By Eve Fairbanks | Newsweek Web Exclusive
Aug 27, 2009
South Africans feel so indebted to Nelson Mandela that they prefer his successors to emulate him rather than to govern.
A president’s first-hundred-days milestone isn’t as breathlessly awaited in other countries as it is in America. And so South African President Jacob Zuma—the dancing populist who provoked so much fear and loathing before his inauguration in May—was scheduled to spend Aug. 15 prosaically, without any intentional symbolism booked into his diary. He was to hold a winter rally in a sleepy Bloemfontein suburb and to meet with some Afrikaner businessmen in the city hall downtown. But Zuma’s pedestrian hundredth day actually made a perfect tableau of his presidency thus far, an emblem in miniature of why his popularity has soared since his inauguration without really being deserved.
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