Mostly sunny. Cool.
Former South African President Jacob Zuma and President Cyril Ramaphosa during the election manifesto launch of the African National Congress in Durban on Saturday. With Zuma wielding influence and authority over Ramaphosa, it is unclear whether any attempt to prosecute the networks at the heart of state capture can go ahead. And their alliance has arguably left the work of the Zondo Commission without political protection and open to attack by powerful lobbies.PHOTO: REuters
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The fake bromance between
Cyril Ramaphosa and Jacob Zuma is like a third rate soap opera. The plot is not
credible, the dialogue is weak and the actors are pathetic.
We know Ramaphosa can't stand
Zuma and says nasty things about him behind his back. In public he very
respectfully calls him Nxamalala, thanks him for his contribution in syrupy
language and promises him jobs.
The Zuma lot's gossip about
Ramaphosa is even more vicious and they are undermining and sabotaging him at
READ: Do we expect Mbeki to explain his lack of interest in Zuma?
Most of us watching know that
the subtext determines that Ramaphosa be comradely and warm to Zuma so he would
remain in the ANC kraal and his followers would still vote ANC in May.
Once the ANC has scored a
decisive electoral victory, the subtext continues, we will see the Real Cyril.
He will change direction; he will clean up government; he will whip the economy
into shape, even when the measures are unpalatable to his left wing; he will
pull the sting out of the land issue; and he will bring an end to the reckless
populism in the governing party.
Some of the soapie viewers
say Cyril is spineless, others say he's a master tactician.
We will have to wait until
after the election to find out who was right. Until then, prepare yourself for
more sickeningly sweet love scenes between the two.
Perhaps Ramaphosa is
bargaining that the Zondo commission and the new blood at the national
prosecuting authority will do his dirty work for him and discredit Zuma, his
benefactors and cronies to such an extent that they're virtually neutralised.
Personally I think the suggestion
coming out of KZN on the weekend, that Zuma should be offered an
ambassadorship, is a good idea. It would take him out of circulation and end
his toxic role in our politics.
But the right victim country should
be chosen. I would propose Somalia, Yemen, Syria or South Sudan.
But even if Nxamalala sits in
Mogadishu or Juba, the real adder in the bosom is still here and isn't planning
to go anywhere, unless he is given orange overalls soon: ANC secretary general
Magashule was recorded last
year saying to Zuma followers at a private gathering that people shouldn't worry,
Ramaphosa will only be leading the ANC until the next ANC national conference.
The DA just loves this story
and runs around selling the narrative that a vote for Cyril is actually a vote
for David Mabuza, his deputy, because the ANC is going to kick out Ramaphosa in
I suppose it's possible that
this could happen, but if it does, he won't be replaced by Mabuza. Neither camp
in the ANC can stand him. We will have to wait to see which leading figure in
the Zuma camp isn't in jail by then before we can speculate about a
Every time I talk to people
in the Ramaphosa inner circle, they tell me that he is going to drastically
reduce the size of the executive and the civil service after the election; that
he will turn the state-owned enterprises back into profitability; introduce
public/private partnerships; that he will make sure that the expropriation without
compensation project does no damage to agriculture or the economy; and that he
will clean up the ANC of crooks and charlatans.
I think he genuinely wants to
do these things. But we now know that his opposition inside his own party is
still much stronger than he (and most observers) had anticipated.
Ramaphosa doesn't only want a
full term until the next election in 2024, he wants a second term as president
How realistic is it to expect
that he won't be inhibited by the possibility of an early recall?
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