Disgraced former South African president Jacob Zuma’s a cat with many lives that survived far too many perils before; succumbing to the same rapier he used to dislodge former president Thabo Mbeki. Despite being a survivalist, like the albatross around his neck, Zuma’s past kept on hauntingly hunting him culminating into a heavy blow he’s dealt after, like unwanted goods, being recalled in the same manner he roguishly did to Mbeki on 28th September 2008. The ruling African National Congress (ANC) ruling committee convened an ad hoc meeting that looked into the matter and what’s into it. Thereafter Zuma’s fate’s sealed; thereby ending long-time wrangles wherein Zuma refused to stand down; thus forcing the politburo, as its quid pro quo, to mercilessly and summarily axe him ending scandal-tainted and very controversial nine-year presidency that left South African economy in quandaries. Essentially, apart from being the baddest thing South Africa’s ever known, Zuma indeed was a political accident that cost the country dearly.
Looking at how Zuma took advantage of his position and betrayed the ANC, Mbeki and South Africa, his recall did not confound or shock many, if any, especially given that Zuma lost legitimacy many years ago after being captured and abusively used by one Indian Gupta family not to mention unending scandals from sexual related ones to mega corruption. His departure was long overdue. Similarly, using his power as the then newly-appointed president of the ANC, Zuma tumbled former president Mbeki down in a loutish way. When scheming and humiliating Mbeki, as the ANC, Zuma’s bootlickers and consigliore were just laughing, Zuma didn’t consider the precedent he’s setting. Now that the ANC has turned tables on Zuma, will he go home and enjoy the pickings of his venal rule or wait to pay for the tonnes and tonnes of corruption allegations and cases he and his family face? Will his successor spare him, his family and accomplices from facing the music? Surely, if you live by sword you truly will die of sword; the sage has it. Can Mbeki now laugh after evidencing justice being done and served to Zuma?
Those who know how Zuma mustered Mbeki unceremoniously, will agree with us that Zuma has received what he deservedly courted. A few weeks before Mbeki’s toppled, under what the ANC called a recall, another victim of retributive politics, Julius Malema, the head of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) was quoted chastising Mbeki to leave so that Zuma could become president. Malema’s words were not in vain. For, after a week, Mbeki was kicked out from power. After holding a lot sway of everything, Zuma was elected president and sworn in in the Union Buildings.
After getting what he wanted, grabbing power from Mbeki, Zuma wanted to get rid of Malema. Sooner than later, Malema was shown the door after being charged with tax evasion and other economic-related offences; thereby losing his lucrative position of the president of ANC youth wing.
Looking at how things unfolded; and knowing who’s behind them, it didn’t take long before Malema to realise his terrible mistake as a sequel of being used. He hit back by forming his EFF which has given Zuma hard time, especially after securing good-sized victory in past general elections.
Zuma-Malema marriage hit rock bottom; and the duo became sworn enemies. Malema was recently quoted as saying “we are in a mess because we did not listen to the silent communication from president Mbeki that you are removing me and replacing me with nothing.” Malema’s refuting his allegations that the ANC was in quandary because of Mbeki whom he once accused saying “we are in this trouble because of Thabo Mbeki and his people. This problem was started by Mbeki.” Now, we can see that Mbeki wasn’t the cause of troubles South Africa is in while Zuma is; according to Malema. After realising his mistake of being used, Malema went as far as issuing an apology to Mbeki by meeting his late mother, Epainette Mbeki, in April 2014 shortly before her demise saying “I took an opportunity to also apologise to her about how we ill-treated her child.”
In this live-by-sword-and-die-by-sword situation, the sword that Zuma used to finish off Mbeki has been turned against him to end up exiting power unceremoniously. However, the difference is: Mbeki left without any cloud hanging over his head as it currently is for Zuma whose corruption scandals will always haunt him soon after being fired. Has Zuma reaped what he sowed? Nkandla and hamba kahle Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma the man South Africa will remember as a scandalous president.
Source: Citizen, Feb., 17, 2018.
Source: Citizen, Feb., 17, 2018.