President Jacob Zuma is the current president of South Africa, and has been since 2009. He is also the president of the African National Congress (ANC). He is quite an interesting character. President Zuma was re-elected in the 2014 election.
“Here is a list of the top 5 most interesting things you probably didn’t know about President Jacob Zuma”.
6. Soviet Union training.
Pres. Jacob Zuma has Soviet Union training. He began engaging in politics at age 17 .
According to a short autobiography Pres. Zuma wrote when he was part of the South African Communist Party, he received military training in the Soviet Union before joining the African National Congress’ feared Department of Intelligence as the Head of Intelligence.
He became a member of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the militant arm of ANC, in 1962. He joined the South African Communist Party (SACP) in 1963. It was while he was a member of the Communist party that he received military training in the Soviet Union.
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Pres. Jacob Zuma’s dysfunctional family made sure he had no formal education as a child. His father, a policeman, died at the end of World-War II when Zuma was five years old. After his father’s death, his mother took up employment as a domestic worker.
Consequently he had no form of education as he had to support his mother (the second wife of his father). He taught himself to read and write Zulu in the bush. Be that as it may, it did not stop him from learning other languages. Other than Zulu, he speaks French, Russian, Portuguese, Swahili and Xhosa fluently according to the same biography.
President Jacob Zuma has more than 750 corruption charges leveled against him.
- Corruption allegations.
He was plagued by corruption and rape allegations. In 1999, while he was Executive Deputy President of South Africa. He faced corruption charges for an alleged mismanagement of 29 million rand that was said to have been used for strategic arms such as planes, boats, submarines and helicopters. The charges were later dropped in 2003. He was however placed in the lime light again after his financial advisor was convicted of corruption, financial irregularities and fraud. As a result, Thabo Mbeki, then the South African President, fired him from his position as Executive Deputy President.
- Rape charge.
He once faced rape charges in 2005 after a woman claimed that he raped her in his home. After pleading guilty, he stood trial. It was during this period that he was criticized for his ignorance about HIV/AIDS after he claimed that he had a shower after having unprotected sex with his accuser, so that he could avoid contracting the disease. The judge eventually acquitted Pres. Jacob Zuma of the charges. His corruption charges were also later thrown out of court because of lack of substantial evidence.
Read also : Pres. Zuma is Commander-in-chief of corruption.
3. Prison term.
He was imprisoned on Robben Island for 10 years. In 1963, Zuma was arrested along with 45 recruits of the ANC. They were convicted of conspiring to overthrow the apartheid government and were consequently sentenced to serve time on Robben Island along with Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki and other prominent ANC leaders. While on Robben Island, he served as a referee for the prisoners’ association football games which were organised by the prisoners’ governing body, Makana F.A.
President Zuma wrote in the same biography that Mbeki taught him how to use a gun and had a huge impact on his involvement in political activism after his release.
2. Married to four women and 21 estimated number of children.
President Zuma is a self-proclaimed polygamist and is married to four women; Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and others. He has been married a total number of six times, but remains married to four women as one of his spouses died, and he divorced another. In 2003, he paid a dowry of 10 cattles to ask for the hand of Princess Sebentile Dlamin of Swazi. She is expected to become his fifth wife. The Swazi royal family is disgruntled because he never made any further preparations to marry the Princess since he paid the dowry.
President Zuma has not less than 20 children from his numerous wives and concubines.
1. 4th highest paid Head of State in the World.
President Jacob Zuma is the 4th Highest paid President in the world. His annual salary surpasses heads of state from countries wealthier than South Africa.
Based on annual salary, Pres Zuma takes home R2.75 million per year which makes him the fourth highest paid after Germany’s leader Joachim Gauck, Justin Trudeau of Canada and US president Barack Obama who leads the pack.
Zuma earns about R100 000 more than United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Theresa May and about R250 000 more than Japan’s Shinzo Abe.
Other things about president Zuma that are worthy of mentioning are :
- Mozambique deportation.
- His Political low point.
- His Political high point.
- Full names and meaning.
NB : This article was written by a content writer.