Max du Preez

Good luck, comrade president

2016-02-02 08:51

Max du Preez

Well, at least the national focus is back where it belongs: president Jacob Zuma, corruption, state capturing, nepotism and weak governance.

The ANC’s propaganda machine has been largely successful for a week or three in diverting the discourse solely to race and racism, but the rot in the Union Buildings and Luthuli House is just too odious to ignore for long.

This past Sunday every single Sunday paper carried a story on some or other Zuma scandal.

Every indication is that if 2015 was Zuma’s annus horribilis, 2016 is going to be his annus maximus horribilis.

Even his bodyguards are in trouble at last. This week two of his most loyal pawns appeared in court: advocate Nomgcobo Jiba, deputy head of the National Prosecuting Authority, and former crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli.

Jiba is being accused by a senior colleague, Willie Hofmeyr, that she had abused her position to target her personal enemies. Hofmeyr also aims a sideswipe at their boss, NPA head Shaun Abrahams, who has in a very short time proved to be firmly in the Zuma camp.

Mdluli, for many years regarded as super-powerful and untouchable, is facing charges of kidnapping, assault and subverting justice.

The wheel is turning, slowly but surely.

The tide is also turning inside the ANC alliance. This week the revolt around the Gupta family’s extraordinary influence and closeness to Zuma and his loyalists started boiling over, at long last. Zuma isn’t going to get this genie back in the bottle.

The more we know about the disastrous sacking of Nhlanhla Nene as Finance minister in December and the somersaults that followed, the clearer it becomes at least three of the ANC’s Top Six had purposely given Zuma rope to hang himself.

The plan to sack Nene wasn’t a surprise to the senior leaders in Luthuli House. An ANC insider-journalist wrote about it several days before it happened. I saw that and immediately posted a comment on Facebook warning that such a move would shake the very foundations of our economy and put Zuma under extreme pressure.

It is impossible that Cyril Ramaphosa, Gwede Mantashe, Zweli Mkhize, Baleka Mbete and Jesse Duarte didn’t take note of these reports and comments days before the event. There is no way they did not, like me and many others, foresee the impact it would have on the economy and on the rand.

We also know that Des van Rooyen knew about his appointment days before it was made public – enough time for him to go and recruit senior people elsewhere to work for him at the Treasury. He arrived with these appointees at the office the day after his appointment.

But Ramaphosa, Mkhize and Mantashe remained tjoepstil until after the pawpaw hit the fan, when they promptly forced him to reverse the decision – Zuma’s biggest humiliation since be became president.

Zuma’s strongest support bloc now is the Premier League, a lobby group headed by the premiers of the Free State, Limpopo and Northwest.

There is a strong suspicion that Van Rooyen and the new minister of mineral resources, Mosebenzi Zwane, were candidates pushed by the Premier League.

Actually, the Premier League are so close to the Gupta family that many suspect that these two ministers were Gupta nominees. It is a matter of record that senior Zuma appointments have on occasion learnt about their new jobs from the Guptas and not the presidency.

Zuma’s year is about to become much worse.

He is facing two serious court challenges in the weeks ahead, the one about the money he needs to pay back for Nkandla and the other seeking to reinstate charges of corruption against him.

He also faces the likelihood that his attempt to capture SARS by handing it to his sycophant Tom Moyane is going to be reversed. Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan will not lose the power struggle with Moyane, a former head of correctional services.

At stake is not only the efficiency and credibility of SARS, but access to the many SARS dossiers with allegations of corruption by Zuma and several of his benefactors and friends.

But first Zuma has to get past the EFF that has promised to disrupt his state of the nation address next week.

If I were a better and more generous human being, I would have said: Good luck, comrade president.

- Follow Max on Twitter.

News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.

* Only comments that contribute to a constructive debate will be approved by moderators


SHARE: publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.