Jacob Zuma. Picture: JACKIE​ CLAUSEN
Jacob Zuma. Picture: JACKIE​ CLAUSEN

Rape charge: Before he took office as president in 2009, Jacob Zuma was no stranger to scandal. In 2006 he was acquitted of a rape charge brought by HIV-positive family friend Fezeka Kuzwayo. He shocked many when he said during the trial that he had taken a shower to avoid contracting HIV after what he testified was consensual sex.

Arms deal: Shortly after the ANC’s 2009 election victory, Zuma faced a court challenge that sought to reinstate 783 counts of corruption, fraud, racketeering and money laundering against him. The charges related to the multibillion-rand arms deal concluded in 1999 under his auspices as deputy president. In 2017 the supreme court of appeal upheld a high court ruling that the decision to drop the charges against him was irrational.

Nkandla: Zuma saw nothing wrong with public money being spent on upgrading his private home in Nkandla, KwaZulu Natal. He ridiculed the nation’s "obsession" with the matter after the public protector found he was liable for part of the cost.

Cabinet reshuffle: Zuma’s second term was marked by late-night cabinet reshuffles. Most damaging was when he fired finance minister Nhlanhla Nene in December 2015 and replaced him with David Des van Rooyen. Bond prices and the rand plunged and he was forced to bring back Pravin Gordhan to the job. In March 2017 he sacked Gordhan and his deputy at treasury, Mcebisi Jonas, precipitating a ratings downgrade.

The Guptas: Despite several credible accounts by top officials of how the Gupta family used Zuma’s name to advance their interests, Zuma denied all. He also defended his son Duduzane’s business links with the Guptas. Last year, thousands of alleged Gupta e-mails were leaked to the media, exposing Zuma’s ties to the family.

Infidelity: Despite his reputation, many were shocked when in 2010 Zuma — once leader of a moral regeneration programme — admitted he’d fathered a son with Sonono Khoza out of wedlock.