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Marketplace Morning Report

South Africa backs Zuma for change

Gretchen Wilson Dec 19, 2007
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Doug Krizner: In South Africa, citizens are waking up with a bit of a political hangover today. The country’s ruling party elected leader a tarnished by allegations of corruption. It’s arguably the biggest political moment in South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994. Gretchen Wilson reports from Johannesburg.


Gretchen Wilson: South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki has championed free trade during his eight years in office, making him a darling of the IMF and
World Bank.

But 40 percent of South Africans remain unemployed and shut out of the country’s economic growth. That’s one reason delegates overwhelmingly voted for his former deputy, Jacob Zuma.

Zuma, who was sacked last year after being implicated in a bribery scandal, is now in pole position to lead Africa’s biggest economy in 2009. Zuma’s backers — namely, the trade unions and the Communist Party — are hoping for a change.

But political analyst David Monyae says the country’s economic direction is not likely to be rocked by ideology.

David Monyae: He has given assurance to international business community that he is going to stick to the current economic policies.

That is, if everything goes according to plan. Zuma may be recharged with corruption next year.

In Johannesburg, I’m Gretchen Wilson for Marketplace.

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