From a very short profile of Jacob Zuma, the man who will in all likelihood become the president of South Africa next year, in today New York Times.

He is a husky man with a shaved head, a high-beam smile and an outsize personality. Should people be afraid?

I can’t tell you why, but he scares me to death,” said Rita Middleton, as she took in the newspaper headlines on Sunday in a neighborhood grocery. [Italics mine]


In 2005, on trial for the rape of a 31-year-old family friend, Mr. Zuma testified that she had seduced him by wearing a short skirt and sitting in a provocative way. He said that “Zulu culture” had left him no option but to oblige. Afterward, he said, he took a shower, believing it would minimize the risk of contracting H.I.V. He was found not guilty.

--Isaac Chotiner