Publication: Mail and Guardian Issued: Date: 2004-10-10 Reporter: Sapa

A Third of SA Thinks Zuma is Innocent, says Poll



Mail and Guardian

Date 2004-10-10



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One in three South Africans believes that Deputy President Jacob Zuma is innocent of allegations of fraud related to the arms deal, while one in five believes he is linked to corruption in some way, a new Markinor survey has found.

The survey, which Markinor conducts every six months, showed that 34% of South Africans "strongly agreed" that Zuma is innocent of the allegations of corruption.

The survey was released on Sunday as the trial against Zuma's financial adviser Schabir Shaik is set to begin in the Durban High Court on Monday.

Twenty-one percent believed that Zuma is guilty, while the remainder did not express an opinion.

The survey found that 35% of South Africans believed the allegations are an attempt to discredit Zuma. Only 22% disagreed.

The fieldwork for the poll was conducted between April 19 and May 27 this year, when personal in-home interviews were conducted with 3 500 randomly selected South Africans from all walks of life.

The survey also found that Zuma's popularity had increased by 17% in the six months since November 2003.

In February this year, 57% of South Africans felt he was performing "very well" or "fairly well".

The survey said some of this increased popularity was due to the optimism gripping the electorate at election time.

The poll also found that Zuma drew 77% of his support from the black community, 44% from the coloured community, 37% from the Indian community and 23% from the white community.

With acknowledgements to Sapa and the Mail & Guardian.