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Jacob's Ladder
June 3, 2009 4:14 PM   Subscribe

Jacob's Ladder. Jacob Zuma is a former goatherd, a master of traditional Zulu stick-fighting, a resistance hero, a one-time spymaster, a graceful dancer, and the father of some 20 children. He has been tried for rape and indicted for corruption, racketeering, and fraud. He has been called the next Mandela and the next Mugabe, a black Jesus and a crass rube. A profile of South Africa's recently elected president.
posted by lullaby (22 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow, South Africa's really going downhill with the presidents there, huh?

From Mandela to Aids denier and Mugabe pal Mbeki and now this guy. Democracy FTW.
posted by leotrotsky at 4:18 PM on June 3, 2009


Ah, apparently a polygamist too. lovely.
posted by leotrotsky at 4:22 PM on June 3, 2009


ssh. Don't let the poly hear you say that.
posted by dunkadunc at 4:31 PM on June 3, 2009


gah. "poly people".
posted by dunkadunc at 4:32 PM on June 3, 2009


Yeah, gonna have to draw a distinction between people choosing polyamory as a life decision, mindfully working through their issues of jealousy in order to have deep relationships with multiple partners

...and taking advantage of retrograde sexist social norms to have multiple marriages whilst still having unprotected sex (or rape!) with HIV+ women.

It's a small one, I'll grant.
posted by leotrotsky at 4:40 PM on June 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


What is the etiquette on SLAM(single link Atlantic Monthly) posts?
posted by christhelongtimelurker at 4:48 PM on June 3, 2009


SLAM! Duh-duhh-duh, duh-duhh-duh, let the posts be posts!
posted by box at 4:56 PM on June 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wow, finally, a country where a one-time spymaster can become president!
posted by graventy at 5:25 PM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


When I read "spymaster" I thought "viewmaster," and now I'm disappointed. A Viewmaster would've been way cooler. :(
posted by katillathehun at 5:48 PM on June 3, 2009


At least he's not an HIV denialist like Mbeki. On the other hand he did have unprotected sex with an HIV+ woman. So, uh, there's that.
posted by delmoi at 6:25 PM on June 3, 2009


What's wrong with polygamy?
posted by sien at 6:27 PM on June 3, 2009


Also, Mbeki coddled Mugabe (Zimbabwe is directly to the north of South Africa) and Zuma has taken a tougher stance on Mugabe
posted by delmoi at 6:34 PM on June 3, 2009


What's wrong with polygamy?

Nothing, when it's a equally loving dynamic structure entered into by all parties willingly, without gender bias. Unfortunately, that's not what this is - this is polygyny, which consists of a single male collecting several wives like pokemon and is almost always an unequal control structure.
posted by FatherDagon at 6:46 PM on June 3, 2009


I don't know where to stand on Zuma just yet. From what I've seen, he's a pretty contemptible human being, but a decent politician who plays the center while keeping more radical elements of his base happy. Reconciling South Africa the Industrial Powerhouse with South Africa the desperately impoverished is a tricky, tricky thing to do... and he's coming on the heels of an ineffective leader. Zuma's cabinet is centrist and represents interests beyond the ruling coalition, especially on issues of the economy and public health, and he really, really doesn't like non-democratic states. His personal anthem is a battle hymn from his days as a freedom fighter, "Bring me my machine gun!" - but he's given it up, to ram home the message that the time for fighting is done.

So, I think he might be the leader South Africa needs right now, but I wouldn't want my daughter interning for him. He might be South Africa's version of King Frederick William - a great guy to modernize the country, a rotten guy to know.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:40 PM on June 3, 2009


I want to hurl every time I hear about him. I'm interested to see how South Africa will fare under his leadership. If I only had superpowers.
posted by Flex1970 at 9:07 PM on June 3, 2009


Isn't this the guy who try to wash HIV off in the shower?
posted by jdotglenn at 11:56 PM on June 3, 2009


Isn't this the guy who try to wash HIV off in the shower?

Hey, at least he believes it causes AIDS, which is more then can be said about his predecessor.
posted by delmoi at 2:21 AM on June 4, 2009


He might be South Africa's version of King Frederick William - a great guy to modernize the country, a rotten guy to know.

Or he might be South Africa's version of Mugabe. Lest anyone miss it in the linked article, here's Zuma singing Umshini Wam(i) following his acquittal on corruption charges in 2006. Not during apartheid, not 10 years ago, but during his problematic rise to power, he sings about his machine gun. Even in condemning the recent xenophobic violence, he still claimed that it "belongs to the ANC."
posted by allkindsoftime at 4:53 AM on June 4, 2009


Or he might be South Africa's version of Mugabe. Lest anyone miss it in the linked article, here's Zuma singing Umshini Wam(i) following his acquittal on corruption charges in 2006.

I don't really see what the big deal is. It's just a song, lots of countries have songs about war, our national anthem talks about "bombs bursting in air" and "rockets red glare"
posted by delmoi at 7:50 AM on June 4, 2009


Isn't this the guy who try to wash HIV off in the shower?

A South African cartoonist Zapiro has published some cartoons portraying Zuma with a showerhead attached to his head since that comment. Here's a news story from a few weeks ago about him "removing" the showerhead, but if you scroll down, it also shows two other cartoons that caused controversy.
posted by lullaby at 9:40 AM on June 4, 2009


@Box aaahahahahahahahahahahahha *cough* hahaahhahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaaa!

Ehrm... god I love metafilter.
posted by MeatLightning at 6:24 PM on June 4, 2009


MeatLightning

This isn't twitter.
posted by delmoi at 1:33 AM on June 5, 2009


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