In two weeks South African party leader Jacob Zuma will, in all probability, be reelected head of the African National Congress, tantamount to assuring him the presidency for another 5 years.
South Africa's ruling party, by reelecting Zuma, is tempting fate, because Zuma's leadership is being increasingly assailed as the South African leader is bogged is beset by financial scandal.
It has recently emerged that the president's friends and businessmen effectively bailed out the bankrupt then-deputy president whose expenses were way above his salary and who then proceeded to do massive renovations in his homestead.
A major donor was a Durban businessman by the name of Schabir Shaik, now imprisoned, who was a go-between between Zuma and the French arms manufacturing giant Thomson. According to the financial auditing firm KPMG, this is the explanation of how the South African president was able to finance his home. According to the firm, Zuma received 783 payments from Shaik worth over R4 million.
All these scandals will not prevent Zuma from winning 6 out of 9 regions in the party vote in order to secure a majority. The ANC, as the party that ended the apartheid regime in South Africa, should still command a majority of support in the elections.
What is expected to change is the margin of the victory, with the ANC falling below 60% of the vote for the first time since the end of apartheid. According to a recent poll, many in the ANC are not certain about the party's direction. Some leaders are quietly hoping that the party is chastened without losing power, thus undermining Zuma.
The business community in South Africa supports Zuma because he is a bulwark against calls for nationalization raised by Africans who feel that they have been left behind since majority rule was instituted in South Africa.