How long can this go on?

2014-08-31 15:00

When the ANC won the elections in May with a reduced majority in Gauteng and a lower voter turnout, the party said the next administration would be about putting its shoulder to the wheel.

But it has spent the past four months putting out fires to protect President Jacob Zuma.

A perfect storm has gathered over our president’s head. He cannot dodge the public excavation of the spy tapes any longer.

This week, a decisive Supreme Court of Appeals judgment said the tapes and transcripts should immediately be handed to the DA.

Now, finally, the truth will come out on whether the president fairly dodged the bullet of prosecution for corruption.

With a triumphant corps of Economic Freedom Fighters who have changed the shape of politics, our president can no longer dodge culpability for the overspending on Nkandla and for the concomitant personal enrichment.

#paybackthemoney is now the stuff of lore and is also being chanted by ANC supporters. The president is buckling under the rigours of office and, possibly, by the coming storm. How long can the ANC allow this to go on?

Vital areas of governance are standing still. At last count, ministers were focused on protecting Number 1 rather than doing their jobs.

The police service is hobbled by years of politricking to dig dirt on the president’s enemies; the National Prosecuting Authority is crippled by years of manoeuvres to first get Zuma off on charges and then by efforts to keep the spy tapes from getting out for a public airing.

The public works department is severely compromised because it allowed the spending on Nkandla to balloon under a fair amount of pressure. The State Security Agency is at sea after years of manipulation. Intelligence operatives taped the conversations that led to the dropping of charges against Zuma. This week, the relatively unknown State Security Minister, David Mahlobo, was the lead minister on a mysterious trip to Russia with Zuma.

The plot thickens. The economy slows. The middle class is buckling under the pressure. The attention is everywhere besides getting the wheels of state turning, as the governing party promised.

For how long can this go on?

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