Photo: BRICS leaders pose for pre-dinner pictures in Goa, India, ahead of 8th annual summit; from left, South African President Jacob Zuma, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Brazilian President Michel Temer - @PresidencyZA
Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, GCB (born 12 April 1942) is the President of South Africa, elected by parliament following his party's victory in the 2009 general election. He was re-elected in the 2014 election.
Zuma is the President of the African National Congress (ANC), the governing political party, and was Deputy President of South Africa from 1999 to 2005. Zuma is also referred to by his initials JZ and his clan name Msholozi. Zuma became the President of the ANC on 18 December 2007 after defeating incumbent Thabo Mbeki at the ANC conference in Polokwane. He was re-elected as ANC leader at the ANC conference in Mangaung on 18 December 2012, defeating challenger Kgalema Motlanthe by a large majority. Zuma was also a member of the South African Communist Party (SACP), briefly serving on the party's Politburo until he left the party in 1990. On 20 September 2008, Thabo Mbeki announced his resignation after being recalled by the African National Congress's National Executive Committee. The recall came after South African High Court Judge Christopher Nicholson ruled that Mbeki had improperly interfered with the operations of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), including the prosecution of Jacob Zuma for corruption.
Zuma has faced significant legal challenges. He was charged with rape in 2005, but was acquitted. He fought a long legal battle over allegations of racketeering and corruption, resulting from his financial advisor Schabir Shaik's conviction for corruption and fraud. On 6 April 2009, the National Prosecuting Authority dropped the charges, citing political interference, although the decision has been challenged by opposition parties and as of March 2016 the matter is still before the courts. After extensive state-funded upgrades to his rural homestead at Nkandla, the Public Protector found that Zuma had benefited improperly from the expenditure, and the Constitutional Court unanimously held in 2016's Economic Freedom Fighters v Speaker of the National Assembly that Zuma had failed to uphold the country's constitution, resulting in calls for his resignation and a failed impeachment attempt in the National Assembly.