n Journal for Contemporary History - Jacob Zuma's "Zuluness" appeal during the April 2009 elections in south Africa : an attempt to break the IFP's grip on Zulu social and political structures?

Volume 35, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0258-2422
  • E-ISSN: 2415-0509



The article reflects on the role played by Jacob Zuma as President of the African National Congress (ANC) using his Zuluness to break the Inkatha Freedom Party's (IFP's) political control of the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province. The rationale for this venture by Zuma elicited an outcry from the IFP, which for long had used the Zuluness appeal in the province to garner votes during the elections. It is therefore argued that the use of the Zuluness appeal by Zuma and the ANC helped the organization in winning the April 2009 elections in the province. The author negates the widely held simplistic viewpoint that in the KZN province, the ANC was mostly voted into power because its President was a Zulu. Therefore, the article scrutinises arguments for and against the usage of Zuluness as an appeal to galvanize support on behalf of the ANC.

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