Jacob Zuma, leader of the African National Congress and former deputy president of South Africa discusses South Africa's role in addressing regional challenges and his thoughts about the country's future. After the forced resignation of South African President Thabo Mbeki in September, and the subsequent departure of several cabinet members, it is widely expected that Jacob Zuma will fill South Africa's presidential seat in upcoming elections.
Late April saw a letter from President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa to President Bush, angrily condemning the U.S. for taking sides against Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. Michael Gerson points out that this is just one of many examples of the South African president’s apparent endorsement of regimes that violate human rights.
Francis Kornegay, senior researcher at the Center for Policy Studies in Johannesburg, and Tom Wheeler, research fellow at the South African Institute of International Affairs, debate whether South Africa is living up to its responsibility as Africa’s leader.
Despite remarkable progress since the end of apartheid, South Africa today is badly wracked by AIDS and severe wealth inequalities, with a leadership still fixated on racial struggle. After more than a decade in power, the ANC has yet to reconcile its various ambitions: curbing racism, promoting political participation, and advancing the interests of all South Africans.
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