Zuma dodges attacks on leadership

November 16, 2012 - 1:11:06 am

CAPE TOWN: South African President Jacob Zuma hit back at accusations he is failing the county before a raucous parliamentary hearing  yesterday, hours after allies torpedoed attempts to censure him.

Facing accusations he mismanaged the economy, was absent during deadly labour unrest and wasted millions of taxpayers’ money on upgrading a private residence, a visibly angered Zuma struck back.

He described allegations that South Africa was  leaderless as “totally out of order. There’s a leadership in this country,” he said. “There’s a leadership in government, there’s a leadership in society.” It was a rare flash of steel for the normally jovial leader. In one month Zuma faces the ANC’s electoral conference, which will go a long way toward decided whether he remains president of Africa’s largest economy for another five years.

That December meeting may yet bring a leadership challenge from within the ANC, but first he faced one of the most bruising days of his political life.

Early in the morning, ANC parliamentarians managed to stop a debate on a motion of no confidence, before a debate could take place. AFP