The tide is turn­ing

CityPress - - Voices - Mondli Makhanya voices@ city­press. co. za

For those among us who are de­pressed and bleak about the state of the coun­try, take heart. The tide is turn­ing. It may not be time to start shout­ing from the rooftops that change is around the cor­ner, but you can cer­tainly sense that the times are a-chang­ing. The ed­i­fice of cor­rup­tion, in­ep­ti­tude, im­punity and anti-con­sti­tu­tion­al­ism is be­gin­ning to crum­ble.

It was only a few months ago that a dimwit with blood­shot eyes was in full con­trol of our pub­lic broad­caster. He is now gone, never to pol­lute South African minds again. He will make noise from the wilder­ness and hope to be no­ticed. But then, that is what lu­natics do.

James Aguma, the lu­natic’s pup­pet (imag­ine be­ing that per­son), resigned from the SABC this week. It was on Aguma’s watch that the SABC’s fi­nances went to hell. This was through a com­bi­na­tion of in­com­pe­tence, cor­rup­tion, ne­glect and reck­less­ness on the part of the board and top man­age­ment.

It was not that long ago that the Eskom board tried to pull an am­a­teur­ish trick on us in try­ing to bring Brian Molefe back to the helm of the util­ity. They failed. Molefe is now un­em­ployed.

Ben Ngubane, the Eskom gang’s ring­leader, is also gone. This week, the com­pany’s act­ing chair­per­son, Zethembe Khoza, an­nounced that dis­ci­plinary steps were be­ing taken against top ex­ec­u­tive Mat­shela Koko, a Gupta en­abler, for con­flict of in­ter­est.

Over at the na­tional air­line, the reign of chair­per­son Dudu Myeni – who has the sur­vival abil­ity of Dur­ban’s most no­to­ri­ous pest – is com­ing to and end. She was re­cently yel­low-carded by the Com­pa­nies and In­tel­lec­tual Prop­er­ties Com­mis­sion for mis­rep­re­sent­ing a board de­ci­sion a few years ago. With that record, she will bat­tle to find fer­tile graz­ing ground when her term ends within the next eight weeks. Even her friends and com­fort-givers in high of­fice will find it dif­fi­cult to jus­tify hav­ing her around.

The or­ches­tra­tors of state cap­ture are also feel­ing the pres­sure as the net closes in. In the past few months, their so­phis­ti­cated crim­i­nal syn­di­cate has been laid bare. The Un­bur­den­ing Panel re­port by the SA Coun­cil of Churches delved deep into the dark cav­erns of this net­work. As did the Be­trayal of the Prom­ise re­port by se­nior aca­demics.

By far the great­est con­trib­u­tor to ex­pos­ing the green, sticky slime that is the Gupta em­pire has been the slew of emails that have be­come the daily diet of news con­sumers. The Gupta emails have told us just how com­plex the Gupta net­work is, how tight its grip on our body politic is, how deep its claws have gone into our veins and how be­holden our state is to this – the filth­i­est fam­ily in the land.

There is a sense in the coun­try now that what has gone down is not just crim­i­nal, but down­right trea­sonous. As a for­mer union­ist, un­der­ground op­er­a­tive and civil ser­vant, Cun­ning­ham Ngcukana wrote in City Press re­cently that the emails “pro­vide suf­fi­cient proof of overt acts that con­sti­tute trea­son”, an act that Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma and oth­ers should be charged.

“For trea­son to oc­cur there must be in­tent, as well as con­comi­tant ac­tion, to vi­o­late a coun­try’s le­gal or­der. In other words, trea­son is a breach of the al­le­giance that a ci­ti­zen owes to his coun­try. It be­comes more se­ri­ous when com­mit­ted by those en­trusted by the Con­sti­tu­tion, and by law, to pre­vent it and to pros­e­cute those guilty of com­mit­ting it. As with any crime, wrong­ful in­tent is a cru­cial el­e­ment of trea­son,” Ngcukana wrote.

He con­tin­ued: “The Gupta email leaks pro­vide suf­fi­cient proof of in­tent on the part of Zuma, who showed dere­lic­tion of duty in his ap­point­ment of Cab­i­net min­is­ters. By cre­at­ing a shadow state – or, in the words of for­mer fi­nance min­is­ter Pravin Gord­han and his deputy, Mce­bisi Jonas, ‘a par­al­lel state’ – Zuma has in­ten­tion­ally ig­nored the es­tab­lished pro­ce­dures and pro­to­cols of ap­point­ing Cab­i­net min­is­ters and [state-owned en­tity] board mem­bers.”

Po­lit­i­cally you need look no fur­ther than Zuma’s lone­li­ness and the out­comes of the re­cent ANC pol­icy con­fer­ence to see that there is a glim­mer of light at the end of the tun­nel. Zuma is a very lonely man. He is per­sona non grata at Cosatu and SA Com­mu­nist Party events, oc­ca­sions where he was once feted as the hero of the com­mon man. He can no longer ad­dress pub­lic gath­er­ings with­out max­i­mum screening of at­ten­dees and the pres­ence of goons to en­sure that he is not em­bar­rassed. He has been re­duced to be­ing the pres­i­dent of a fac­tion of his party.

The out­come of the pol­icy con­fer­ence showed how not in con­trol of the ANC Zuma and his fac­tion are. Hav­ing lost bat­tle af­ter bat­tle at the Nas­rec gath­er­ing, the Zuma fac­tion opted to defy the out­comes and in­ter­pret the re­sults their own way. There is now a tone of des­per­a­tion in their ut­ter­ances.

And if you are look­ing for one more sign that the end of the night­mare is nigh, see the un­prece­dented open cam­paign­ing in the suc­ces­sion race. In the eyes of Zuma’s fel­low lead­ers and on the ground, he is as good as gone. And so they fear him no more.

But keep the cham­pagne on ice. The des­per­ate and the cor­nered are very dan­ger­ous.

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