Zuma put backers there – analyst

2016-04-02 09:58
(SABC News)

(SABC News)

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Johannesburg – The ANC's top leadership stand to lose as much as President Jacob Zuma if he was no longer is office, which is why they stood by him following his lacklustre apology for Nkandla saga, an analyst said on Saturday.

Zuma apologised to the nation on Friday night following a Constitutional Court judgment regarding spending for upgrades at his Nkandla home. He has been ordered to pay back part of the roughly R240m spent on his home.

The court gave National Treasury 60 days to determine the amount Zuma should repay for non-security upgrades, namely the swimming pool, chicken run, cattle kraal, amphitheatre, and visitors' centre.

According to political analyst Professor Susan Booysen, Zuma's continual political side stepping showed that ANC top leadership structures stood to lose as much as Zuma.

“They have been hand-picked by him and have been the ones driving his election campaigns. It is Zuma who will constitute the top structures. They have as much to lose as he does.”

Booysen said Zuma’s address seemed to be “glibly” structured.

“It is possible that they would have been working on that speech pre-empting his loss at the constitutional court. They have decided in [the] inner circles that he is still redeemable. They believe a heartfelt apology could still work.”

Booysen added that Zuma saying he was not aware that he was breaking the law meant he was not presidential material.

“He is someone who has access to some of the foremost legal minds for the state. These people understand the law intricately. If he cannot delve into these resources to gain insight for his actions, he is not somebody who is presidential material.

“I think his speech also speaks to the fact that he still believes people will accept what he is saying.”

Guilt for some South Africans

According to Booysen, much of Zuma’s confidence stems from ANC support in rural areas.

“The people in these areas are modestly educated and there is a shrewd understanding of these issues. He relies on the fact that people largely want to vote for the ANC and not an individual. He is riding that horse to destruction because there is no individual voting principle.”

Booysen said the ANC is “excellent” at continually reinventing the liberation struggle over 20 years after democracy.

“It is a narrative that they continue to use in contemporary South Africa. While in many ways, this is true, with matters of racism still prevalent, they maintain the image of a liberation party. They remind people they cannot vote anything other than ANC.

“They bring in and reinvent the liberation struggle into contemporary politics. Now they are using and abusing that. President Zuma is abusing it.”

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  johannesburg  |  nkandla

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