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Africa

Busy times ahead for SA president Jacob Zuma

media President Jacob Zuma speaks during a Security Council meeting Reuters/Eric Thayer

South African president Jacob Zuma has returned home from his visit to the United Nations general assembly in New York and other stops in the United States to a full in -tray. Issues include a probe into a controversial arms procurement deal and allegations of mismanagement by his top policeman.

President Jacob Zuma’s office has denied weekend reports that he will hand an official suspension this week to Commissioner Bheki Cele.

The reports came after the public protector, Thuli Madonsela, said the top policeman had made a mistake in granting inflated leases on police headquarters in Durban and Pretoria to an ANC insider.

Madonsela is also looking at the case of co-operative government Minister Sicelo Shiceka, who’s been suspended following allegations of profligate spending of public funds and using his official budget to visit a girlfriend serving a prison sentence in Switzerland for drug trafficking.

But perhaps the weightiest matter is finalising the terms of reference for the commission of inquiry into an arms deal carried out more than a decade ago.

Those convicted of corruptly benefiting from include Zuma’s former financial backer Shabir Shaik.

Politically, Zuma has to deal with perceptions that any decisive action he takes has more to do with pursuing what’s best for the country, than shoring up his possible personal ambitions for a second term as party leader.

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