Who is re­ally in charge of our coun­try?

CityPress - - Voices & Careers - voices@city­press.co.za

Aclose mate who is not re­ally in­ter­ested in pol­i­tics once had an en­counter with one of Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s young rel­a­tives and got a bit of in­sight into some of the chitchat that hap­pens around the din­ner ta­ble in Nkandla.

We had this dis­cus­sion a while back, but some of it only re­cently made sense as the Zuma chil­dren are fast be­com­ing news­mak­ers for de­fend­ing their fa­ther, or even calling to or­der some se­nior ANC lead­ers.

The young Zuma, said my friend, was ea­ger to

TALK TO US Do you think the pres­i­dent’s chil­dren and grand­chil­dren use their name to fur­ther their own in­ter­ests?

SMS us on 35697 us­ing the key­word ZUMA and tell us what you think. Please in­clude your name and prov­ince. SMSes cost R1.50 im­press. A con­stant Zulu phrase he used was “Siphethe la [We are in charge here]”.

A cou­ple of times dur­ing the con­ver­sa­tion, the young lad’s phone rang. Each time he an­swered the phone, he did not use his name, but his sur­name – Zuma.

The lit­tle ones have also learnt to be wheel­ers and deal­ers. He was ex­cited about the diplo­matic immunity he en­joyed when go­ing on over­seas trips.

To be hon­est, some of the things my friend shared are too sen­si­tive to print on these pages, save to say that, in the end, we had a mu­tual agree­ment that South Africa is in deep trou­ble when even tod­dlers, fig­u­ra­tively speak­ing, are con­vinced that they are in charge and run­ning the coun­try. Siphethe la.

So I was not en­tirely sur­prised when Ed­ward Zuma (the pres­i­dent’s el­dest son) this week told ANC stal­wart Mathews Phosa to shut up af­ter he wrote an opin­ion piece calling for Zuma’s res­ig­na­tion.

“Hav­ing known him per­son­ally as a child dur­ing those days makes me want to vomit as I would have alarmed the ANC of what a traitor he was to be­come postapartheid,” the young Zuma said.

Ear­lier this month, Thuthuk­ile Zuma, she who be­came the youngest na­tional govern­ment chief of staff in the coun­try, told ANC na­tional me­dia of­fi­cer Khusela San­goni that she was not good enough to speak for the party.

The re­buke shook the ANC so much that one of the party’s old spin doc­tors, Nom­fanelo Kota, came to San­goni’s de­fence.

Thuthuk­ile has also trained her guns on ANC sec­re­tary­gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe, be­rat­ing him for pre­tend­ing to be ar­tic­u­lat­ing the ANC’s po­si­tion.

Yes, that is the same Man­tashe who is num­ber three af­ter Zuma in the ANC and whose of­fice is equiv­a­lent to be­ing the CEO of the party.

So, where do the Zuma kids get the bravado to rep­ri­mand tried and tested lead­ers of the old­est lib­er­a­tion move­ment on the con­ti­nent? In case you haven’t heard, they are in charge. Siphethe la.

But it felt a bit in­sult­ing re­cently when Ed­ward weighed in on the chaos dur­ing the state of the na­tion ad­dress, say­ing that his fa­ther cared about the coun­try more than him­self.

“You know it’s not about the pres­i­dent in­di­vid­u­ally; to him, it’s al­ways about the coun­try. He cares more about the coun­try than him­self‚” young Zuma said.

On the con­trary, oth­ers close to Zuma and his Sax­on­wold ca­bal say that he lives by one phi­los­o­phy: That the Zu­mas will never be poor again.

But even Ed­ward knows that when the pres­i­dent over­saw the use of our tax­pay­ers’ money to bankroll his R246 mil­lion Nkandla pad, he was not do­ing it for the love of the coun­try.

It re­minds me of the char­ac­ter called Xan­der Cage, played by Vin Diesel, in the 2002 US spy movie xXx. In one scene, Cage is sent to a for­eign coun­try on a covert state mis­sion. When he walks into his room, he finds a sem­i­naked woman danc­ing around a bed post.

He chuck­les and says: “Oh, the things I’m gonna do for my coun­try.”

Setumo Stone



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