Is he mentally fit to be president?

South Africa’s Jacob Zuma: Cows slaughtered for re-election

Jacob Zuma risks being challenged by his deputy, Kgalema Motlanthe

 

South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has appealed to his ancestors to help him hold on to the leadership of the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

Mr Zuma attended a ceremony at his village on Sunday, where 12 cattle were slaughtered and incense burnt as people prayed for his re-election.

His opponents are pushing for him to be ousted as ANC leader at the party’s conference next month.

Mr Zuma, a polygamist with 21 children, is a well-known Zulu traditionalist.

He beat his predecessor Thabo Mbeki in a bitterly contested election in 2007 for the leadership of the ANC.

Spear and shield

He later forced Mr Mbeki to resign as South Africa’s president, installing Kgalema Motlanthe as caretaker leader until the 2009 general election, when he took power.

The ANC’s influential youth wing and several government ministers are now campaigning for Mr Motlanthe, the deputy president, to run against Mr Zuma at the ANC conference in Mangaung next month.

The Zuma family slaughtered 12 cattle and burnt incense at a traditional ceremony at their village in Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal province on Sunday to appeal to the ancestors to guide him ahead of the elections.

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Opinion:

I’m not worried about his polygamy, but the belief that slaughtering cattle will ensure his reelection… that just doesn’t sit well.

Beliefs like this in this day an age to me represents an unbalanced mind.

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