The Christian Science Monitor

Presidential limbo in South Africa: Why Zuma's appeal persists

“Uuuummmshini wam, uuuummmmshini wam!”

On a hot day last December, the familiar melody rippled across the cavernous hall, pulling delegates at the convention of South Africa’s ruling party to their feet with whoops and cheers. The tune was an old anti-apartheid struggle song, “Awulethu Umshini Wami” – “Bring Me My Machine Gun” – and it was being led by the man who had made it famous again: the country’s president, Jacob Zuma.

As Mr. Zuma’s deep, gleeful voice belted across the room, the moment seemed to encapsulate the strange turning point at which his party, the African National Congress, suddenly found itself.

On the one hand, Zuma, whose administration has been scarred by corruption and economic mismanagement, was quickly becoming a pariah within the ANC, which has ruled

Party future on the lineControversial 'everyman''Things just started spiraling'

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