The build up to the ANC Centenary year and the 53rd national conference has seen opportunists of all stripes and colours rushing to the publishers with all sorts of fairy tales allegedly about the organisation and its leaders. This avalanche has seen a string of texts, history and biography, being published between last year and this year.
All these books are passed as authoritative expositions of their respective subjects.
The most recent addition to this myriad of new titles is Zuma Exposed by investigative journalist Adriaan Basson. Ahead of publication, Basson's book was punted as the book "Jacob Zuma does not want you to read." It was further meant to be an "explosive, roller-coaster account" that traces the unraveling of likeable but deeply flawed leader who came to power as victim, not visionary.
Once released the book turned out to be a damp squib - a scrap-book of Basson's "investigative" pieces from his Mail & Guardian to his current City Press days where he is deputy editor.
Responding to the book she descibes as a diatribe aimed at influencing delegates at the Mangaung conference ANC national executive committee member, Jessie Duarte arrives at the correct conclusion that the book is not a good read with its nuanced opinions that have been regurgitated a number of times.
In the main the book is a vindictive piece against President Jacob Zuma who Basson refers to as a flawed leader - who unlike his predecessors who rose to power with a Big Idea, had nothing but a corruption trial to offer.
In a vain attempt to steady the book's rickety legs and help sustain his vindictive arguement of President Zuma as a flawed leader, Basson draws heavily from Zuma/ANC detractors such as Reuel Khoza and Njabulo Ndebele.
The ANC renegade, Julius Malema's bile against Zuma is the glue that keeps Basson's lousy thesis together. "President Jacob Zuma is a president of a faction within the ANC. They have never marched against corruption, they have never marched against crime, but they have marched against The Spear."
There are also nameless and faceless alleged ANC sources who may just be the creations of Basson's vindictive mind.
As Duarte said in her open letter to Basson, the book is devoid of balance. It is therefore of no consequence in our quest to gain a deeper understanding of of the second phase of our transition.
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