Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma has survived one scandal after another during his career.
Before taking office, Zuma was acquitted in 2006 on charges of raping an HIV-positive woman, based on his testimony that the sex was consensual.
CLEARING WAY FOR 2009 WIN
A court challenge is currently under way to reinstate 783 corruption charges against Zuma that were dropped shortly before the ANC won the 2009 elections. The charges are related to a multimillion-dollar arms deal signed in 1999 when Zuma was deputy president. The charges were dropped by prosecutors arguing that the case was politically motivated.
Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela ruled in 2014 that Zuma had unduly used taxpayers’ money for upgrades to his Nkandla homestead. Zuma defeated impeachment proceedings over the scandal in April 2016, but was ordered by the Constitutional Court and the Treasury to repay the government R7.8 million.
Later this year, Zuma came under fire over alleged influence-peddling involving the Gupta family, known to be close to the president, which reportedly secured government tenders and even influenced ministerial appointments. Earlier this month, Madonsela released a report calling for a judicial investigation into the allegations. Zuma has vowed to challenge the report in court.
FINANCE MINISTER WHO?
In December 2015, Zuma suddenly fired finance minister Nhlanhla Nene, replacing him with uknown legislator Des van Rooyen. The appointment sparked an outcry, which forced Zuma to replace the parliamentarian with former finance minister Pravin Gordhan within a few days. The rapid changes of finance ministers undermined investor confidence and sent the rand into a freefall.
TROUBLE WITH THE ICC
In March 2016, the Supreme Court of Appeal upheld a judgment that Zuma’s government had acted illegally when failing to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court, when he was attending an African Union summit in Joburg in 2015.