Guest Column

Who is really in charge of our country?

2017-02-26 06:29
Edward Zuma.

Edward Zuma.

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Setumo Stone

A close mate who is not really interested in politics once had an encounter with one of President Jacob Zuma’s young relatives and got a bit of insight into some of the chitchat that happens around the dinner table in Nkandla.

We had this discussion a while back, but some of it only recently made sense as the Zuma children are fast becoming newsmakers for defending their father, or even calling to order some senior ANC leaders.

The young Zuma, said my friend, was eager to impress. A constant Zulu phrase he used was “Siphethe la [We are in charge here]”.

A couple of times during the conversation, the young lad’s phone rang. Each time he answered the phone, he did not use his name, but his surname – Zuma.

The little ones have also learnt to be wheelers and dealers. He was excited about the diplomatic immunity he enjoyed when going on overseas trips.

To be honest, some of the things my friend shared are too sensitive to print on these pages, save to say that, in the end, we had a mutual agreement that South Africa is in deep trouble when even toddlers, figuratively speaking, are convinced that they are in charge and running the country. Siphethe la.

So I was not entirely surprised when Edward Zuma, the president’s eldest son, this week told ANC stalwart Mathews Phosa to shut up after he wrote an opinion piece calling for Zuma’s resignation.

“Having known him personally as a child during those days makes me want to vomit as I would have alarmed the ANC of what a traitor he was to become post-apartheid,” the young Zuma said.

Earlier this month, Thuthukile Zuma, she who became the youngest national government chief of staff in the country, told ANC national media officer Khusela Sangoni that she was not good enough to speak for the party.

The rebuke shook the ANC so much that one of the party’s old spin doctors, Nomfanelo Kota, came to Sangoni’s defence.

Thuthukile has also trained her guns on ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, berating him for pretending to be articulating the ANC’s position.

Yes, that is the same Mantashe who is number three after Zuma in the ANC and whose office is equivalent to being the CEO of the party.

So, where do the Zuma kids get the bravado to reprimand tried and tested leaders of the oldest liberation movement on the continent? In case you haven’t heard, they are in charge. Siphethe la.

But it felt a bit insulting recently when Edward weighed in on the chaos during the state of the nation address, saying that his father cared about the country more than himself.

“You know it’s not about the president individually; to him, it’s always about the country. He cares more about the country than himself‚” young Zuma said.

On the contrary, others close to Zuma and his Saxonwold cabal say that he lives by one philosophy: That the Zumas will never be poor again.

But even Edward knows that when the president oversaw the use of our taxpayers’ money to bankroll his R246m Nkandla pad, he was not doing it for the love of the country.

It reminds me of the character called Xander Cage, played by Vin Diesel, in the 2002 US spy movie xXx. In one scene, Cage is sent to a foreign country on a covert state mission. When he walks into his room, he finds a semi-naked woman dancing around a bed post.

He chuckles and says: “Oh, the things I’m gonna do for my country.”

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Read more on:    anc  |  zuma  |  jacob  |  edward zuma  |  nkandla
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