Could Zuma Be What South Africa Needs?

Mike Hutchings / AFP / Getty

South African president Jacob Zuma delivers the State of The Nation address in Parliament, in Cape Town.

If even some of the more modest predictions about Jacob Zuma's rise to power had been correct, South Africa would be an empty, corrupt dictatorship by now. Back in 2006, South African memoirist Rian Malan ended his dismal assessment of the nation's prospects ("Not civil war, but sad decay") in British magazine the Spectator by asking: "Anyone want a house here?" A year ago, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu said he was "deeply saddened" when Zuma staged a party coup against his predecessor Thabo Mbeki, "deeply disturbed" that both had used institutions of state in their struggle and warned that path "leads...