Former presidents Jacob Zuma, Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, during happier times for the ANC in 2008. Picture: Kim Ludbrook/EPA/African News Agency
JOHANNESBURG - Jacob Zuma will perhaps be a polorising figure in South African history as his legacy begins to reveal itself. 

Business Report provides a timeline of his time in office and some of his major "milestones".

MAY 2009: Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma takes his first oath of office on growing sentiment that he is a unifier and a man of the people - unlike his “aloof” predecessor Thabo Mbeki.

NOVEMBER 2011: Reports emerge that at least R60million of taxpayers’ money has been spent on Zuma’s security upgrades at his private homestead in Nkandla. The rand firms to R8.52 against the US dollar.

MARCH 2014: Former public protector Thuli Madonsela releases a report detailing how Zuma and his family unduly benefited from non-security upgrades amounting to R246m, and orders him to pay back the money. The rand drops to R10.76/$.

MAY 2014: Zuma takes his second oath of office in May. The rand is R10.35/$.

DECEMBER 2015: In his administration defining moment, Zuma fires Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene and replaces him with backbencher Des van Rooyen. The rand falls 5percent to its lowest level yet, hitting R15.38 against the dollar. The stock market wipes off R170billion. After four days, Van Rooyen is replaced by a Treasury old hand, Pravin Gordhan.

JANUARY 2016: Zuma defends his unpopular decision to fire Nene in January, saying it was a “gross exaggeration” that it had crashed the economy. The rand plunges to R16.74/$.

MARCH 2016: the Constitutional Court rules that Zuma violated the constitution and broke his oath of office when he refused to comply with Madonsela’s recommendations over the Nkandla security upgrades. The rand strengthens to R15.53/$.

JULY 2016: Zuma begs South Africa to allow him six full months as a dictator to solve the unemployment crisis.

MARCH 2017: Zuma fires Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas and replaces them with Malusi Gigaba and Sfiso Buthelezi respectively. The rand tanks to R13.36/$, a devaluation of 4.4 percent in less than six hours.

APRIL 2017: Fitch downgrades South Africa’s credit ratings to junk status weeks after Gordhan’s axing.

MAY 2017: GuptaLeaks reveal how the Gupta family calls the shots on cabinet appointments and the boards of state-owned entities. The rand weakens further to R13.61/$.

NOVEMBER 2017: S&P Global downgrades SA’s credit rating to junk status, citing political uncertainty as the main reason, sending the rand tumbling. Another ratings agency, Moody’s, puts the country on review for a downgrade.

DECEMBER 2017: Zuma’s ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma loses the ANC presidential race to Cyril Ramaphosa. The rand firms to R12.72/$.

JANUARY 2018: The BCI improves 3.3 index points to 99.7points, moving closer to levels last seen before Nene’s unceremonious axing. The International Monetary Fund revises SA’s growth prospects for 2018 and 2019 down to 0.9 percent for each year, after the previous forecasts of 1.1 percent for 2018 and 1.6 percent for 2019.

FEBRUARY 2018: Zuma finally resigns after the ANC decides to recall him. The rand roars to R11.66/$.

-BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE