Oh, how we wish we never had to talk about Jacob Zuma.
How we wish he could vanish from public life and emerge only when he has to appear in court to answer for his multiple offences, and before commissions of inquiry to answer for his treasonous behaviour when he was president.
Alas, the man just will not go away.
He insists on inserting himself and his weird opinions into our lives. And whatever he says is never constructive.
On the contrary, it is inflammatory and divisive.
If it is not some pointed comment on Twitter, then it is in an interview with a lapdog journalist who nods and lets him ramble on.
Sometimes he uses his addresses outside court to spew his rubbish.
He even abused his appearance at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture to rant about enemies and conspiracies.
This week, we were subjected to something called Zooming with the Zumas, a conversation between the septuagenarian and his son Duduzane on the Zoom online platform.
Billed as a series of tell-all conversations “between a father and a son ... claiming their own narrative and telling untold stories ... that people need to hear”, the YouTube videos are little more than inflammatory conspiracy theories, and talk of enemies and plots.
We do not begrudge Zuma for telling his “side of the story”, as he has often threatened that he will, but he does nothing of the sort.
He and his son rewrite history to paint a picture of the former president as the target of multiple plots.
So why not just ignore him?
Because he retains a significant chunk of support, which he is deliberately trying to inflame with his caustic narratives.
Zuma has not accepted his loss of power and the fact that he failed to install a preferred successor, and he fears the possibility of jail.
He has become the rallying point of the corrupt and the dirty.
While South Africa tries to extricate itself from the mess he created, he wants to drag us down to the gutter in which he resides.
In our free society, he cannot be silenced. It would be wrong to even try.
The country must just stay the course, and let the truth and the law overwhelm his distortions of the truth and his dangerous narrative.
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|City Press is an agenda-setting South African news brand that publishes across platforms. Its flagship print edition is distributed on a Sunday.|