Flashback: 5 of Zuma's biggest scandals

2018-02-13 16:02
President Jacob Zuma. (GCIS)

President Jacob Zuma. (GCIS)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma's battle to stay in office despite the ANC asking him to step down is the latest in a long history of career controversies.

Here are five of his biggest scandals:

Rape charges and HIV

Before taking office, Zuma was put on trial in 2006 for rape, in a case that dismayed many South Africans.

Zuma said the sex with the 31-year-old family friend was consensual and he was acquitted.

But he told the court he had showered to avoid contracting HIV after having unprotected sex with his HIV-positive accuser - a common but dangerous myth.

READ: Zuma's Aids shower comment comes back to haunt him

Zuma was head of the South African National AIDS Council at the time, and was pilloried for his ignorance.

He is still mocked in newspaper cartoons, which often depict him with a shower nozzle sprouting from his bald head.

Nkandla costs

Zuma was found by Office of the Public Protector in 2014 to have "benefited unduly" from so-called security upgrades to his rural Nkandla residence in KwaZulu-Natal. It said he should refund some of the money.

The work, paid for with taxpayers' money, cost about R247m and included a swimming pool, which was described as a fire-fighting facility, a chicken run, a cattle enclosure, an amphitheatre and a visitors' centre.

READ: Zuma pays back R7.8m for Nkandla. Raised funds through PIC-backed VBS Mutual Bank

For two years, Zuma fought the order to repay part of the money. The scandal came to dominate his presidency - with opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) chanting "Pay back the money!" every time he appeared in Parliament.

In March 2016 he was ordered by the Constitutional Court to pay back the cash and suffered a stinging rebuke from the justices who accused him of failing to respect and uphold the constitution.

Guptagate

As the Nkandla debacle built to a climax, its place in the headlines was overtaken by a new scandal, known as Guptagate.

It involved the president's allegedly corrupt relationship with a wealthy family of Indian immigrants headed by three brothers - Ajay, Atul and Rajesh Gupta - who built a business empire in mining, media, technology and engineering.

Smouldering rumours of the family's undue influence on the president burst into flames in 2016 when evidence emerged they allegedly offered key government jobs to those who might help their business interests.

READ: Mcebisi Jonas takes on Ajay Gupta over Saxonwold meeting

Ousted deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas revealed that the Guptas had offered him a promotion shortly before Zuma sacked respected finance minister Nhlanhla Nene in December 2015.

The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) laid corruption charges against the Guptas and Zuma's son Duduzane.

Arms deal

In October 2017, after a marathon legal campaign by the DA party, the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that Zuma was liable for prosecution over almost 800 counts of corruption relating to a 1990s arms deal.

The accusations relate to a multi-billion-dollar arms deal signed in 1999, when Zuma was deputy president. He allegedly accepted bribes from international arms manufacturers to influence the choice of weaponry.

READ: Tribunal hears Zuma era corruption, rooted in apartheid and 1999 arms deals

Zuma's advisor, Schabir Shaik, was jailed for 15 years in 2005. He was released on medical parole in 2009, the year Zuma became president.

After he leaves office, Zuma faces the risk of jail over 18 criminal charges over the 783 payments he received.

Omar al-Bashir

In March 2016 the South African Supreme Court of Appeal upheld a judgment that the failure by Zuma's government to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir was illegal.

Despite an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes in the conflict in Darfur, Bashir was allowed to attend a meeting of the African Union in Johannesburg in 2015.

The government said the fact that he was attending the summit as a head of state meant he had immunity, but the court disagreed.

Zuma escaped an impeachment attempt over the issue in Parliament in September 2016, when ANC MPs voted overwhelmingly against it.

ALSO READ: South Africa should have arrested Al-Bashir - ICC

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma  |  gupta family  |  nkandla upgrades  |  arms deal

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.