Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Jacob Zuma, GCB- President of South Africa
Jacob Zuma, GCB is the President of South Africa, elected by parliament following his party's victory in the 2009 general election. He was reelected in the 2014 election. Zuma is the President of the African National Congress (ANC), the governing political party, and was Deputy President of South Africa from 1999 to 2005. Zuma began engaging in politics at an early age and joined the African National Congress in 1959. He became an active member of Umkhonto we Sizwe in 1962, following the South African government's banning of the ANC in 1961. Zuma joined the South African Communist Party (SACP) in 1963. That year, he was arrested with a group of 45 recruits near Zeerust in the western Transvaal, currently part of the North West Province. Convicted of conspiring to overthrow the Apartheid government, a government led by white minorities, Zuma was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment, which he served on Robben Island with Nelson Mandela and other notable ANC leaders also imprisoned during this time. Following the end of the ban on the ANC in February 1990, Zuma was one of the first ANC leaders to return to South Africa to begin the process of negotiations. In terms of party tradition, as the deputy president of the ANC, Zuma was already in line to succeed Mbeki. The party structures held their nominations conferences in October and November 2007, where Zuma appeared favourite for the post of ANC President, and, by implication, the President of South Africa in 2009. He was reelected in the 2014 election.