President Jacob Zuma.

Johannesburg - South Africa’s ruling party in Gauteng, the nation’s richest province, said it backs President Jacob Zuma in this year’s election, even after members were accused of booing him in front of global leaders last month.

The African National Congress and its allies “have full confidence in the leadership of President Jacob Zuma,” David Makhura, provincial secretary told reporters in Johannesburg.

Zuma, 71, was jeered by a crowd of tens of thousands attending a memorial service in Johannesburg for former President Nelson Mandela on December 10.

The Gauteng branch of the ANC was one of three provincial affiliates of the party that didn’t vote for Zuma as ANC leader in December 2012.

“We reiterate the strong condemnation of the booing,” Makhura said.

The ANC, which has won every vote since the first multiracial election in 1994 with more than 60 percent of the vote, may face a drop in support this year amid discontent over a 25 percent jobless rate and a series of corruption scandals.

Gauteng province includes the commercial hub of Johannesburg, which is home to 48 percent of the more than 600 South Africans with net assets of at least $30 million, a newspaper said yesterday, citing a report by consultancy New World Wealth. - Bloomberg News