10 ANNOYED THINGS THAT ZUMA 6
Hlengiwe Nhlabathi and Setumo Stone
President Jacob Zuma may giggle in front of cameras or crack jokes at ANC gatherings, but that is only a facade. In reality, Zuma is angry that his authority has increasingly been challenged and that his power is diminishing. Adding to the list that once only featured “clever blacks”, Zuma seems offended, upset and embarrassed by a growing number of people and institutions turning against him
At the last ANC national executive committee meeting in November, Zuma, faced with the prospect of a vote of no confidence among committee members, allegedly pitched himself as a victim of the courts and even the CIA. He said the courts and the CIA are the enemies and they want to take him out because he is from a rural area and he is not educated. He complained that nongovernmental organisations and opposition parties “ran” to the courts after losing battles in Parliament and that was a “misinterpretation of democracy”.
He said opposition parties brought the sharpest lawyers to court, which he could not afford
He said of Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report: “This report has been dealt with in a very funny way. It affected me and many. No fairness at all (sic),” said Zuma of the report, which ordered him to establish a commission of inquiry.
“I interdicted it because she was going to issue a report having not talked to me or asked me questions,” he said in his defence to blocking the release of the report. Days later, a recording of Madonsela’s meeting with Zuma emerged; in it, she pleads with the president to answer her questions on the state capture claim. “No one, no matter what position they hold, can instruct the president to establish a commission and even tell the process through which it must go ... so that’s a problem,” he said
Just last week in Durban, Zuma was annoyed with church leaders, warning them to stop meddling in politics because their role was to “pray for political leaders”.
“It is sad to see the church and church leaders getting mired into matters of politics instead of praying for leaders. I urge the church to pray for us as leaders‚ pray for our people to stop the hatred.”
It was a priest, Father Stanislaus Muyebe of the Catholic Church, who was the first person to ask former public protector Thuli Madonsela to investigate whether the Guptas had captured Zuma to enable his and their commercial interests
The ANC’s integrity committee
Zuma complained to the NEC that the integrity committee was not fair on him as they had already expressed misgivings about him even before they met him.
After meeting them, he said he told the committee that they should not come to conclusions without information, “otherwise they would come to the wrong conclusion”
In his criticism, he also said the ratings agencies’ approach to evaluating economies showed favouritism to those in Europe compared with developing countries.
He also complained that South Africans politicise the ratings. “We tend to politicise the grading. We pick and choose what we think rating agencies will talk about. There was France in September, the UK in June, Turkey in September to junk status, Russia, Brazil and China. I’m sure some of you here have heard for the first time that all these countries – big and small – have been downgraded (sic)”
Parliament turned out not to be a happy hunting ground for Zuma and he lashed opposition MPs.
“Each time I come here I am abused. Instead of answering questions‚ I am called a criminal ... a thief. This House has to do something. If this House is not interested in me answering questions‚ then don’t call me,” an exasperated-sounding Zuma said in the National Assembly after his scheduled question-and-answer session was again disrupted by the Economic Freedom Fighters led by Julius Malema.
In his February state of the nation address, he said: “They are showing how useless they are, people will never vote for them. They don’t understand democracy, how it works. They just move with the wind when it goes this way, that way, shame on them”
Criticism by ANC stalwarts
Zuma said: “These people called the veterans, they have forgotten what our Constitution says. They are saying whatever they want, they are encouraging people to do what is not done, something that they should go to jail for. Some call press conferences in order to relay a message directed at you. You hear in the media that so and so has said this about you (sic)”
Civil society movements, exemplified by Save SA led by Sipho Pityana
“There are comrades that we last saw in 1994, and have since changed … but all of a sudden they are up in arms. Most of them are not active in their branches, they are nowhere in our structures … and they say Save South Africa … save it from what?” asked Zuma at a rally recently
Speaking last month, he was critical of how big business conducts itself, saying they believed that they could buy people. “They buy people like they are blazers. They make you an offer you cannot refuse, they give you millions and say that your children should never suffer.
“Some of us who don’t have money are promised prominent positions and then ask you for political favours in return for positions. Then you find yourself in a trap (sic)”
THEUNS KRUGER, Graphics24
Father Stanislaus Muyebe