Mondli Makhanya

You know what you did, JZ

2017-05-28 06:27
Mondli Makhanya, City Press editor in chief

Mondli Makhanya, City Press editor in chief

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A few weeks ago, a rather pitiful President Jacob Zuma lamented his own fate in front of congregants of the Abundant Life Church, telling them that he was being persecuted for things he did “not know”.

(A slight digression before we continue: Who comes up with these church names? Is there a computer programme that spews out options, or is there a shelf company database where they are sourced? Or do the spiritual entrepreneurs sit around with close associates and brainstorm over a pot of tea or some stronger stuff? Anyway, let’s leave that for now and return to the sad tale of the persecution of our selfless leader.)

Zuma said he could not understand why people were saying there was a crisis in the country and why people were talking about his being a problem.

“We always hear people talk about Zuma. No one has come out to say Zuma has done this and that ... if I am not told what I have done wrong, I cannot correct my mistakes because I don’t know what I have done wrong.”

Well, if he bothered to follow the media, he would have an idea. But then, we know that the media are the running dogs of neocolonial apartheid white supremacy and the handmaidens of white monopoly capital. The same goes for opposition parties and civil society, who – as we all know – are part of a conspiracy by white monopoly capital and Western imperialists to halt radical economic transformation and derail the Brics project.

But surely Zuma would have – out of respect – read the letter written to him by ANC titan Ahmed Kathrada, in which the great man outlined exactly what he was doing wrong.

If Kathrada’s letter was unclear, then the president must have come across the For the Sake of Our Future document penned by 101 stalwarts and veterans and sent to the ANC leadership. In point form, the stalwarts and veterans – some of them Zuma’s own struggle peers and former fellow Robben Islanders – outline what has gone wrong in the country under his leadership and also suggest steps to get South Africa out of the morass. This they followed up with several meetings where they told him and his officials the hard truth.

If that was still not enough, he would have heard directly from the mouths of the Umkhonto weSizwe Veterans’ Council, which consists of the most accomplished and politically conscientised commanders and combatants of the ANC’s erstwhile army. They too have communicated what is wrong in a frank and honest manner.

Zuma would also have heard from members of his own national executive committee, among them members of his own Cabinet, who risked their jobs by laying out the issues in an open session of the ANC structure.

If Zuma really wanted to know what it was that people said he had done wrong, he would have read former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report or got someone to summarise it in bold, digestible bits. Even if he believes Madonsela is the spawn of Lucifer – as he surely does – what he would have found in there would have alarmed him as head of state and as a citizen.

But he most likely avoided it because he already knew his own role in the state capture plot.

Zuma now has some new material to familiarise himself with if he really wants to know what lies people are spreading about him. The first piece of material is the Unburdening Panel report, compiled by the SA Council of Churches. The report, the product of “unburdenings” by people who found themselves being compromised by unlawful instructions and actions around them, contains galling details of what has been going on in the Zuma administration. A head of state who cared about the welfare of his country and really wanted to act in the republic’s best interests would get his hands on it. Or get someone to crunch it into a short summary in bold letters.

The second one is a research work by respected academics titled Betrayal of Promise: How South Africa was Stolen. It is frightening in the way it tells us bluntly how a network centred on Zuma has created a parallel state that allows them to loot and abuse public resources to the tune of billions upon billions. The authors of the report characterise the state capture effort as “a political project at work to repurpose state institutions to suit a constellation of rent-seeking networks that have constructed and now span the symbiotic relationship between the constitutional and shadow state”.

It is this shadow state that exists side by side with the constitutional state, but has supremacy over it and the institutions within it.

Zuma’s presidency of the constitutional state serves only to enable him and his power elite to run and milk the parallel state, which spans the entire government infrastructure.

What is scary about this is that it sounds like some crazy futuristic conspiracy; yet, it is not. It is real. We have lived through it, our media have reported on it, intellectuals have analysed it, and activists have campaigned against it. All of us have been severely harmed by it. We just haven’t stopped it. The challenge is to do so before it totally swallows the constitutional state.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  state capture
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