Zuma’s nine lives

Like the proverbial cat, President Jacob Zuma and the African National Congress (ANC) seem to think they have nine lives to live as they survive one disaster after another.

They have survived Armsgate, Marikana, Nenegate, Nkandlagate, Waterkloofgate, Guptagate, factionalism and now the State Capture Report and Gordhangate, but the big question is for how long?

The ANC itself, as a post-apartheid political party, is on the brink of self-destruction with the current crop of leadership apparently hell-bent on pulling the whole country down with them.

Zuma seems to have mastered Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s art of holding onto power, through the appointment of ‘praise singers’ and ‘yes men and women’ who know nothing except to sing the gospel according to pastor Zuma.

Following the court-ordered release of the former Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela’s damning report into State capture, there is an overwhelming call across many sectors of civil society for those implicated to do the honourable thing and step down.

But by the look of things, Zuma and his cronies will not voluntarily step down without being pushed from the edge of a cliff, as has become the norm with many heads of state in Africa.

It seems that because of the sweets of political office, there is no blunder big enough to warrant a voluntary departure from power when it comes to African leaders.
Zuma has previously violated his oath of office and our Constitution, but was allowed by his ANC cronies to get away with it, and it seems he is going to get away with it again.

What precedents and examples are the ANC setting for our children?
Instead of setting an example to all current and future leaders by firing Zuma for all of his alleged misdemeanours in his two tenures of office, the ANC has seemingly gone out of its way to protect him.

If the government was a private sector entity, Zuma would have been fired faster than he was hired. I think this is the folly of our Constitution, and one which needs to be amended sooner rather than later to enable and empower the South African public to hire and fire its leaders and president.

For as long as the president of the country is chosen by a clique of fewer than 50 people which is the National Executive Committee of the ANC, this is the kind of behaviour that we shall forever get from leaders who do not account to the people.

It’s about time that we as the ordinary citizens of the country are empowered and elect our leaders and presidents directly, as opposed to electing a political party that, in turn, imposes its leaders on us.
In my opinion, if we still continue to breed leaders of the calibre of Zuma and do not do the honourable thing when they blunder, it will not be long before we also chase each other in the streets of downtown Johannesburg with AK47s, jumping over dead bodies on our way to the Union Buildings.

Sipho Siso [email protected]

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