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Vol 52 No 14

Published 8th July 2011

South Africa

Zuma and the securocrats

Loyalists in crucial security positions are key to Zuma’s bid for a second term in office

President Jacob Zuma’s intention to stand for a second presidential term next year has divided the ramshackle coalition which controls the governing African National Congress. Since the coalition no longer shares what previously united it – dislike of former President Thabo Mbeki – it threatens to splinter in all directions. However, few of Zuma’s opponents and would-be rivals have reckoned on the value to him of the organs of state security. This is a key realm for him to maintain influence over, especially if, as many ANC members say, one of Zuma’s main purposes in seeking a second term is to make sure he will face no criminal charges when he leaves office.

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