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WHEN ZUMA GOES
WHEN ZUMA GOES
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President Jacob Zuma is likely to go down in history as the only man under whose watch the leadership vacuum in both the party and state widened.
Everything that carries the President’s signature has the mark of disaster.
From the time Schabir Shaik made claims about financially helping out the then KwaZulu/Natal based peace mediator, the country was introduced to a new brand of Leadership 101 - How Not To Do It.
When Shaik went down, many had thought Zuma was also as good as gone. But it wasn’t to be. He’d prove to be more durable than the proverbial at with nine lives.
More obituaries about the man were to follow, chief among which was when then President Thabo Mbeki relieved Zuma of his duty as Deputy President.
He lived to see another day, rising to the helm to topple Mbeki in Polokwane 2007.
But if you thought the man from Nkandla would confine himself to matters Presidential, you had another think coming. He quickly put his DNA in the highest office in the land, taking the country down the road to perdition with him.
We leapt from crisis to crises, losing R246 million in the upgrade of his private residence. He was accused of rape by the child of a friend, the woman known then as Khwezi, who we’d learn upon his death in late 2016 that she had a name - Fezeka Kuzwayo.
After he survived the rape charge, he fathered a child with the child of another friend, Irvin Khoza.
At around this point the country was too numb with shock to care.
His appointment of lackeys to public office became another Zuma trademark that had lost its shock value.
Until 12/9 when he catapulted little known Des van Rooyen to the crucial post of Finance Minister. The markets reacted negatively, and the populace was up in arms.
He returned Pravin Gordhan to the post and moved van Rooyen across to COPTA in a four-day musical chairs that earned the hapless former backbencher a new monicker, Weekend Special.
This book comes at a time when the Opposition consider Zuma their gift from the gods. Proof of this claim is in the August 2016 local government elections where the ANC lost control of two major Metros, Tshwane and the Nelson Mandela Bay, plus Johannesburg.
Shortly after this there began internal rumblings in the ANC, some among them, like party Parliamentary Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu, calling for Zuma’s head.
What had never happened in the party before began to unfold, as in the #OccupyLuthuliHouse eruption.
Part stalwarts grouped themselves into what is now known as the 101 Veterans, also calling for organisational renewal - shorthand for Zuma to go.
Those like Kebby Maphatsoe, whose livelihood depend on Zuma’s continued stay, worked over time defending the indefensible of Zuma’s faux pas.
When Zuma Goes is a very enticing title. It represents an eventuality that many are praying would come as soon as yesterday.
Political commentator Justice Malala calls this “an urgent and necessary book”.
The author himself, a political analyst, says the ANC under Zuma has become a party of corruption and patronage.
This is tantalising.
I read it with expectations, waiting to get to the tabulation of scenarios that forecast what will happen When Zuma Goes, and how we’ll get to this Utopia.
This is how the author concludes his book: “When Zuma goes, everything will not suddenly get better. It might even get worse, unless the nation puts a stop to this, because clearly the ANC won’t.”
When I put the book down - yes, you will be able to put it down - it hit me that the author has thrust the crystal ball into what happens When Zuma Goes firmly in the reader’s hands.
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