Jacob Zuma Biography: Age, Educational Qualifications, Career, Salary, Net Worth, Wives, Children

Jacob Zuma Biography

Jacob Zuma is a South African politician who served as the 4th President of South Africa from 2009 to 2018. He was also the President of the African National Congress (ANC) from 2007 to 2017.

Zuma has been a significant figure in South African politics, having been involved in the anti-apartheid movement and a member of uMkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the ANC.

Recently, Zuma has been in the news due to his disqualification from running for parliament in South Africa’s general election scheduled for 29 May 2024. This follows a 2021 conviction for contempt of court, which led to a 15-month jail sentence.

Jacob Zuma Age

Jacob Zuma is 82 years old as of 2024.

Jacob Zuma Early Life and Educational Qualifications

Jacob Zuma was born on April 12, 1942, in Nkandla, South Africa, into a life marked by hardship and the absence of formal education. Growing up in the rural KwaZulu Natal province, Zuma faced the early loss of his father and the necessity to work from a young age to support his family.

Zuma’s lack of formal schooling did not hinder his pursuit of knowledge and political activism. He taught himself to read and write and became fluent in multiple languages, including Zulu, French, Xhosa, Portuguese, Swahili, and Russian.

Jacob Zuma Career and Achievements

Jacob Zuma’s political career began with his early involvement in the African National Congress (ANC), South Africa’s ruling party. He joined the ANC in 1959, dedicating his life to the fight against apartheid.

His commitment led to a ten-year imprisonment on Robben Island alongside Nelson Mandela and other key figures of the anti-apartheid movement. After his release, Zuma continued his work with the ANC, setting up underground networks to recruit for its military wing, uMkhonto we Sizwe.

In exile, Zuma’s influence grew as he worked for the ANC from various neighboring countries, including Swaziland and Mozambique. By 1977, he had become a member of the ANC’s national executive committee. His strategic acumen was recognized when he was appointed as the head of the intelligence department at ANC headquarters in Lusaka, Zambia, after being forced to leave Mozambique under pressure from the South African government.

Zuma’s return to South Africa in the 1990s marked the beginning of his rise in the post-apartheid government. He served as the Deputy President of South Africa from 1999 to 2005 under President Thabo Mbeki.

Ascending to the presidency of the ANC in 2007, Zuma became the nation’s President in 2009. His presidency was marked by efforts to improve the socio-economic conditions of South Africans, with initiatives aimed at reducing poverty, inequality, and joblessness.

However, Zuma’s presidency was not without controversy. His administration faced numerous allegations of corruption, which culminated in his resignation under pressure in 2018. Despite these challenges, Zuma’s supporters credit him with significant contributions to the ANC’s fight against apartheid and his role in the party’s governance post-apartheid.

Post-presidency, Zuma has remained active in politics. In late 2023, he began supporting a new political party, the uMkhonto we Sizwe Party (MK Party), and became its president in April 2024.

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Jacob Zuma Political Party

Jacob Zuma is currently associated with the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party, a new political party in South Africa. The MK Party, named after the former armed wing of the ANC, was registered on September 7, 2023, and publicly endorsed by Zuma in December 2023. Despite a recent ruling by the Constitutional Court that disqualified him from being a member of the National Assembly, Zuma’s face will still appear on the ballot for the MK Party in the upcoming general elections scheduled for May 29, 2024.

Offices and Positions Held by Jacob Zuma

Jacob Zuma has held several significant positions throughout his political career. Here’s a list of the key offices and positions he has occupied:

  • President of South Africa: Zuma served as the 4th President of South Africa from May 9, 2009, until his resignation on February 14, 2018.
  • President of the African National Congress (ANC): He was the President of the ANC from December 18, 2007, to December 18, 2017.
  • Deputy President of South Africa: Prior to his presidency, he was the Deputy President from June 14, 1999, to June 14, 2005.
  • Deputy President of the ANC: Zuma also served as the Deputy President of the ANC from December 20, 1997, to December 18, 2007.
  • Deputy Secretary-General of the ANC: He was the Deputy Secretary-General from July 1991 to December 1994.
  • National Chairperson of the ANC: Following his role as Deputy Secretary-General, he became the National Chairperson from December 1994 to December 1997.

Jacob Zuma Wives and Children

Jacob Zuma, known for his polygamous lifestyle, has been married several times and has a large family. Here’s a summary of his marital history and children:


  • Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma: Married in 1972 and divorced in 1998. She is a South African politician and anti-apartheid activist.
  • Gertrude Sizakele Khumalo: Married in 1973. She is often considered Zuma’s first wife.
  • Kate Mantsho: Married Zuma and had five children with him before her tragic suicide in 2000.
  • Gloria Bongekile Ngema: One of Zuma’s current wives.
  • Thobeka Madiba (Mabhija): Another current wife, residing in Durban North.
  • Nonkanyiso Conco: Engaged to Zuma in April 2018.


Jacob Zuma has approximately 23 children. His children’s mothers include Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Kate Mantsho, Minah Shongwe, and others. Some of his children have followed in his footsteps, engaging in politics and business.

Jacob Zuma Organization

Jacob Zuma has been closely associated with the Jacob Zuma Foundation, an organization he established before becoming the President of South Africa. The foundation was born out of Zuma’s deep concern for the plight of the poor, especially those in underdeveloped rural areas. It aims to provide educational opportunities to children whose poverty prevents them from attending school and to enable them to obtain tertiary qualifications.

Jacob Zuma Net Worth

Jacob Zuma has an estimated net worth of $20 million as of 2024.

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