Publication: Mail and Guardian Issued: Date: 2004-10-22 Reporter: Raymond Nene

Diplomacy Zuma's Strength 1



Mail and Guardian

Date 2004-10-22


Raymond Nene

Web Link


I read Rapule Tabane and Ferial Haffajee's analysis of Jacob Zuma's popularity ("Jacob the underdog", October 15) with interest. Support for Zuma is a very simple matter - he is a very good politician and very easy to like.

I have followed his career closely, and recently attended an imbizo he addressed in Bergville, KwaZulu-Natal. He had tribal chiefs eating out of his hand. Many people find it hard to explain principles and concepts in African languages. Zuma has the ability to come down to rural people's level without making them feel patronised. You heard people saying, "Jan, uZuma yindoda emadodeni" - Zuma is a man among men. This was in deep Inkatha Freedom Party territory.

Given my personal financial position, it is easy to sympathise with him. Having a top man struggle financially, albeit on a grander scale, will surely strike a chord with many people.

Most importantly, I still think Zuma would make a good president because of his fine diplomatic skills. We have capable departments to look after fiscal discipline.

With acknowledgements to Raymond Nene and the Mail & Guardian.