The South African Candidate

Photograph for TIME by BENEDICTE KURZEN

THE GREAT DIVIDER: Zuma draws support from trade unionists, and ire from the middle classes

The front-runner to be South Africa's next President is an unconventional candidate. Since 2005, Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma has been sacked as Deputy President, tried and acquitted of rape and embroiled in a corruption scandal over defense contracts — which might yet come to court. (Zuma maintains his innocence.) He has somewhere between three and six wives (he refuses to confirm the exact number) and a total of 17 children by nine women. At rallies of his supporters, he sings the Zulu anthem: Bring Me My Machine (gun).

Yet Zuma, 65, is currently the only political figure in South...

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