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Home News South African president Zuma booed at Mandela memorial

South African president Zuma booed at Mandela memorial

Published on 10/12/2013

A rain-sodden crowd at the Nelson Mandela memorial repeatedly booed one of his successors as president, Jacob Zuma, Tuesday, in a sign of growing discontent at this generation of South African leaders.

As images of Zuma flashed up on the big screens inside the Soweto stadium, there were sustained and repeated jeers from the tens of thousands of onlookers present.

Amid the tuneful celebrations to Mandela’s life, the heckles were jarring.

Mandela’s immediate successor Thabo Mbeki received applause in what often appeared to turn into a political beauty contest.

The presidents that followed Mandela have all lived in his political shadow, but Zuma has been stalked by political crisis.

Most recently he was accused of spending $20 million (14.5 million euros) of taxpayers’ money to refurbish his private home.

After 20 years of democracy, South Africans are growing increasingly angry that income inequality is as bad, if not worse than it was during apartheid.

One in three workers does not have a job or has stopped looking.

Violent crime and corruption are pervasive.