Key dates for South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma, whose mandate officially ends in mid-2019 but has been told to step aside early by the ruling African National Congress.
– April 12, 1942: Zuma was born in rural Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal province. He grew up without formal schooling.
– 1963: A member of the armed wing of the ANC, he was convicted of trying to overthrow the apartheid government and served 10 years on the Robben Island prison alongside Nelson Mandela.
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– 1973: Freed, he sets up underground ANC networks and then was the group’s chief of intelligence from Zambia.
– 1990: After 15 years mostly spent in exile, he returned to South Africa when the ANC was unbanned. He was key in talks that led to a national unity government after the first all-race elections, in 1994, won by the ANC.
– 1997: He became the ANC’s vice president. Two years later he was elected deputy president of the country.
– 2006: He was cleared of rape charges but ridiculed for testifying he took a shower after consensual sex with his HIV-positive accuser.
– 2009: Two years after ousting Thabo Mbeki as ANC leader, he was elected president. He was re-elected in 2014.
– 2016: A top court found out he flouted the constitution by using public funds to upgrade his private residence. An anti-corruption watchdog meanwhile charges he allowed a wealthy Indian business family, the Guptas, undue influence over his government.
– 2017: Zuma fired his finance minister, unleashing open war in the ANC.
– August 2017: He survived a fourth impeachment vote since 2015.
– December 2017: He was replaced as ANC chief by his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, and came under pressure to quit the presidency early, ahead of the next elections.