13/02/2018 15:58 SAST | Updated 12/04/2018 15:48 SAST

Slideshow: A Timeline Of Jacob Zuma On His 76th Birthday

The former president turned 76 today.

Jacob Zuma.

Jacob Zuma has had his share of ups and downs – not just as an ANC cadre and political prisoner back during the anti-apartheid struggle, but since 1994 too, and most notably as the leader of South Africa. His post-apartheid political career was beset early on by corruption and fraud allegations, which couldn't prevent his triumphant unseating of Thabo Mbeki from the ANC and state presidency.

The roller-coaster continued through two scandal-and-lawsuit-plagued terms in office, and culminated in the intricate political gamesmanship that preceded his stepping down as president – only to be slapped with long-deferred criminal charges shortly thereafter.

Photographer Alet Pretorius has been capturing Zuma's journey to the presidency from 2005, and she says he is one of the best people to photograph "because of the interesting facial expressions, and because he doesn't always follow the script".

Have a look at the journey of Jacob Zuma:

Unless otherwise credited, all images and text were captured by Alet Pretorius

Nkandla, Zuma's homestead

(Photo by Gallo Images / Alet Pretorius

Zuma's homestead, Nkandla, shot in 2005. The improvements to Nkandla would become the topic of much controversy and many legal battles later.

Pro-Zuma supporters a night before his court appearance

Alet Pretorius

June 28, 2005: Zuma supporters held a night vigil before his court appearance the next morning.

Zuma appears in court

Alet Pretorius

June 29, 2005: Zuma appeared in the Durban Magistrate's Court. Thousands of supporters gathered at the court to show support for him. They protested for most of the day through the streets of Durban, ending at City Hall.

Proclaimed the 'Black Jesus'

alet pretorius

Zuma supporters proclaim him "a black Jesus" at a election rally at which Zuma and Julius Malema appeared together in Jane Furse, Limpopo.


alet pretorius

May 9, 2009: Kgalema Mothlante and Jacob Zuma at Zuma's inauguration as president of South Africa at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

Corruption charges dropped


April 6, 2009: Members of the press look on as NPA acting national director Mokotedi Mpshe announces the decision to drop corruption charges against Jacob Zuma at the NPA's headquarters in Pretoria.

Cabinet announcement


May 10, 2009: President Jacob Zuma announces his new Cabinet at the Union Buildings.

Take a girl child to work day


May 28, 2009: President Jacob Zuma hosted 10 children at his Cabinet lekgotla as part of "Take A Girl Child To Work Day' at the presidential guesthouse in Pretoria.

National orders award ceremony

alet pretorius

December 11, 2009: Zuma during the awards ceremony of national orders held at the presidential guesthouse in Pretoria.

Zuma encourages residents to vote

Gallo Images

November 8, 2013: President Jacob Zuma during a visit to Brazzaville in Pretoria, encouraging residents to register to vote for the following year's elections.

Paying homage to the late Mandela

Gallo Images

December 11, 2013: President Zuma with Madiba's body at the Union Buildings on December 11, 2013 in Pretoria. Former South African president Nelson Mandela passed away on the evening of December 5, 2013.

Toast – Zuma and Mugabe

alet pretorius

April 8, 2015: Zuma and then-president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, raise a glass of champagne at the presidential guest house during Mugabe's state visit to South Africa.

Zuma must fall

Alet Pretorius

July 10, 2016: Election posters featuring Jacob Zuma on a bridge in the small Eastern Cape town of Kei Mouth.

State capture march

Gallo Images

November 2, 2016: EFF supporters protest in a "state capture" march in Pretoria, South Africa. Political parties and civil society groups gathered across the country demanding that President Zuma step down, amid the release of then-public protector Thuli Madonsela's State Of Capture report.

Gallo Images

Interesting facial expression

Alet Pretorius

March 17, 2017: President Zuma reacts during the official launch of the Invest South Africa One Stop Shop (InvestSA OSS) at the DTI.

Gallo Images

Union Buildings march

Gallo Images

April 7, 2017: Several groups, including Save SA, the SACP, the EFF and Freedom Front Plus march with other South Africans from Church Square to the Union Buildings calling for the removal of the president.

DA want Zuma gone

Gallo Images

July 11, 2017: DA supporters picket outside the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) offices in Pretoria. The DA embarked on the protest hoping to put pressure on the authorities to investigate a series of break-ins at offices of law enforcement agencies.

Steve Biko lurks in the shadows

Alet Pretorius

September 12, 2017: President Zuma during his visit the Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Centre to lay a wreath at the cell of struggle hero Steve Bantu Biko in Pretoria. Zuma visited the centre as part of the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Biko's death at the hands of apartheid security police in 1977.

ANC national conference

Gallo Images

December 18, 2017: Zuma during the announcement of new party leadership at the 54th ANC national conference at Nasrec Expo Centre, Soweto. Cyril Ramaphosa won the race between him and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma for the party's top position.

Gallo Images

Beginning of the end?

Gallo Images
SOWETO, SOUTH AFRICA – DECEMBER 20: President Jacob Zuma during the 1st speech of Cyril Ramaphosa as the president of the ANC at 54th African National Congress (ANC) national conference at the Nasrec Expo Centre on December 20, 2017 in Soweto, South Africa. The national executive committee (NEC), consisting of 80 members was announced after Ramaphosa's speech. They play a crucial role in the party’s decision making processes. (Photo by Gallo Images / Alet Pretorius)

December 20, 2017: President Zuma during the first speech of Cyril Ramaphosa as the president of the ANC at the national conference at the Nasrec Expo Centre.

Zuma steps down

PHILL MAGAKOE via Getty Images

February 14, 2018: President Zuma addresses the nation at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. (AFP PHOTO / Phill Magakoe)

AFP/Getty Images

February 14, 2018: Customers watch a telecast at a local restaurant in Durban, as President Zuma makes a live address to the nation on the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) network from The Union Buildings in Pretoria. (AFP/Getty Images)

Zuma has his day in court

POOL New / Reuters

Jacob Zuma appeared in court on the 6th of April, 2018, facing 16 charges of fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering. (POOL New / Reuters)

AFP/Getty Images
Supporters of Jacob Zuma rally prior to his appearance in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court on corruption charges, in Durban.

April 6, 2018: Supporters of Jacob Zuma rally prior to his appearance in the KwaZulu-Natal high court in Durban on corruption charges. (AFP/Getty Images)

Rogan Ward / Reuters
Jacob Zuma waves to his supporters on his way to the high court in Durban. Rogan Ward / Reuters

April 6, 2018: Jacob Zuma waves to his supporters on his way to the high court in Durban. (Rogan Ward / Reuters)

Rogan Ward / Reuters
Jacob Zuma waves to his supporters on his way the high court in Durban

April 6, 2018: Jacob Zuma waves to his supporters on his way the high court in Durban (Rogan Ward / Reuters)

AFP/Getty Images
Jacob Zuma arrives at the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban.

April 6, 2018: Jacob Zuma on his way into the high court in Durban (AFP/Getty Images)