Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma

Life Timeline of Jacob Zuma

1942
12 April, Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma is born in Nkandla in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
1958
Zuma joins the African National Congress (ANC) and through its youth structure the ANC Youth League (ANCYL).
1959
Zuma joins the South African Congress of Trade Unions (SACTU) and becomes actively involved in its activities.
1962
He is introduced to a political study group in Cato Manor (Mkhumbane).
1963
Zuma is recruited by Moses Mabhida into the South African Communist Party (SACP).
June, Zuma is arrested  with a group of 45 uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) recruits as they attempt to leave the country for military training through Zeerust.
He is sentenced to 10 years in prison which he serves on Robben Island, where he serves on ANC structures within the Island.
1973
December, Zuma is released from Robben Island after serving his sentence.
Zuma marries Sizakele Khumalo.
1974
Zuma becomes actively involved in the re-establishment of ANC underground structures in Natal.
1975
December, Zuma leaves the country for Swaziland.
1977
He is co-opted as a member of the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC).
1978
Zuma completes a three month leadership and military training course in the Soviet Union.
1985
Zuma is re-elected to the NEC of the ANC at the Kabwe Conference in Zambia.
1987
January, He is forced to leave Mozambique, and is later appointed as the ANC’s Head of Underground Structures and Chief of the Intelligence Department in Lusaka.
1990
November, Zuma is elected chairperson of the ANC’s Southern Natal region.
1991
He is elected as the Deputy Secretary General at the first ANC conference to be held in South Africa since the party was banned.
1993
Zuma becomes involved in negotiations between the ANC and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) in attempt to find a solution to political violence in Natal.
1994
January, Zuma is nominated as the ANC candidate for the Premiership of Natal.
December, He is elected National Chairperson of the ANC and as Chairperson of the ANC in Natal.
1997
December, Zuma is later elected as the ANC’s Deputy President at its National Conference held at Mafikeng.
1999
Zuma is appointed as Deputy President of South Africa.
2002
Zuma takes over from Nelson Mandela as facilitator in the Burundi peace process.
5 December, He travels to New York to brief the United Nations Security Council on the Burundi peace process.
2003
July, Zuma begins a visit to theGreat Lakes region in an effort to find a solution to the conflict in Burundi.
2005
14 June, Jacob Zuma is dismissed as the Deputy President of the country but remains as Deputy President of the ANC.
August, The Scorpions, a South African elite crime fighting unit, raids two private residential houses of Jacob Zuma, in Johannesburg and at Inkandla, including offices of his lawyers in Durban and Johannesburg.
December, Zuma is charged formally with rape, after a woman, who slept for a night at his residence, files charges with the police.
2006
6 March, The trial of Jacob Zuma, charged on allegations of rape, begins. 
May, Jacob Zuma is acquitted of rape charges levelled against him at Johannesburg High Court.
2007
November, The South African Court of Appeal rules that raids on Zuma’s home and office, conducted by Scorpions, were legal.  This paves way for the reinstatement of corruption charges.
December, Zuma is elected as the President of the ANC at the party’s national conference in Polokwane, Limpopo.
2008
January, Zuma marries Nompumelelo Ntuli.  
12 September, Judge Chris Nicholson dismisses charges of corruption levelled against Zuma citing political interference as the reason.
2009
6 May, The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) withdraws all 16 charges against Zuma in the Durban High Court.
 9 May, Zuma is inaugurated as President of the Republic of South Africa at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
3 June, Zuma gives his first State of the Nation address at a joint sitting in Parliament.
2010
January, Zuma marries Tobeka Madiba.  It emerges later in January that Zuma has also fathered a child with Sonono Khoza, the daughter of Irvin Khoza,chairman of the soccer World Cup local organising committee.
December, Zuma files a lawsuit against AVUSA Media and South African cartoonist Zapiro for R5 million for a cartoon depicting Zuma preparing to rape Lady Justice.
2011
10 February, Zuma delivers the State of the Nation Address.
28 November, Zuma addresses delegates and visiting heads of state at the opening of the opening of COP 17, a conference on Climate change held in Durban.
2012
8 January, The ANC celebrates its centenary in Bloemfontein, and Jacob Zuma delivers his address.  
April, Jacob Zuma marries his fourth wife Bongi Ngema at a traditional wedding ceremony known in Nkandla.
August, Zuma announces the terms of reference for the Judicial Commission of Inquiryto investigate events that led to the death of 44 people at Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine.
September, Zuma addresses COSATU delegates at its congress in Gallagher Estate. 
2015
December
09 – President Jacob Zuma removes finance minister Nhlanhla Nene and replaces him with David “Des” van Rooyen. The immediate aftermath of this action has the South African Rand dropping to less than R15 to the US dollar. It is felt that Nene’s dismissal was a result of his unwillingness to sign off on the controversial Russian-South African nuclear deal that had been brokered by Zuma and President Putin of Russia.
11 – Zuma states that he let Nene go as he plans to nominate him to the position of head of the African Regional Centre of the New Development Bank/BRICS Bank. (As of 11 December 2016 this has yet to happen and Nene has said he has never received any further information regarding this position beyond Zuma’s media statements.)
12 – The Twitter hashtag #zumamustfall quickly becomes the highest trending topic and remains popular throughout 2016.
13 – After four days of protest at various levels as well as a plummeting currency Zuma replaces van Rooyen with ex-finance minister and former head of SARS Pravin Gordhan who is currently co-operative governance minister. Van Rooyen takes over Gordhan’s position. This is seen as Zuma capitulating to bring in someone who is not seen as a crony of his and will protect the treasury.   
18 – Small Business Minister Lindiwe Zulu comes out in defence of Zuma and his decisions regarding the dismissing of Nene and claims that the sharp drop in the economy that followed was a result of a conspiracy by business leaders who were opposed to him. This is largely derided.
21 – Former Finance Minister Trevor Manual comments on the dismissal of Nene saying a hidden hand was involved. This seems aimed at the Gupta family who had been accused on many occasions of having a corrupt relationship with Zuma and others.
23 – Enoch Godongwana the ANC’s head of economic transformation challenges senior party members including Lindiwe Zulu to provide evidence to back up the allegations that there is a plot against Zuma by business leaders among others.
2016
January
8 – Zuma delivers the annual 8 January ANC statement. Responses are mixed with all but his most enthusiastic supporters unenthused.
11 – In an interview with ENCA Zuma states that people overreacted to Nene’s removal and that the economy was already in decline before his axing. He further stated that he would not take responsibility for the fall-out.
14 – Zuma criticised by various people over his 8 January speech for seemingly glossing over issues facing Africa.
23 – Zuma concludes that the 2016 World Economic Forum meeting in Davos was a success for South Africa.
25 – Contralesa sent a petition to Zuma requesting a presidential pardan for AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya who had starting serving a sentence of twelve years for culpable homicide, assault with intent to do grievous body harm, arson and kidnapping.
 31 – Zuma is reportedly pleased with the outcome of the 26 th Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa.
According to a story published in Rapport investigators’ in the controversial Prasa deal for new locomotives for R3.5bn probed suspicious payments made to a friend of Zuma. Maria du Cruz Gomes an Angolan businessperson had received payments up to R40m. A further R39m had been made to the law firm of George Sabelo, a business partner of Edward Zuma, Jacob’s eldest child.
February
1 – Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir who is wanted by the ICC for gross human rights violations and is seen by many as a dictator is reported as sharing a warm greeting with Zuma. When al-Bashir attended an AU conference in Sandton, Gauteng in June 2015 the South African government under Zuma allowed him to leave even though there is an international arrest warrant out on him. Zuma commented that South Africa may leave the ICC.
3 – Zuma proposes that the Constitutional Court appoint the auditor-general and finance minster to determine how much he should pay back for the upgrades to his Nklandla palace. Up until now he has always proclaimed his innocence in any wrongdoing regarding Nklandla and his refusal to pay for anything. His proposal to pay back money is not admittance to any nefarious activity on his part according to his spokespeople.
The Democratic Alliance replies that this turn of events is laughable.
9 – Zuma’s lawyer Jeremy Gauntlett admits that the Public Protector’s (Thuli Mandosela) findings that he was liable for the so-called security upgrades for Nklandla were binding. Apparently Zuma was unaware of the power that the Public Protector wields. This becomes a virtual trope in 2016 as other people in positions of power claim not to know that the findings by the Public Protector are binding.
11 – Zuma delivers the State of the Nation Address. He is constantly interrupted by the EFF with calls to pay back the money and to sit down. The EFF parliamentarians were eventually removes forcibly from the house. However COPE leader Mosiuoa Lekota was the first MP to leave the chamber after rising on a point of order and then accusing Zuma of having lost all honour and betraying the Constitution. The outside of parliament was filled with protestors calling for Zuma’s resignation.
As part of his speech Zuma says that the controversial nuclear deal will be rolled out at a pace that South Africa can afford. This was met with dismay by many who see the deal as corrupt, unwanted and exorbitantly expensive. 
16 -  DA leader Mmusi Maimane tells the National Assembly that Zuma deserves no respect and should resign in disgrace.
18 – Tegeta Exploration and Resources, a firm that includes the Gupta family and Zuma’s son Duduzane acquires the rights to export eight million metric tonnes of coal through Richard’s Bay, Africa’s largest port for the mineral.
Minister of the Presidency Jeff Radebe claims that Zuma did not know about the ANC’s alliance partner Cosatu’s objections to the Taxation Laws Amendment Act. This is rubbished by Cosatu and the Act is sent back to parliament for amendments.
Parliament sets a date for a debate of no confidence in Zuma, 1 March.
Zuma calls for South Africa to unite in pray for three miners trapped in the Lily Mine in Mpumalanga.
21 – Zuma’s daughter Thuthukile who had been criticised for being appointed as the youngest head of a ministerial department resigns. It was speculated that the only reason she was appointed was due to her parents with her mother being Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
22 – Zuma claims that Van Rooyen was the most qualified finance minster in South Africa post-1994. The DA responds that these remarks were extremely considering the Finance Minister Gordhan was due to make what may be the most important budget speech in 20 years in two days.
23 – Zuma congratulates Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on his election victory despite widespread reports of intimidation, harassment and violence against opposition parties and supporters before and on the polling day.
In the case of AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya and the call for his pardon the Presidency says Zuma will only consider this once all internal processes and appeals were concluded.
24 – Zuma announces below inflation salary increases for all office bearers. This is met by ridicule from various organisations who claim that the current salaries were already grossly inflated.
Zuma is to lead a high-level panel of African leaders to Burundi to facilitate peace talks to end the political crisis in the country that was threatening to turn violent.
Zuma announces a decision to pull SANDF soldiers out of Sudan beginning 1 April. This also follows reports that when President al-Bashir was in South Africa the South African troops were surrounded by the Sudanese army as an intimidation tactic to ensure South Africa did not act on the international arrest warrant on the dictator.
25 – Zuma condemns student protests against fees that have turned violent.
26 – Gordhan threatens to resign after clashing with SARS commissioner Tom Moyane in alleged proxy war with Zuma. This is after Gordhan received a letter from the Hawks with what he termed “nonsense questions” that were meant to destabilise him before his budget speech. ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe is quoted as saying the ANC is “extremely concerned” that the Hawks sent the questions four days before Gordhan’s speech. The “SARS Wars” is seen as Moyane replacing senior Sars officials with Zuma loyalists.
27 – Zuma returns to South Africa after his jet, Inkwazi, developed technical problems in Burundi. This incident plays a role in later attempts to order a new jet for the president.
29 – Zuma claims that the decision taken in 2009 by the then National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Mokotedi Mpshe to drop corruption charges against him was the rational decision.
March
1 – Zuma’s lawyers argue that he was the victim of a massive political conspiracy a victim of the gross abuse of power when he was charged with corruption relating to the Arms Deal and that the DA’s attempt to apply for a review of decision to drop charges against him were nothing more than an abuse of process by a political minority enemy.
2 – Zuma survives a no confidence vote by 225 votes to 99 with 22 abstentions.
3 – Zuma meets with the KwaZulu-Natal Izinduna to discuss remunerations and recognition for the work they do.
4 – Outgoing ANC chief whip Stone Sizani claims that the ANC always said that Zuma must pay back the Nklandla money despite numerous direct recorded quotes from the party and its members saying theopposite.
5 – While registering to vote in the local elections Zuma tells female journalists that women were now too sensitive to accept compliments. He continued saying that when women were complimented they often claimed it was harassment.
6 – In reference to Zuma’s comments on harassment the ANCWL says that modern men must change as there was no such a thing as women being too sensitive to harassment.
8 – Zuma arrives in Nigeria for a two-day state visit.
15 – Zuma claims he has no recollection of ex-ANC MP Vytjie Mentor who has claimed that the Gupta’s offered her a ministerial position with his full knowledge.
16 – In response to Mentor’s further claims of Gupta interference in appointment of Ministers the ANC says only Zuma has the power to appoint or dismiss Ministers. This does not preclude the choice of Ministers being made by a third-party who Zuma agrees with for whatever reason.
Mentor provides proof that Zuma knew her well and was lying when he claimed not too.
17 – The SACP comes out in support of Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas after he publicly states that the Gupta family offered him the position of Finance Minister with Zuma’s knowledge. The SACP calls for others who have been offered positions by the family to come forward.
The term “state capture” enters the popular lexicon to describe the Gupta/Zuma alliance of replacing key staff in government, parastatal and private organisations with people loyal to them. The term to describe these people becomes Zuptas.
ANC officials rally around Zuma as allegations of state capture spread.
In parliament the jovial Zuma says that the Gupta-Jonas scandal has nothing to do with him.
18 – In a two-page advert taken out in the Gupta-owned newspaper The New Age, the Gupta’s point out that they have been friends with Zuma long before he became president.
Cosas warns opponents of Zuma to stand down.
20 – The DA calls for the PP to investigate former Government Communication and Information System head Themba Maseko’s claims that Zuma had personally called him to help the Gupta family.
Cope calls for the arrest of Zuma and the Guptas.
21 – In a swipe against satirists Zuma issues a warning to racists who use art like some cartoonists.
26 – Zuma visits Saudi Arabia to strengthen ties and encourage investment.
27 – The DA calls for an ad hoc committee to investigate allegations of State Capture.
28 – Zuma arrives in the UAE for a state visit and to talk investment opportunities.
Zuma congratulates Patrice Talon on his election victory to become president of Benin. The election was seen as peaceful.
30 – The MK veterans association (MKMVA) accuses several ANC leaders of being in cahoots with White capitalists after they speak out against the perceived influence of the Guptas.
31 – The ConCourt finds that Zuma failed to uphold and defend the Constitution. This is in regard to his refusal to act on the PP’s findings on Nklandla. This is considered one of the most important judgements made by the court.
The ANCWL releases a statement saying they stand fully behind Zuma.
The ANC top 6 have an emergency meeting to discuss the judgement.
Zuma is ordered to pay back the money within 45 days of the Court approving the National Treasury’s recommended amount.
Mathews Phosa calls for Zuma to make way for new leaders.
Zuma offers an apology over Nklandla that is not widely accepted.
April
1 – Ronald Lamola, former deputy president of the ANCYL, calls for Zuma’s resignation.
The ANC announces that despite the ConCourt findings Zuma will stay in office.
Forensic consultant Paul O’Sullivan arrested at OR Tambo airport.
2 – Ahmed Kathrada ask Zuma to resign in an open letter.
4 – The #PanamaLeaks implicate Khulubuse Zuma, the president’s controversial nephew in tax evasion.
The SANDF condemns a defence union’s call for Zuma to step down saying the military should not involve itself in political matters.
5 – Opposition parties call for Mbete to recuse herself from the Zuma impeachment proceedings as she is seen as partisan.
Zuma survives the impeachment proceedings thanks to the ANC majority.
11 – Matashe admits the ANC is losing support due to Zuma’s perceived corruption.
13 – ANCWL reaffirms its support for Zuma and attacks Manuel for saying Zuma should go.
16 – Zuma launches the ANC’s local election manifesto to a smaller than expected crowd with the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium being largely empty.
Zuma claims that a vote for the ANC is a vote for the Constitution.
May
4 – The EFF is again removed from the National Assembly after booing Zuma during his budget speech.
Maimane calls Zuma an “accused criminal” in parliament.
6 – Mantasha now says that Zuma will have little impact on the support for the ANC during the local elections.
11 – SACP KwaZulu-Natal chairperson breaks rank with the national leader’s and accepts Zuma’s Nklandla apology.
13 – The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) estimates that the Finance Minster juggling of December 2015 cost it R99bn on international markets.
20 – Hawks interrogate Sars staff in the continuing proxy war between Gordhan and Zuma.
23 – Shaun Abrahams head of the NPA says he will not reinstate charges against Zuma.
June
24 – It is announced that a new jet will be bought for the president. The cost is not given but reports put it as high as R4bn.
Police Minister Nathi Nhleko reports that more than R8.6m has been spent on luxury vehicles for the wives of President Zuma.
July
5 – Zuma repeats that the ANC will rule till Jesus returns.
27 – Zuma has 45 days to pay R7.8m for Nklandla upgrades. A clarion call is made for supporters of Zuma to donate the money. It is largely ignored. 
August
3 – The local elections take place with the ANC dropping in support nationally and losing almost all the metro areas.
6 – During an IEC announcement over the election result four women stand in front of Zuma calling for the country to remember his rape accuser.
September
12 – Zuma pays back the Nklandla money but there is uncertainty over the source of the money. It is claimed that a loan was provided by VBS Mutual Bank but no documentation proving this has been discovered.
13 – Zuma complains about attacks on his person in parliament and says his dignity is being impaired.
16 – Shantan Reddy, son of close Zuma ally Vivian Reddy, is awarded a R171m contract in relation to the controversial nuclear deal with Russia that has still to be signed off by parliament, treasury and the finance minister.
23 – It is reported that Dlamini-Zuma is a favourite to replace her ex-husband as ANC president.
October
3 – Zuma and Blade Nzimande call for an end to university shutdowns.
5 – PP Madonsela is to question Zuma over state capture.
6 – Zuma appoints Adv. Busisiwwe Mkhwebana as the new Public Protector once Thuli Madonsela’s term ends.
8 – Fezekile Kuzwayo known publicly as Accuser X who had laid rape charges against Zuma passes away. Her death elicited a mixed response. The ANCWL called for her to be remembered fondly a far cry from their attitude towards her during Zuma’s rape trial. 
10 – Madosela reports that Zuma wants the state capture probe deferred till after her term ends.
11 – Zuma claims to want to delay the state capture report so he may question witnesses.
The Gupta family threatens Madonsela against implicating them in the state capture report.
12 – The SCA decides that Zuma’s lawyers must argue in an open court why the SpyTapes appeal should be overturned. This may lead to 783 corruption charges being forcibly reinstated against Zuma.
13 – Zuma applies for an interdict against the release of the state capture report.
14 – Gordhan releases an affidavit to the High Court stating that the Guptas and their companies have been implicated in suspicious transaction to value of over R6.8b over the last four years.
21 – Zuma announces his intention to have South Africa withdraw from the International Criminal Court. This is met with widespread dismay among opposition parties and NGOs. The president claims that this is because the ICC only targets Africans but it is widely seen as a betrayal of the international moral high-ground that South Africa and by extension the ANC once possessed.
23 – ANC parliamentary Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu calls for Zuma and other top ANC members to resign due to the corruption that has been uncovered. His call is ignored.
31 – Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwana applies for an interdict against the release of the state capture report.
November
2 – Zuma drops application to interdict state capture report.
The State Capture report is released.
5 – Zuma tells supporters that he is not afraid of jail as he had been to jail under Apartheid.
9 – Zuma congratulates Donald Trump on his election victory in the USA.
10 – The third no-confidence motion against Zuma this year fails due to the ANC majority in parliament.
13 – It is confirmed that Zuma’s second wife Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma is suspected of poisoning him when her lawyers lash out over the 18-month delay by the NPA in the case.
15 – The DA confirms it has laid corruption charges at Rosebank police station (Johannesburg) against Zuma.
19 – Zakes Mda, an award-winning author, playwright and long-time ANC supporter, claims that Zuma will unleash a bloodbath if the ANC loses the 2019 elections.
23 – Zuma states that nobody can force him to launch a state capture commission. The commission has been called for by all opposition parties, members of the ANC and a number of NGOs.
26 – Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom tables a motion for Zuma to resign during the ANC’s NEC meeting at St. George’s Hotel, Pretoria. This surprise move was backed by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, his deputy Joe Phaahla, Rural Development Deputy-Minister Mcebisi Skwatsha (who was considered a Zuma-ally) and Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi among others.
27 – Zuma supporters in the NEC rush to the meeting to defend him and vote down the motion asking him to resign.
28 – Free State premier and close Zuma ally Ace Magashule calls for Ministers who supported Zuma’s removal to step down or get axed.
29 – Matashe reports that after a robust discussion the ANC NEC did not accept the motion to ask Zuma to resign. This is largely seen as an attempt to downplay the in-fighting.
December
4 – Zuma attempts to blame Western intelligence agencies for his woes.
6 – It is reported that Zuma will not receive a pay increase for 2017.
11 – Zuma announces that his retirement plan is to run for mayor of Nklandla.

Last updated : 12-Dec-2016

This article was produced for South African History Online on 19-Sep-2012