Newsflash: White journalist does not despise Jacob Zuma

Douglas Foster writes a thoughtful profile of South African President Jacob Zuma in the latest Atlantic.

Increasing numbers of ANC members and rural supporters have latched on to him in the belief that with his humble background, Zuma will make good on the party’s 1994 promise of a “better life for all.” Party strategists argue that he could turn out to be a unifying figure more like Mandela than like Mugabe, and that he is the best hope for reassuring the vast majority of black South Africans that the party of liberation has not forsaken them.

Foster had the good luck to start his interviews back when the chattering class thought that Zuma was out of the Presidential game. The view one gets seems less varnished than more recent interviews.

Foster also offers a more sympathetic profile than you usually see in the Western press, one that strikes me as more balanced and optimistic than the usual fare. But I’m no South Africanist. Dissenting opinions from readers on what Mr. Foster has to say?