South African president, Jacob Zuma, who is also the leader of the South African ruling party, African National Congress (ANC) has appealed to his ancestors to help him hold on to the leadership of the party. The president did this by attending a ceremony at his village on Sunday, where 12 cattle were slaughtered and incense burnt as people prayed for his re-election.
President Jacob Zuma’s opponents are pushing for him to be ousted as ANC leader at the party’s conference next month. Mr Zuma had beat his predecessor Thabo Mbeki in a bitterly contested election in 2007 for the leadership of the ANC.
He later forced Mr Mbeki to resign as South Africa’s president, installing Kgalema Motlanthe as caretaker leader until the 2009 general election, when he took power. The ANC’s influential youth wing and several government ministers are now campaigning for Mr Motlanthe, the deputy president, to run against Mr Zuma at the ANC conference in Mangaung next month.
A polygamist with 21 children, Mr Zuma, is a well-known Zulu traditionalist. The Zuma family slaughtered 12 cattle and burnt incense at a traditional ceremony at their village in Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal province on Sunday to appeal to the ancestors to guide him ahead of the elections.
“We are here to give our father a send-off to Mangaung. With this ceremony we are now sure he is protected and he will come back to celebrate with us,” Nomthandazo Zuma is quoted by South Africa’s The Mercury newspaper as saying.