married Gloria Bongi Nguema. It is known that Jacob Zuma - 18 own children, which is not surprising with so many wives. However, despite the fact that the president strongly emphasizes his loyalty to the ancient Zulu traditions, according to opinion polls, over 50% of South Africans oppose polygamy. Among women, the number of those who are dissatisfied with polygamy reaches 83% of respondents. This is to be expected, given that not all South Africans are committed to African traditional beliefs. Many are Christian believers, Protestants or Catholics, whom religion forbids polygamy.
A quarter of a century, after the transfer of power in South Africa to the African National Congress, changed this distant state beyond recognition. If before the start of 1990's. South Africa was considered one of the last strongholds of the “white” right-wing movement, subjected to harsh criticism from both the Soviet Union and socialist countries, and from European and American liberal circles, then after the ANC came to power, African nationalism became the ideology of the state. Of course, in South Africa it turned out to be softer than in neighboring Zimbabwe, where Robert Mugabe pursues a policy in the spirit of the most radical version of black nationalism. But, nevertheless, at the level of the socio-economic development of South Africa, the political transformation of power was very serious. The point is not that Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki or Jacob Zuma were somehow seriously different from other African leaders for the worse. Rather, on the contrary, they were more civilized at first glance, and South Africa managed to avoid the numerous military coups that accompanied the lives of countries like Nigeria, or brutal dictatorships like the Kamuzu Banda regimes in Malawi or Mobutu Sese Seko in Zaire. But the socio-economic development of the country seriously slowed down. That is what his opponents blame Jacob Zuma. It should be noted here that the problems of South Africa lie not so much in the plane of corruption and abuse of power, or its irremovability, but in the features of the political paradigm that after the transfer of power to the ANC began to dominate the life of the country.
Contrary to the information that the Soviet press distributed at one time, in fact the West (namely, the United States and Great Britain) not only did not seek to support the apartheid regime, but also to the 1980 years. turned into his tough opponents. The “White” South Africa represented a certain danger for the West — first of all, as a dynamically developing country with a strong economy and, most importantly, an alternative ideology that did not fit into the concept of a “new world order”. It would be more convenient to plunder the rich natural resources of South Africa if new “black” elites came to power in South Africa. Then the republic could be easily transformed into a semi-colony, with which most of the African countries remained after decolonization. Statistics about what happened in South Africa after the transfer of power to the ANC are best told. Of course, during apartheid, life for Africans in the republic was not sugar, but after the ANC victory, it worsened many times - not only for the “whites” who lost their dominant positions in the political life of the state, but also for the overwhelming majority of the “blacks”. Only the African clan elites won, who were at the helm of power and those benefits that they could not have dreamed of before. The destruction of the old South Africa was carried out with the help of the West, which directly patronized the leaders of the ANC, especially Nelson Mandela. The world media turned Nelson Mandela into a real hero, he was given the Nobel Prize, although it is not very clear how Mandela turned out to be better than other leaders of African national liberation movements - say, Robert Mugabe, Agostinho Neto or Zamora Machel.
During the time of the ANC, the social and economic situation of a significant part of the population has seriously deteriorated. Thus, the unemployment rate increased, the number of citizens living below the poverty line remained the same. The biggest problem in South Africa is the AIDS epidemic, due to which the level of life expectancy in the country for twenty years declined by almost a decade - from 60 years in 1995 year to 50 years in 2012 year. The epidemic has not spared even the family of Nelson Mandela himself - his son died of AIDS. It is with the social and economic problems of the country that a significant part of the population of South Africa is dissatisfied.
Zuma is trying to improve the financial situation of the black citizens, following the path of his colleague, President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe. In March, 2017 of Zuma called for the nationalization of the land ownership of all white landowners in South Africa. For a long time, the country's agriculture developed thanks to white farmers. The Boers have long become the indigenous people of South Africa - they have been living here for centuries, since the 17th century, and, in fairness, they should have the same rights as Africans - the Bantu. Moreover, the Bantu also originally came to the lands of South Africa, pushing into the desert areas or destroying the aboriginal population - the Khoisan tribes (Bushmen and Hottentots). In the development of the country's economy, the Boers played a crucial role. But Zuma and his supporters seek to ignore this aspect of South African history. Moreover, Zuma calls for the nationalization of land belonging to farmers of European descent, without paying compensation. According to the South African leadership, this will be the restoration of historical justice for the black population. However, what awaits South African agriculture in this case is easily illustrated by the example of neighboring Zimbabwe.
However, many analysts believe that Zuma's words about land expropriation are ordinary populism, the purpose of which is to weaken the position of the radical leftist critics of the regime. But at the same time, the concern of the white population of South Africa is understandable with such statements. It is worth noting that in 25 years, almost a million people left South Africa - mostly they were people of European descent who fled from the increase in violence and crime in the country. Crime situation in South Africa in 1990 - 2000 - really seriously worsened.
So, Johannesburg, one of the largest economic and cultural centers of South Africa, after the transfer of power to the ANC, experienced a serious decline in its development. The business center of the city was actually abandoned and quickly turned into a habitat for marginal elements. Measures to improve the economic situation and social climate in Johannesburg have not yielded significant results - it continues to be one of the most criminally dangerous cities on the African continent. Criminalization and marginalization of South African society have contributed to a significant increase in unemployment, and a constant increase in population amid a progressive deterioration in the economic situation of most African families, and a decrease in the efficiency of police units. At the same time, when it comes to the interests of members of the elite, here the police act extremely promptly and effectively, without disregarding the use of firearms. weapons against unarmed people. For example, 16 August 2012. Police shot striking miners in Marikan. Then 34 people died, and they were shot in the back, i.e. the police self-defense version was immediately dismissed. The public blamed the vice president and prominent industrialist Matamela Cyril Ramafos, one of the most influential politicians in South Africa, for involvement in the murders in Marikana.
However, it would be naive to assume that the West, which is increasingly criticizing Zuma, is really concerned about the level of corruption, economic development, or the social problems of black and white South Africans. Much more, the United States and Great Britain are worried about Zuma’s attempts to pursue a relatively independent policy, at least to create the appearance of such a policy. It is known that Zuma has always emphasized the friendly attitude towards Russia and did not abandon this position even after the “Crimean Spring” and the reunification of the Crimea with Russia. This is not surprising - a tribute to the good old tradition. After all, the Soviet Union provided the most serious support to the African National Congress. The ANC fighters trained on the territory of the Soviet Union, including at a special military school in Crimea, where partisans and revolutionaries from African and Asian countries received training. During the presidency of Nelson Mandela, South Africa focused more on cooperation with Western countries, but with Thabo Mbeki and, especially, under Jacob Zuma, certain changes took place in the country's foreign policy. Zuma has repeatedly positively assessed the activities of BRICS as a very promising in economic terms unification. In addition, South Africa opposed the excessive American presence on the African continent. Finally, Zuma has repeatedly spoken out against sexual minorities, which also doesn’t like the West very much, for which this issue has of fundamental ideological importance in recent years.
However, the opposition, opposing President Jacob Zuma, is the same African nationalists, often - even more radical views, because they are “out of work”. One of the leaders of the protests - the head of the movement "Fighters for Economic Freedom" Julius Malema, known for his radical statements. It was Malema who first spoke about the need for land expropriation from white farmers, and Zuma took this rhetoric later, in order to win over part of the electorate from the Fighters for Economic Freedom. Maleme also publicly sang the song “Kill the Boers”, he openly admires the policies of Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe and advocates for the nationalization of banks and the energy sector.
Malema’s main electorate is a radical youth, dissatisfied with their deplorable social position and lack of opportunities for upward mobility. "Disgruntled" young people expect to overthrow the current elite of South Africa and take the reins of government in their hands. So it makes no sense for the West to support Malem, who adheres to even more radical positions than Zuma. The only reason for supporting opposition speeches in South Africa can only be the desire to “maydanize” the South African political situation with the aim of further destroying the national economy.