Report card: The Zuma era in South Africa, 2009-2018

In the eyes of his people, former South African President Jacob Zuma’s nine-year tenure, which ended late on Valentine’s Day, was marked by declining popular trust and lacklustre performance.  

Using Afrobarometer data from national surveys in South Africa, this report card looks back at Zuma’s tenure and what citizens said about him and the country’s democracy and economy on his watch.  Zuma, who was elected president in May 2009 by the National Assembly, resigned on February 14 under pressure from his own party, the African National Congress (ANC), and was immediately succeeded as acting president by his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa.

Zuma became the second head of state and government of South Africa to resign his office. His predecessor, Thabo Mbeki, resigned in September 2008, also following a recall by the ANC.