The dignity of the state capture commission has been held up by Zondo's personal approach. Even the most reluctant witness could not gather the rudeness to withdraw.
More sun than clouds. Mild.
President Jacob Zuma walks during a site visit at Westonaria Agri-Park. (Lerato Sejake, News24)
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happened after the no-confidence motion in President Jacob Zuma failed.
leader Mmusi Maimane decided to table a motion to have Parliament dissolved and
for fresh general elections to be held. For him, the country is so
directionless that only a fresh mandate from voters would set it on the right
not Maimane’s strategy is politically sound for the purposes of curing the
serious and valid concerns that he highlights, is a different question. What is
important, though, is that it’s not an illegal proposition. It’s perfectly
provided for in the Constitution. Like the motion of no confidence, which was constitutionally
permissible, the attempt to dissolve Parliament can be defeated.
political detractors are accusing him of desperately trying to unseat the ANC
from power. As a leader of the opposition, he probably would like to hear more
of that accusation. A political party not keen on taking power has no reason to
exist. (I digress to mention that the
South African Communist Party, which wants us to believe that it has an
ideological posture distinct from that of the ANC, must contest elections.)
trying to identify with the sense of desperation that has gripped millions of South
Africans who are struggling to eke out a living in an economy that has stopped
growing and is regressing. He is trying to offer inspiration to both the
working class and capitalist who, despite their class differences, agree on the
undesirability of Zuma’s destructive leadership.
The more Maimane
acts desperate – and fails in removing Zuma – he and his party probably
calculate, the more likely voters will identify with him because they too are
desperate. It’s not just about those without jobs.
classes – black and white – are psychologically tortured to see a beautiful
country with so much potential being willfully ruined. It is probably with this
in mind that Maimane thinks his political strategy would be deemed virtuous by
challenge for Maimane is to pace his strategy in a manner consistent with the
extent of desperation among voters. Pacing himself miles ahead of them, in a
manner which might be construed anarchic, could have the unintended
consequences of repelling rather than attracting support. But the jury is out.
important thing that happened after the no-confidence motion was that Zuma
visited Galeshewe in Kimberley for the scheduled state-sponsored celebration of
Women’s Day. Without a shred of shame, Jacob Zuma and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
turned the official event into a campaign platform. Zuma and his supporters
sang in praise and endorsement of Dlamini-Zuma’s presidential ambitions.
ex-wife and their ANC supporters essentially dedicated the event to their ANC
factions. Dlamini-Zuma was depicted on our television screens looking amused
and blushing at the same time. And once she ascends to the throne, she will be
telling the nation and government officials that no one must use state
resources for personal gain. We will, of course, be expected to believe and
obey. If ever there was a case of passing the baton literally with all its
malfeasance, this was it.
of a head of state, presiding over a state function that is turned, with his
approval, into an electioneering platform, is unethical and unconstitutional. It
is potentially prosecutable in terms of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt
Activities Act. This law prohibits the awarding of undue benefit. Zuma
facilitated or endorsed the facilitation of the undue benefit that Dlamini-Zuma
enjoyed at the government event. Zuma himself and his family stands to benefit
from the elevation of Dlamini-Zuma to the presidency.
It is also
in violation of the Executive Ethics Code. This law seeks to prevent conflict
of interests among members of the executive, including the president. Zuma is conflicted because, as it was
established in the Nkandla matter, he is the ultimate guardian of the nation’s
resources; and yet he has used or allowed state resources once again to benefit
his preferred presidential candidate and the mother of his children.
clearly, the law and ethics are the least of Zuma’s concerns. He uses the law
only to the extent that it works in his favour. Otherwise, it’s an irritation. Zuma
knows how to use legal processes to vindicate his rights.
responsible towards citizens of the country and taking his constitutional
obligations seriously are separate matters. His party and state institutions –
except the courts and the previously respectable Public Protector’s office –
have given him immunity from any wrongdoing. It is trite that he has lost a
sense of right and wrong.
Maimane and EFF leader Julius Malema are putting on their reading glasses and
trying to understand the finer details of what’s legally permissible to end the
destructive rule of Zuma, including considering the not-so-advisable but
constitutionally legitimate attempt to dissolve Parliament, the culprit himself
goes on about his usual business. Constitutional constraints are, after all,
not applicable to Zuma.
enjoying the moment. While it lasts, some would say. And by endorsing
Dlamini-Zuma, Jacob Zuma wants to make sure that the moment lasts forever.
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