South African Indians and Zulus are ANC leader Zumas key backersDecember 24th, 2007 - 2:35 pm ICT by admin
London, Dec.24 (ANI): A mixed bunch of Africans and people of Indian origin are the key advisers of new African National Congress (ANC) president Jacob Zuma.
They come overwhelmingly from South Africas KwaZulu-Natal province, especially Durban.
According to The Times, Don Mkwanazi, the huge, irrepressible Durban Zulu businessman, heads the Friends of Jacob Zuma Trust, which has paid Zumas legal fees and acted as his main support vehicle.
Blade Nzimande, 49, general secretary of the Communist party, is another Durban Zulu. A former professor of education, Nzimande nurses a deep antipathy towards President Thabo Mbeki, who refused to make him education minister, a job that he hopes to assume under Zuma.
Another key adviser is Mo Shaik, a Muslim and the brother of Zumas key funder, Schabir Shaik, who is serving 15 years in jail for corruption. Mo Shaik has three degrees, was a university lecturer in optometry and is also a former ANC spy.
Another Indian close to Zuma is Ranjeni Munusamy, a journalist, also from KwaZulu-Natal, who gave up her job to advise Zuma. She handles all his publicity.
When Zuma found himself on trial for rape after he was set up in a honeytrap, he turned to his close friend, Zweli Mkhize, a 41-year-old doctor and provincial minister of health in KwaZulu-Natal.
Mkhize risked his career by supporting Zuma. Under a Zuma Government he could become KwaZulu-Natal provincial premier or hold a senior post in the cabinet.
Kgalema Motlanthe, the deputy president on Zumas list, is from the Tswana ethnic group. At 58, he could replace Zuma as president if the latter is convicted of corruption. He headed the miners union and was ANC secretary-general.
Another non-Zulu is Zwelinzima Vavi, 45, head of the Congress of South African Trade Unions. A Xhosa firebrand, he was the first to forecast the Zuma tsunami. He has called Mbeki a legendary womaniser.
The wisest figure to whom Zuma can turn is Mac Maharaj, 72, a former cabinet minister and ANC senior statesman, who is close to Nelson Mandela. He was driven into Zumas camp by Mbekis victimisation. (ANI)
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