Some premonitions do come true

2009-03-21 00:00

Jacob Zuma is about to walk free. Whoever would have thought? It is almost three years ago that his legal woes started, that is if you start counting when he went to court for the first time as an accused.

When Zuma was hauled before court in Johannesburg for a rape rap, it was unthinkable that he would be a free man as the trees and the winds were already singing a tune of corruption, racketeering and fraud.

When I sat, this week, to think about what I would be writing about, I had a few ideas like how one of South Africa’s few dollar multi-billionaires, Patrice Motsepe, is destroying the local soccer game, among others.

But then Zuma came screaming (figuratively) and said: “Me, me, me, me. Write about me.” I obliged. In the light of the latest developments, what else could one write about?

There is a saying turned belief in Zulu that one should listen to one’s elders. Culture and life is dynamic, and I have reason to suggest that the saying must change or another one must be added that says one should listen to children or young ones.

I say this because African National Congress Youth League president Julius Malema has made many controversial statements but has also made some factual statements, which have proved to be premonitions.

When he was in Pietermaritzburg last year on August 4 and August 5, as well as September 12, he (with the SA Young Communist League’s president Bhuti Manamela) pronounced that then president Thabo Mbeki “needs to go now”. A few months later, Malema called for Mbeki’s sacking and, barely 48 hours later, Mbeki jumped — seeing that he would be pushed anyway.

On countless occasions, Malema has said that Zuma would be the president of this country, come rain, come shine.

Perhaps, the problem is that a lot of people do not look at Malema as a person of high intellectual pedigree. However, he has something a lot of people do not have and that is foresight and influence.

Should the National Prosecuting Authority, or more specifically its Special Investigations Unit, aka the Scorpions, believe that the fraud and corruption case against Zuma is “unwinnable”, a number of questions need to be put to it.

When was this realised? What material changes have taken place to warrant the decision? Why has it taken them this long to realise this, if this is indeed the case?

A number of things still need to come to light as well, such as what the Scorpions’ conviction rate is against the resources used to prosecute? What was the average staff allocation per case versus that of the South African Police Services?

But then again, do these questions matter? The Scorpions have been disbanded and have, theoretically, been incorporated into the SAPS. What is ironic is that as the Scorpions come to an end, so do Zuma’s legal woes disappear into thin air.

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