Most of South Africa – and the world for that matter – has thus far relied on a short statement from the Presidency to try understand President Jacob Zuma’s ir-rationale for firing respected Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene. But as globally respected author and journalist Rian Malan explains in this brilliant contribution, most have thus far missed what was surely Zuma’s version of PW Botha’s Rubicon Speech. Like Botha did 30 years ago, Zuma deviated completely from the original script. Instead, he produced almost an hour of ad-libbing, providing a window into the mind of a man we can all now see is massively out of his depth. Now that he has been given his head it’s quite obvious that Zuma possesses none of the basics required to drive a complex modern economy, least of all the critical requirement of an open mind. A year ago, almost to the day, we published Rian Malan’s take on EFF leader Julius Malema. It quickly became one of our best read stories of 2014. There’s no doubt the army of Rian Malan fans will appreciate this superb piece just as much. It is republished with the permission of Politicsweb where it first appeared. – Alec Hogg
By Rian Malan*
Like all South Africans, I woke up to great lamentations and gnashings of teeth about President Zuma’s decision to, um, redeploy Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene. All commentators agreed it was a shockingly bad move.