Tjatjarag: Wondering about our careless president

2013-05-12 10:00

Somewhere in London, I think, a young woman we know only as “Kwezi” sits exiled from her home.

Years ago, she accused then ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma of rape.

He was acquitted and in the course of a painful trial, it transpired that Kwezi was the daughter of Zuma’s friend, was HIV-positive and had a casual sexual relationship with Msholozi. I wonder how Kwezi is doing and what that terrible trial did to her. Has she quietly slipped back home?

Somewhere in Joburg, a beautiful young woman looks after her toddler son. When President Zuma marries, almost annually as he does, I wonder if she wonders whether she will be next. Has she found a partner of her own in the meantime?

Beyond the payment of cultural damages for impregnating her, is her former lover an involved dad? I’m sure he is. I wonder what Sonono Khoza’s dad thinks? And whether he hopes the baby’s dad, President Zuma, will come and do the right thing.

Somewhere in Morningside, Durban, a megalomaniac man may be sitting, with his trousers folded above his knee, dipping his feet into his koi pond. His swag is gone, replaced only by a sad paranoia. He feels the world is out to get him.

I first interviewed Schabir Shaik many years ago, when he insisted I had to fly to Durban and meet him at a swanky Umhlanga hotel.

I realise now that he wanted the show of pulling up in a little Merc (those whose doors open outward to the sky), to have a valet park for him and to saunter in while flunkies cleared the path before him.

It was at the zenith of his career, when he was financial adviser to Zuma, who was then a provincial minister of economic development in KwaZulu-Natal.

Shaik’s company, Nkobi Holdings, was thriving.

The gloss of access to power had rubbed off on the young man, who name-dropped like anything. Then a corruption trial happened and Shaik was found guilty.

When I last read about him, he was losing his cool at a golf club and it was reported that he was not very well.

He came across in those reports as an abandoned and tragic figure who was losing his mind – no swag, no access to power. I wonder where he is today and whether his friend, the president, still visits him. I wonder if his koi are still alive.

Some years ago, ahead of the tectonic battle the governing ANC’s congress at Polokwane became, spooks were sending out information aimed at hurting Zuma, then the party’s deputy, who was ahead in the race.

One piece of dirty information that came my way was the searing account of life by one of his wives before she died. So tragic were its stories of pain that you could almost feel her grief on each page. I chose not to publish them because the information was obviously being used to wage a party political battle.

I’ve wondered over the years about that woman, her pain, and the quality of the man who caused it. Is she at peace, in a better place? I hope so.

Last week, I wondered about Aakash Jahajgarhia and Vega Gupta as a political crisis swirled about their beautifully dressed selves. Did they get wind of the whirlwind outside Sun City? How did they feel about this, their most memorable of love times?

I heard that Vega’s uncles were devastated by the turn of events – even in tears at what had become of their showpiece Sun City wedding. The Gupta brothers, despite all the other things they do, preside over a loving and close family, according to all reports.

I wonder who gifted them with the idea that they are above our laws. I wonder whose name they drop to get things done. I wonder what the president will say to his friends when he next drops in for lunch at their Saxonwold compound.

Will he apologise for giving them the wrong impression, or will he disappear off their radar and not take their calls? This because, once again, the ANC has had to step in to clean up after our president’s excesses, as it did last week, as it has always done.

I wish our president would not leave so many questions in his wake. And so many messes too. It’s undignified and not very presidential.

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