Msholozi is both Yin and Yang

2012-12-18 10:50

More than two months after Nkandlagate broke – probably the biggest scandal of his presidency so far – President Jacob Zuma is moments away from being re-elected as ANC president.

How do we make sense of this? How can a man so tainted by scandal and outrage be so popular and quash any sign of dissent with a struggle song?

The complex individual that is Jacob Zuma is not easily defined. He is Yin and Yang, with a bit of both in each.

Yin – shadow in Chinese philosophy – is easy to explain. Pick up the newspaper of your choice on any given week and you will read about a Zuma scandal.

Zuma, his family and his associates are entangled in a huge new emerging elite, where politics and business dance side by side. The following examples come to mind:

» Zuma’s conflicted relationship with the Gupta family, who have interests in mining, the media, aviation, technology and resources.

His son, Duduzane, is a central part of the Gupta empire. Last month the Mail & Guardian revealed evidence that points to the possibility that the Guptas paid for the Waterkloof mansion of one of Zuma’s wives. Was there a quid pro quo?

» The R250 million upgrade to Zuma’s ever-growing Nkandla compound is the subject of at least three formal investigations: by the Public Protector, the Auditor-General and the public works department.

» Two weeks ago, it was revealed that German arms company MAN Ferrostaal paid almost R250 000 to cover Zuma’s loan on a Pajero 4x4 at the time of the arms deal.

MAN Ferrostaal, of course, got the tender to supply three new submarines to the navy during the R70 billion arms deal.

These are just three examples of recent Zuma scandals, which will probably not be discussed in Mangaung. Why not?

Those with voting power say the ANC needs stability now more than ever.

That the party is in crisis and can’t go into the 2014 elections divided. Kgalema Motlanthe brings nothing new to the table.

He has given no indication of how his policies will differ from Zuma’s, or why he will make a better president.

Lastly, they believe everyone deserves a second chance, even the most scandalous president in the ANC’s history.

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