PLANET ZUMA FIGHTS BACK
The despot from Planet Zuma, the planet that was revealed to the nation by DA leader Mmusi Maimane during the 2014 state of the nation debate, appears to have adopted a “Fight Back” campaign to prop up his ailing support.
The original “Fight Back” campaign was the effective 1999 election slogan used by the Democratic Party under the leadership of Tony Leon which propelled the DP from a 1.5% party to become the official opposition party in South Africa.
Whereas the DP campaign was a “Fight Back against crime”; a “Fight Back against corruption” and other mismanaged sectors in South Africa President Jacob Zuma’s campaign appears to be a “Fight Back against the anti corruption agencies”; a “Fight Back against the truth”; a “Fight Back against foreign investment” and a “Fight Back against all that is good for South Africa”.
In the past ten days he has visited his strongholds in KZN and Mpumalanga and addressed the Zuma faithful with his Persecution Complex in full flight. Poor man he is the victim of “The West”, whose names he has forgotten, who together with “white monopoly capital” want to break up BRICKS. Poor president has also “been betrayed by people close to him” presumably members of his own glorious movement, the ANC.
Wallowing in his own self pity Zuma went to the extent of comparing himself with Jesus at a meeting in Mpumalanga on Saturday 19 November when he said “… because we are doing good things we are hated… Even those who were with Jesus turned against him.”
At the same gaining self confidence he was adamant that the ANC was the only party fighting against corruption,” We didn’t just talk about corruption we fight corruption. We have arrested many and fired many. They (the DA) are trying to make it seem like we are the corrupt. Where there is corruption we will fight it.” Obviously blissfully unperturbed about the pending 783 crimes of corruption hanging over his head he misled the faithful.
While deep in rural South Africa first on 5 November in eDube (Paulpietersburg) in KZN where the majority of the citizens rely on Hlaudi news to stay informed Zuma used the opportunity to attack the opposition parties. He lamented the fact that he and the ANC government has been found wanting by the judicial system and claimed “It (the opposition) was distorting democracy by running to the courts. They take matters of parliament to the courts. So we can see who is telling the truth. They distort democracy. If there is a slight disagreement they run to the courts. That is not democracy. They don’t know democracy. We have to teach them democracy.”
Zuma repeated these allegations in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga on 19 November never once admitting how many times he and the ANC had lost court cases for actions being inconsistent with the constitution.
The Opposition parties hit back at President Jacob Zuma’s saying that taking him to court is not a contradiction of democracy, but freedom at work. Unperturbed Zuma repeated the allegation safe in the knowledge that the faithful would never hear on Hlaudi news about the truth of the number of cases that he and his government had lost for not upholding the constitution of SA.
President Jacob Zuma accused certain Western countries of destabilizing the ruling African National Congress (ANC) by using ANC members to further their agenda, Zuma told ANC supporters at the rally in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga Province on Saturday 19 November. He said:”Western powers, whose names I have forgotten, want to remove the ANC because they do not want the ANC to develop relations with those countries which helped the party in the anti-apartheid struggle”.
These comments are in response to some ANC veterans who recently joined calls for Zuma to resign, citing his alleged involvement in corruption scandals. Zuma maintains that those speaking out against him and the ANC had been bought by those clinging on to control the economy.
When in trouble Zuma can be relied on to pull out the race card. At the rally he obliged by stating “In all other countries, the majority controls everything from politics, economy and defense… It’s only in this country (South Africa) where we don’t have economic freedom. It’s controlled by the minority and those who oppressed us”
In making those comments Zuma would be confident that Hlaudi News would never have broadcast that Moeletsi Mbeki, political analyst, and brother of former president Thabo Mbeki said that white people do not control South Africa’s economy and that this perception is a myth. Mbeki said that listening to the ruling party, all you hear is that whites control the economy and black people were left out. According to Mbeki, the real elite, those who are in “control” of the economy, number just 100 000 or so, a huge number of black people are included in that figure.
Control of the economy is exercised by the minister of finance, the treasury, the mint and the production of energy (Eskom) all these are controlled by appointed ANC cadres, in many cases, handpicked by Zuma himself certainly not appointed by white monopoly capital.
On Friday 18 November while addressing an ANC Cadre Forum Zuma tore into African National Congress veterans calling for his removal from office. He accused the group – which includes ANC stalwarts Dennis Goldberg, Mavuso Msimang, Gertrude Shope, and Sheila Sizulu – of not adhering to the ANC constitution.
Zuma’s next target was the Save South Africa coalition of civil society organisations, stating that he was surprised at the emergence of social movements calling for him to stand down. Prominent figures in the Save South Africa coalition include chairman of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) Sipho Pityana, former finance minister Trevor Manuel, and former public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan.
“We see some of them calling for the saving of South Africa. Saving it from who or what?” Zuma asked. Sipho Pityana responded on Wednesday at the Save South Africa campaign where the movement initiated a ‘People’s Motion of No Confidence’ against Zuma by saying:
“On public platforms, in so-called Cadre Forums, the President glibly asks the question: “Save South Africa from what?”
Today, we say the answer is clear: we must save South Africa from you, Mr President. Because if we do nothing today, there will be no South Africa to save by 2019.”
At the same Cadre Forum President Jacob Zuma made the astonishing statement which has caused a public uproar and debate, after he appeared to admit to having knowledge of who is stealing from the public purse – but instead of doing anything about it, he told the crowd that he was “just watching them. I know them.”
DA-leader Mmusi Maimane responded in a statement that “President Jacob Zuma has a legal duty to report to the law enforcement authorities, those who he knows to be engaged in criminal behaviour”.
If President Zuma is to be believed, he is enjoined by Section 34(1) and (2) of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act to report “those who are stealing” to the SAPS. For President Zuma holding onto this information for political reasons undermines the fight against corruption and it makes him an accessory to crime. It is doubtful if either the police or Shaun Abrahams will even investigate let alone prosecute this confession!
At the party’s victory rally in eDube‚ KwaZulu-Natal‚ on Saturday‚ Zuma brazenly said he is not threatened by political parties who approach courts to scare him. “We are not going to be intimidated‚ even if it means I get arrested today‚ I am used to it. I have spent a lot of time in jail‚ you cannot threaten me with jail time. I am not scared of jail I have been there‚” Zuma said to loud cheers from the crowd.
Emboldened by the success of his heartlands tour Zuma returned to the National Assembly to face Members of Parliament in a question and answer session for the last time this year. He was brimming with confidence to deliver his tirade of all but good sense.
Clearly Zuma still does not understand how the markets work. UDM Leader asked Zuma what his position was on Zwane’s claim that the cabinet had mandated him to lead an inter-ministerial committee to facilitate discussions between Oakbay and the banks. To which Zuma answered the government had to intervene because the banks’ decision was putting “the image of the country into some problems”.
“Bear in mind that the government has always continued to ask for the private sector to invest, including investors from outside South Africa. If you are sitting at the level of the government and see an action of this nature, highly publicised, you have to say what will the investor out there think of coming to invest in South Africa. If they think the banks can willy-nilly act in a manner that suggests collusion, about the economy of your country, as a government you can’t sit and say: ‘I’m doing nothing’,”
This answer is at odds with the explanation given by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who had said in an affidavit that R6.8-billion in “suspicious and unusual transactions” involving the Oakbay accounts might have contributed to the decision by the banks.
One wonders id Zuma ever thinks of the effect it has on foreign investment when potential investors see how the president and cabinet ministers jump to defend a single family at the expense of the nation. Surely not an incentive to investment.
Responding to a question from DA Shadow Minister of Finance David Maynier on why Zuma did not fire Mineral Resources Minister Zuma for his statement on behalf of cabinet incorrectly stating that an investigation would be held into the conduct of the banks. Zuma replied “I said I was going to engage with the minister and I did. This matter is now closed and the minister has apologised.”
Every South African deserved an apology for the damage that he did to the country but Zwane sits smugly in parliament in the knowledge that he has once again given the citizens of South Africa the middle finger with the blessing of his boss.
The question that must be asked why must Zuma make these provocative remarks? Especially at the time the international rating agencies were in the country reviewing the sovereign credit rating. It is a well known fact that one of the strong points in South Africa’s favour amongst the credit agencies is the strength and independence of our banking system. Does Zuma have a death wish for the country?
Political analyst Susan Booysen said Zuma seemed to have no understanding of what constituted “national interest”. “In this case, it happens to clash with a personal interest and therefore he has to keep up this public pretence that somebody has been wronged. It is an extension of something he excels at personally – personal victimhood.”
On Madonsela’s State of Capture report, Zuma said the process had been “unfair” to him. He said that only he could decide if there should be a commission of inquiry. “This report has been dealt with in a very funny way. No fairness at all. The manner in which the report comes in makes recommendations in a matter that concerns some of us who are mentioned there. It is the president who has the right to appoint a commission,”
However, it is now common knowledge that Thuli Madonsella tried to interview Zuma for four hours but between him and his lawyer they evaded the questions. Following the Constitutional Court ruling on the Nkandla matter in my opinion the President only has two options.
He can either comply with remedial action prescribed by the public protector because the Con Court has ruled that remedial action is binding. Or, if he believes the remedial action is not in accordance with the law and the constitution, he can approach a court to have the protector’s report reviewed and set aside but what he cannot do is ignore it.
Although surprising, it is understandable why some members tabled a motion of ‘no confidence’ in Zuma at the Party’s NEC meeting last week. While not carried it is a clear indication that the ANC is more divided now than any time in its 104 year existence. But Zuma will not go without a fight and many senior ANC members know that he revealed to having knowledge of who is stealing from the public purse be assured that should Zuma fall so will these comrades, hence the motion was not put to the vote.
This week Zuma has to meet the ANC’s integrity committee but don’t hold your breath it will be a quiet sedate meeting where there will be a frank discussion on the future of the party.
This is not the end and as more scandals are uncovered more people like Eskom’s Brian Molefe will jump ship until there is no longer a majority of Zuma supporters and the Zuma will fall.
When I am not sure, but fall it will!
Until next time,
This newsletter is published by Clive Hatch former Leader of the Opposition in the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature and former DA Provincial Leader. These views are my personal views and do not represent those of any other person or organisation.