Blackmailing the nation

2008-09-09 00:00

If ever there was any doubt, it has now all but evaporated. It has become increasingly clear what the “fans” — and I use the term loosely — of African National Congress (ANC) president Jacob Zuma are attempting to do, and the more one realises it, the more frightening it becomes.

Last Friday, several hundred protestors gathered, not for the first time, outside various Durban courts, picketing, chanting slogans and demonstrating hooliganism, as they do, to show support and solidarity for the ANC president.

Off course, one can’t help but admire the sheer blindness of the support that Zuma attracts.

Who could forget that when Zuma faced charges in court for rape allegations, these very supporters openly declared “burn the bitch”.

Several worrying considerations emerge from the sustained and systematic display of senseless behaviour by individuals who have now made it quite clear that they are more than willing and prepared not only to “go to prison for Zuma”, but to “kill and die for Zuma” as well.

It goes without saying that a fairly significant number of these protestors probably have no idea as to precisely why it is that they’re prepared to go to such lengths for the man, yet they are quite ready to do so nevertheless. Mob mentality, you see, has such appeal to those who lack a certain measure of common sense.

This situation is even more concerning when one suggests it is as if the supporters of Zuma are blackmailing the country, by saying that they will continue to disrupt the nation, continue to make dangerous threats and continue to behave in such anarchic fashion until such time that the country realises that pursuing the prosecution of Zuma comes at a cost too damaging and too disruptive to civil society.

The goal that his supporters are unswerving in their belief of attaining, thus, could very well go something like: “As long you persist with pursuing the criminal prosecution of our leader, we will persist to threatening anarchy, and eventually, bring the nation to such anarchy.”

What is terribly confusing, then, becomes really quite simple: if there are allegations against any person, and such a person is adamant of his or her innocence, then why not let the allegations be freely tested in a court of law?

Why are these same supporters going to such extremes every time an allegation is levelled against Zuma, to have the allegations squashed and not tested in court?

The behaviour of these supporters in so candidly and blatantly advertising for justice to be subverted can be de-scribed by no word other than anarchy. By failing to rein in these wild anarchists and loudly dismiss their lurid messages, Zuma, by implication, becomes a tacit anarchist.

It is duly commendable that up to this point the judiciary and prosecution have appeared un-fazed by the malicious behaviour of these ruthless supporters, and for the sake of our nation, we can only hope that they remain firmly rooted in the notion that the law must, under any circumstances, be respected and must run its course.

Is this one man, with an already potent perception of being corruptible, really going to ride on the crest of a wave of violence, bloodshed and idiocy to the highest office in the land, bringing the country to its knees in his wake?

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