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KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  1. Ann Johnston
  1. Correspondence to Dr A Johnston, Neurology Specialist Registrar and Neurology Clinical Tutor, Department of Neurology, Morriston Hospital, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University NHS Trust, Swansea, UK; jannjohnston{at}

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The people of KwaZulu-Natal were flung into the spotlight during the presidential election in 2008–2009 because they represented a crucial vote to the now newly elected South African president and leader of the African National Congress (ANC) Party, Jacob Zuma. A zuluman himself, who grew up working the land of KwaZulu-Natal and herding goats, he had led an election campaign which focused on his people's daily plights and struggles for food, health and employment. My experiences and conversations with the local Zulu people over this election period seem far removed from the South Africa seen on the world stage which boasts a land rich in diamonds, advertises luxury holiday destinations to the Western Cap and garden route, is home to the sporting prowess of a rugby world cup winning side, was host to the eagerly anticipated British Lions tour and is the forthcoming host to the FIFA Football World Cup in 2010.

Mbazwana epilepsy and medical clinic, KwaZulu-Natal.

The overall lack of infrastructure outside the main cities and the seemingly untameable HIV epidemic, illustrate the enormity of the task in hand …

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  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.

  • Competing interests None.

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