As pressure mounts on South Africa’s Jacob Zuma, he blames an old enemy: Western intelligence agencies
South African President Jacob Zuma has had his back to the wall. The National Executive of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) met at a hotel in Pretoria over the weekend of November 26-27. The discussions – so intense that delegates almost came to blows – were over whether to remove the president from his post.
For the journalists who hung around outside the ANC meeting to decide the fate of their president, it was a long and dreary wait, which continued into the Monday. The president was facing numerous allegations, ranging from corruption and bringing the ANC into disrepute to – perhaps most telling of all – charges of allowing the opposition to take key cities during municipal elections earlier this year.
The picture of Dr Mike Chase grimly viewing the carcass of a poached elephant in the Chobe Enclave in northern Botswana is doubly poignant. Not only is it one of at least 26 elephants poached for their ivory there recently, but Mike Chase has just completed the massive Great Elephant Census of many of Africa’s savannah elephants. This massive survey is aimed at providing data to help conserve elephants and their habitat and inform debates over the levels of poaching and of human-elephant conflict. It found a decline in savannah elephant numbers in 18 states surveyed (but oddly excludes those in Namibia, Central African Republic and South Sudan – and all forest elephants) over the last nine years (much of which was already known, though and recorded in the African Elephant Database) and the full import of the new minimum estimate of 352,271 has still to be assessed against existing data.