Zuma supporters unwavering

2009-04-07 00:00

More than 71% of ANC supporters back party president Jacob Zuma unconditionally, while up to 15% are uneasy and believe that a cloud of suspicion hangs over him.

This is the result of an election poll on perceptions of Jacob Zuma carried out between February and March this year by Ipsos Markinor Polls.

The polling company decided to release it results in light of the decision by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to drop corruption charges against Zuma.

In a statement yesterday, Markinor’s director, Mari Harris, said before the nation goes to the polls April 22, it is imperative to examine what the public think about Zuma and the corruption charges he has become embroiled in.

Key findings of the Markinor poll found that:

•Only 51% of ANC supporters believe that Jacob Zuma is innocent

•34% of ANC supporters feel that Zuma should stand down until his name has been cleared in court

•53% of ANC supporters believe that the whole Zuma affair was a conspiracy by his political enemies to discredit him

•38% of ANC supporters think that Mbeki’s recall was an act of retaliation for what Zuma had to go through in 2005 when he was dismissed as deputy president

•71% of ANC supporters back Zuma unconditionally

•Between 10% and 15% of ANC supporters are very uneasy with Zuma and the cloud of suspicion hanging over him, and this could explain the decline in ANC support across most provinces

•Supporters of the Democratic Alliance and Cope view Zuma in a similar light

•Anti-Zuma sentiment is probably a strong driver of pro-Cope sentiments and supports opinion about the alleged corruption charges, the court case and conspiracies.

An earlier survey done in October last year showed that 62% of ANC supporters expressed unconditional confidence in Zuma.

This amount has increased by nine percent in the latest poll carried out.

The earlier survey also showed that there was strong support for Mbeki among ANC supporters and that South Africans generally did not have confidence in Zuma’s leadership.

The ANC president refuted these claims at the time.

The SABC reported that Zuma had laughed off the Ipsos Markinor polls on the leaders of the organisation, saying the company’s polls have always been off the mark.

According to Markinor, the ANC is still expected to win the election by a significant majority.

An earlier poll suggested that the ANC would score 64,7%, well ahead of the official opposition Democratic Alliance with a predicted 10,8% and the Cope, which is forecast to score only 8,9%.

The ANC won nearly 70% of the vote at the last general election held in 2004.

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