In a rundown squatter camp just outside Pretoria, Casandra Nell, an Afrikaner, is in no doubt who she wants to be South Africa’s next President. “Zuma, Zuma, Zuma,” she repeats with a toothless grin accompanied by a little jig.
It is a remarkable testimony to the political charm of Jacob Zuma, who will be inaugurated today as the fourth black President of South Africa, that even the country’s growing band of poor whites — the greatest losers since the end of apartheid — pin their hopes of a better life on a Zulu goatherd turned liberation struggle commander, whose election rally song, Umshini Wam, translates as “Bring me my machinegun”.
“He came here to see us and promised water and electricity. He will come back when he is President, I am sure. If not, I will go to his office and see him. He said I can come and visit anytime,” Ms Nell said.
Mr Zuma was shocked at the poverty that he saw when he visited the camp a few months ago. Most black leaders deny the existence of real poverty among poorly educated, unskilled whites who used to get menial jobs simply because of their colour.
Category: South Africa/Zimbabwe
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