Guest Column

City Press says: Why MPs must vote Zuma out

2017-08-06 06:06
President Jacob Zuma stands outside Parliament at the State of the Nation address in Cape Town. (Nic Bothma, AP, File)

President Jacob Zuma stands outside Parliament at the State of the Nation address in Cape Town. (Nic Bothma, AP, File)

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On the evening of Friday July 29, a large convoy of vehicles, believed to be that of President Jacob Zuma, was spotted in the vicinity of the Guptas’ Saxonwold compound.

This was not an irregular event.

Neighbours, dog-walkers and joggers have become accustomed to seeing the convoy in the area as the president comes to pay his respects to his employers or take instructions, or simply to enjoy a spicy dish.

The significance of July 29 was that it was the first day of the lekgotla of the ANC’s national executive committee, which took place in Irene, on the edge of Tshwane.

Which means Zuma was probably reporting back on the goings-on in Irene.

This is the extent of the Guptas’ ownership of Zuma.

As the revelations of the past eight years have shown, this ownership is complete.

The leaked emails have only solidified what the media and whistle-blowers have been saying for years: Zuma, a large chunk of the Cabinet, senior public officials and parasitic executives report directly to the Guptas.

In the words of the SA Council of Churches, a parallel government is being run from Saxonwold.

The ANC is not in charge of the country; the Guptas are.

Zuma, the man empowered by the Constitution to protect and promote the republic’s interests, facilitated this “silent coup”.

It is he who made it possible for the Guptas to get deep into the venous system of our body politic.

It is he who, over the next two years of his term, can allow the Guptas to continue with their stranglehold of the country.

On Tuesday, the 400 members of the National Assembly, the elected representatives of the people, will have a chance to reverse this viral takeover.

The ANC has instructed its MPs to vote against the motion and keep Zuma in power.

ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu said on Friday that Zuma’s removal would be “tantamount to throwing a nuclear bomb on the government of South Africa”; “plunge our country into complete political instability and economic uncertainty”; and “bring our country to the brink of collapse”.

We disagree.

We believe that Zuma’s immediate orderly and constitutional removal would be in the best interest of the republic.

Irretrievably corrupt

Long before Zuma was elected president, his corruptibility was there for all to see.

Evidence in the Schabir Shaik trial convinced Judge Hilary Squires that there was a “mutually beneficial symbiosis” between Zuma and the corrupt businessman.

Squires’ judgment, which was confirmed by the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court, found that Shaik sought to “intensify corrupt activity ... at the highest level in the confident anticipation that Jacob Zuma’s dependence on other dodgy businesspeople was laid bare”.

No appreciation for second chances

After escaping fraud and corruption in 2009 and ascending to the presidency, Zuma fell back to his wayward ways.

He dumped the convicted Shaik for the high-paying Guptas, a relationship that would land in our current captured state.

Zuma has relationships with other dodgy figures that his ANC comrades cannot keep him away from.

The donation of the state-owned enterprises

On Zuma’s watch these enterprises have been donated to the Guptas and other corrupt networks.

It has led to a collapse in governance and accountability systems, rendering them vulnerable to uncontrolled siphoning.

Billions of rands have been lost.

Destruction of institutions

To protect himself and the criminal network that surrounds him, Zuma has engineered the weakening, undermining and destruction of institutions such as Parliament, the police, intelligence and the prosecuting authority – and lately, the Public Protector’s office.

Treasonous recklessness

Zuma’s Gupta-dictated Cabinet reshuffles have cost the country dearly.

His enthusiastic attempts, since 2015, to hand the Treasury over the Guptas have landed us in “junk” status and accelerated our slide into recession.

The poor, as usual, were the biggest victims.

Loss of political centre

The ANC, the party which 62% of South Africans voted for in 2014, does not make the big decisions.

Ministers and deployees report directly to the Guptas. Another clear case of treason.

The personality cult

When it removed Thabo Mbeki as leader in 2007 and as president of the country the following year, the ANC cited a growing personality cult that was developing around him. Zuma has taken this to another level, with sections of the organisation treating him like North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.

Loyalty to the republic

The #Guptaleaks have revealed that Zuma, together with the Guptas, have a Plan B to flee to Dubai should things go pear-shaped for them.

Should such a person continue to govern a people to whom he no longer owes total loyalty?

Selfish interest

Failure to distinguish itself from Zuma will hurt the ANC in the eyes of a population that despises him.

The right thing to do

With each passing day, Zuma inflicts more hurt on South Africa.

Presuming that the ANC will remove him soon after the December conference, as some within the party are planning, another five months of him at the helm will be another five months of Gupta rule.

Big decisions will be taken for him and us in Saxonwold which will make the party regret why it did not take this opportunity.

So, we appeal to all those representatives of the people who believe in South Africa to rid the country of this maggot before it eats up the roots of our beloved republic.

  • This editorial appeared in City Press on Sunday, August 6. 

Read more on:    jackson mthembu  |  jacob zuma  |  guptas
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