By Dr Eugene Brink*
The time has come to oust Zuma so the country does not have to suffer under him any more.
Chairperson of the Solidarity Movement Flip Buys today said that South Africa simply cannot afford more of Jacob Zuma and he would have to go, or he would have to be asked to go. Zuma is busy expediting the end of his own reign, but he dare not be allowed to drag the country down with him. Zuma, rather than the country, should succumb. It is now just a matter of time before the ANC will turn against him en masse.
This follows after Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan had been issued with a summons which could well be the last straw. The local public and the international community have strongly condemned the Pravin prosecution. Even within ANC circles Gauteng Premier David Makhura sided with Pravin, and ANC veterans, such as Cheryl Carolus, lambasted Zuma over the latest step, with more to follow in due course.
According to Buys, it deliberately undermines the economy and deprives people of their sustenance. There are dozens of other reasons why Zuma must go, including the total lack of direction in the face of the university crisis, a weak economy, political instability and a poor government. “Zuma has overstepped a line he should not have overstepped,” Buys said.
According to Dr Eugène Brink, senior researcher at the Solidarity Research Institute, Zuma finds himself in the unfortunate position where he can only fight; flight is no longer an option as Gordhan’s probes would have revealed even more scandals. “Somewhere along the line someone would have ended up in court and Zuma wanted to make sure it was Gordhan and not him,” Buys said.
Zuma cannot get away from public opinion and the resultant opinion of the ANC.
Buys believes that Zuma would become as toxic as Hlaudi Motsoeneng, and the ANC’s survival instinct, public and international opinion and their own conscience will force them to get rid of him in the end.
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Buys believes that although it might still be a bit premature to say, given that other factors are also playing a role, it is possible this could mean the end of the ANC’s rule and it could split the party. Even if Zuma were to resign today the damage to the party and the economy has been done and his legacy would still divide the party for a long time to come.
Zuma could still hang in there for a while but the time has come where not even cabinet shake-ups and cadre deployment would cut it any more because a major part of the ANC would not be pro-Zuma. The local elections have proven it as the deployment and retention of loyalists in certain positions blew up in the party’s face, and ANC support still fell sharply in those metros and municipalities.
Meanwhile, the country should prepare itself for more turbulence. There can be no doubt as to how politicised the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is: On the one hand, they are putting up a battle in court not to have the president prosecuted on 783 charges; yet on the other they are prosecuting Pravin Gordhan with all their might.
- Dr. Eugene Brink is the Senior Researcher: Solidarity Research Institute