Despite the continuous votes of no confidence, scandals and negative feelings surrounding President Jacob Zuma, he seems to be untouchable. That raises the question; Is the President too powerful.
For Prof Susan Booysen, a political analyst at Wits School of Governance, the answer is yes. Booysen says that all current indications confirm this.
We can look at the type of scorched earth that President Jacob Zuma have been leaving behind him, in terms of state institutions, in terms of abuse of state resources, tolerance of mismanagement - certainly there is far too much power that remains in his hands.— Prof Susan Booysen, Political Analyst at Wits School of Governance
Ironically this power remains vested with him at a time when he has suffered serious losses of legitimacy both in and beyond the ANC.— Prof Susan Booysen, Political Analyst at Wits School of Governance
Booysen says that Zuma plays the role of President, creating an aura of esteem about him. She adds that the President is astute at harnessing this esteem to work to his advantage.
We've seen several times. when the president suffers his worst crisis, legal battles, etc in the ANC or South Africa, suddenly he is shown on all TV stations as the President performing big state duties.— Prof Susan Booysen, Political Analyst at Wits School of Governance
Part of the reason Zuma is able to hold on to his power, is because of a system chosen by the people. Booysen says this came about because of the territory of systems of the past and the ANC liberation movement, which has a huge reservoir of trust and support.
It is the trust in the former liberation movement that didn't know where to draw the line, and very respectively citizens of South Africa are still not certain what is this political animal we have here.— Prof Susan Booysen, Political Analyst at Wits School of Governance
Listen to the full interview below: