The King Is Dead

2016-03-31 14:25

And in a way I will miss him. As President of the rainbow nation, he certainly was a colourful King. One who we will speak of for all of our lives. And we will shake our heads in wonderment and be amazed as to how long his reign actually lasted and how completely and gobsmackingly insane the whole episode of his leadership was. And how the country managed to survive his outrageous Presidency (albeit only just).

We will recall the time when one of his wives tried to poison him and we will think of Nkandla and Omar al Bashir and the time that he allowed his friends to land planes at airports. And we will share youtube clips of him trying to say "One million and three hundred thousand". And we will laugh. And we will make jokes about the family named Gupta and think of the time when he removed the Finance Minister and nearly collapsed the economy.

And we will laugh. Not like he laughed. Different to him because we will laugh out of relief. Like when you think you are about to die in the middle of the night, but then realize its just one of your children hitting you on the head with their empty milk bottle because they are having a bad dream. And because we understand just how close we came to irreparable ruin. And in the future, our children (who now sleep through the night) will roll their eyes, bored to death of “Zuma stories,” that we never seem to tire of telling. And they will never really, thankfully, comprehend that all was nearly lost.

If not for the a very brave and tenacious Public Protector. And if not for a magnificent Judiciary and Constitutional Court who courageously said it like it is in simple clear language that leaves no room for doubt. Our President, they have declared is out of line and so are the people who protect him. The President, they said, and the elected Parliament had flouted the constitution. “The President,” said Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng “ thus failed to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution and the Supreme Court of the land.”

And if he doesn’t and if they don’t, then why should anyone? And for that reason alone the President will resign. Because even if he doesn’t, he is no leader at all.

Most South Africans are bi-polar. And its not even our fault. Of the many ills that we can safely (or not so safely) blame the government for, this is one of them. We despair and we rejoice in a matter of hours or certainly in a matter of weeks. Our currency, an external gauge of our feelings, see-saws along with our unstable emotional state as we grapple daily with the outrage and horror of corruption and inefficiency and the simple pity of it all. When a country has so much potential and has chosen to risk it for personal gain.

A few weeks ago the National Executive Council of the ANC had the opportunity to make a brave and moral decision. They chose not to. And in doing so, they sent a very clear message to the nation that they will stand behind the man and not the country. In doing so they made mockery of those who had sacrificed for the birth of this nation as well as the men, woman and children who are desperate for nothing more than to live their lives in peace and and in fellowship.

The NEC made the wrong decision, and now they will have no option but do what should have been done. They might not impeach. They might might not recall. But they will remove the man from the throne one way or another. They are out of options. The buck has stopped with the highest court in the land.

The King is dead. Long live South Africa.

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