Treasure Zuma! We need him there

2016-11-11 12:20

Treasure Zuma! Hang on to him - for right now he serves an important purpose.

The parliamentary opposition called a no-confidence vote on Thursday last because of the “State Capture” report. That is what opposition parties have to do, but mercifully it failed - as predicted. Anyone who is serious about South Africa’s future and wants the best for us all in the long term should reject calls for Zuma’s impeachment or dismissal.

Why you might well ask?

Clearly, it has nothing to do with his leadership qualities for those are scarce. Neither does it have anything to do with his intellect, nor his morality - for he is notoriously deceitful, self serving and dishonest - but that is the whole point; there lies the rub.

If one diagnoses electoral trends, it is clear that despite his having no intention of being a positive agent of change, Zuma is nonetheless the embodiment of creative destruction - on which foundations the nation’s future can ultimately be built. To coin a figure of speech true to the moment, he is our “trump card” for change.

Consider the statistics.

Although the dynamics of general elections and municipal elections are somewhat different, they are comparable enough to discern trends. In plotting a trend line from 2014 to 2016 we see a dramatic loss of ruling party electoral support. Further, it seems totally reasonable to argue that it is only through the displacement of ANC values and axing its ruling culture that the country will be salvaged. There is growing acceptance of this realisation among the electorate - and especially the rapidly growing urban voting corps.

After more than 20 years of sixty five percent plus popular vote support, the ANC returned 62% in 2014, and then plummeted to less than 54% in August 2016. That is four percentage points per year!

In by-election results the other day – precluding only gains made by the DA in its own strongholds and focusing exclusively on ANC wards that it has retained – there is a continued decline of 3,8% from August to November.

Now although extrapolation can be dodgy and dangerous, they are clear trends from which we can draw hope and tentative conclusions. So let us crunch the numbers and draw the graph.

Indeed there is evidence to suggest that the trend is accelerating as disenchantment grows at ANC grass roots and as opposition politicians become emboldened at the scale of government sponsored fraud.

Thus - come 2019 - there is a realistic prospect of no political party holding more than 50% of the popular vote. So for the first time, that could mean a real - albeit messy and complicated - democracy.

So why not keep Zuma in place until the nation can comprehensively reboot?

Why embrace the ignominy of protracted ANC slow-poison as the state creaks into oblivion - when the end of the tunnel could come so much sooner?

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