Africa News blog

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The Cape of storms?

South African opposition leader Helen Zille has not endeared herself to the majority of voters who recently handed the ruling African National Congress a landslide victory in the national polls.

Zille came under fire from her political enemies for her appointment of a predominantly white and almost completely male cabinet in the Western Cape, the province where her DA party took power from the ANC.

She retaliated by attacking President Jacob Zuma, calling him a “self-confessed womaniser with deeply sexist views, who put all his wives at risk by having unprotected sex with an HIV-positive woman”.

That referred to Zuma’s acknowledgement that he had such contact during a trial on rape charges of which he was acquitted. The row has ended any suggestion that after Zuma’s election, there might be a period of better relations between the government and opposition.

Can Zuma live up to unity pledge?

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Pledging to work for national unity is pretty much a formality for any election winner, but in the case of South Africa’s Jacob Zuma it may be more than a platitude. It may need to be.

“The new President of the Republic will be a president for all, and he will work to unite the country around a programme of action that will see an improvement in the delivery of services,” Zuma said after the African National Congress won its sweeping victory.

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