You do not have to be very religious or superstitious in order to appreciate patterns of "Deja Vu" in politics. Indeed, the formulators of the old adage that "history repeats itself" never relied on the supernatural for the claim, but rather careful observation of the repetitive nature of historical events with which normal people can also identify. The only lagging question that these informed ones never speculated with is how long does history lie in wait before it deems necessary to open up an old record and play it again? As a young professional South African, I hope it takes quite long. Perhaps a century. Or never. Let me demonstrate.
The first historical occurence...
On 2 June 2005, Schabir Shaik is found guilty of corruption and sentenced to 15 years in prison. This would have nothing to do with our story, except that there was a particular man whose name had been implicated a year earlier in court proceedings of this particular case - and his name was Jacob Zuma. Mr Zuma was then the VP of the republic, and was firmly rooted in parliament. But after his name was implicated in the Shaik case, there had always been a corruption case waiting to happen. And sure enough, after being sacked by his boss (Thabo Mbeki) from being his assistant, investigations began against him by the NPA and charges came as sure as sunshine in the karoo. Mbeki might've thought he'd seen the last of this Zulu kid, but it was just the beginning. Zuma had a massive following and that was enough to spur him on. Of course, he was never really kicked out of his party.
After a vigorous court battle, Zuma was acquitted as charges were deemed to be unlawful 3 years later, an appeal by the NPA was heard, and then the case was put to bed in 2009 when the NPA dropped the case. A month later, he was sworn in as new President of the republic. What are we leaving out here.... ahh yes, in 2008 December his opponent Mr Mbeki was kicked out of his presidential position prematurely by the party. Convenient.
And then there was Malema..
Now let's fast forward to 2011. In August this young, rampant and loud leader of the republic's ruling party is called to a disciplinary hearing because of the 'provocative and division - inducing nature of comments', is found guilty and suspended, along with his sidekicks, for 5 years from the ANC. He starts quietly, when at meetings and such, to do hand signals that make it clear that he has no respect for the republic's first citizen. To reveal his lack of aptitude, he does this while pleading to be forgiven by his party, whom this first citizen is a head of! On 29 February 2012 he is expelled from the party, and a little later there is a new group that supports him, while claiming to maintain its allegiance to the ruling party. This young gun that vocally makes it clear throughout the year that he opposes the current government, particularly its head, and calls for his resignation. Also, he has a massive following. You know the rest by now. Last week an investigation begins, and according to current reports, he might be charged with a myriad of offences ranging from tax evasion to fraud. Are you starting to see the re-occurrences?
Oh Crystal Ball, whats next..?
Will these charges land him in jail, or will they prove unfruitful as was those brought against his predecessor in the story? Will he have his nemesis kicked out of the party, or will he have to join those who try to COPE? Will we have to deal with him again as the president of the country's leading party's youth league, or will he disappear into the shade and leave us in peace?
Dear honest South African, you might not be a fan of the current president, but you have to admit, you cant have it both ways. I'm not an ANC fan at all, quite the opposite, but we have to face reality. In the Zuma vs Malema war, you cant have them both defeated and out of the picture. One will fall, the other stand. I personally think that for the future of the country's prosperity and cohesion, Mr Zuma is the one I'd rather win this round. I'll be rooting that he knocks out Malema for good.
Please don' deal us a fateful blow. We know you like repeating yourself but, be more creative this time around and think of new ways to end this episode.
Some South Africans
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