Why MPs must vote Zuma out

CityPress - - Voices -

On the evening of Fri­day July 29, a large con­voy of ve­hi­cles, be­lieved to be that of Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma, was spot­ted in the vicin­ity of the Gup­tas’ Sax­on­wold com­pound.

This was not an ir­reg­u­lar event. Neigh­bours, dog-walk­ers and jog­gers have be­come ac­cus­tomed to see­ing the con­voy in the area as the pres­i­dent comes to pay his re­spects to his em­ploy­ers or take instructions, or sim­ply to en­joy a spicy dish.

The sig­nif­i­cance of July 29 was that it was the first day of the lek­gotla of the ANC’s na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee, which took place in Irene, on the edge of Tsh­wane. Which means Zuma was prob­a­bly re­port­ing back on the go­ings-on in Irene.

This is the ex­tent of the Gup­tas’ own­er­ship of Zuma. As the rev­e­la­tions of the past eight years have shown, this own­er­ship is com­plete. The leaked emails have only so­lid­i­fied what the media and whis­tle-blow­ers have been say­ing for years: Zuma, a large chunk of the Cab­i­net, se­nior pub­lic of­fi­cials and par­a­sitic ex­ec­u­tives re­port di­rectly to the Gup­tas.

In the words of the SA Coun­cil of Churches, a par­al­lel gov­ern­ment is be­ing run from Sax­on­wold. The ANC is not in charge of the coun­try; the Gup­tas are.

Zuma, the man em­pow­ered by the Con­sti­tu­tion to pro­tect and pro­mote the repub­lic’s in­ter­ests, fa­cil­i­tated this “silent coup”. It is he who made it pos­si­ble for the Gup­tas to get deep into the ve­nous sys­tem of our body politic. It is he who, over the next two years of his term, can al­low the Gup­tas to con­tinue with their stran­gle­hold of the coun­try.

On Tues­day, the 400 mem­bers of the Na­tional As­sem­bly, the elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the peo­ple, will have a chance to re­verse this viral takeover.

The ANC has in­structed its MPs to vote against the mo­tion and keep Zuma in power. ANC Chief Whip Jack­son Mthembu said on Fri­day that Zuma’s re­moval would be “tan­ta­mount to throw­ing a nu­clear bomb on the gov­ern­ment of South Africa”; “plunge our coun­try into com­plete po­lit­i­cal in­sta­bil­ity and eco­nomic un­cer­tainty”; and “bring our coun­try to the brink of col­lapse”.

We dis­agree. We be­lieve that Zuma’s im­me­di­ate or­derly and con­sti­tu­tional re­moval would be in the best in­ter­est of the repub­lic.

. Ir­re­triev­ably cor­rupt

Long be­fore Zuma was elected pres­i­dent, his cor­rupt­ibil­ity was there for all to see. Ev­i­dence in the Sch­abir Shaik trial con­vinced Judge Hilary Squires that there was a “mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial sym­bio­sis” be­tween Zuma and the cor­rupt busi­ness­man. Squires’ judg­ment, which was con­firmed by the Supreme Court of Ap­peal and the Con­sti­tu­tional Court, found that Shaik sought to “in­ten­sify cor­rupt ac­tiv­ity ... at the high­est level in the con­fi­dent an­tic­i­pa­tion that Ja­cob Zuma’s de­pen­dence on other dodgy busi­ness­peo­ple was laid bare”.

. No ap­pre­ci­a­tion for sec­ond chances

Af­ter es­cap­ing fraud and cor­rup­tion in 2009 and as­cend­ing to the pres­i­dency, Zuma fell back to his way­ward ways. He dumped the con­victed Shaik for the high-pay­ing Gup­tas, a re­la­tion­ship that would land in our cur­rent cap­tured state. Zuma has re­la­tion­ships with other dodgy fig­ures that his ANC com­rades can­not keep him away from.

. The do­na­tion of the state-owned en­ter­prises

On Zuma’s watch these en­ter­prises have been do­nated to the Gup­tas and other cor­rupt net­works. It has led to a col­lapse in gov­er­nance and ac­count­abil­ity sys­tems, ren­der­ing them vul­ner­a­ble to un­con­trolled si­phon­ing. Bil­lions of rands have been lost.

. De­struc­tion of in­sti­tu­tions

To pro­tect him­self and the crim­i­nal net­work that sur­rounds him, Zuma has en­gi­neered the weak­en­ing, un­der­min­ing and de­struc­tion of in­sti­tu­tions such as Par­lia­ment, the po­lice, in­tel­li­gence and the prose­cut­ing author­ity – and lately, the Pub­lic Pro­tec­tor’s of­fice.

. Trea­sonous reck­less­ness

Zuma’s Gupta-dic­tated Cab­i­net reshuf­fles have cost the coun­try dearly. His en­thu­si­as­tic at­tempts, since 2015, to hand the Trea­sury over the Gup­tas have landed us in “junk” sta­tus and ac­cel­er­ated our slide into re­ces­sion. The poor, as usual, were the big­gest vic­tims.

. Loss of po­lit­i­cal cen­tre

The ANC, the party which 62% of South Africans voted for in 2014, does not make the big de­ci­sions. Min­is­ters and de­ploy­ees re­port di­rectly to the Gup­tas. An­other clear case of trea­son.

. The per­son­al­ity cult

When it re­moved Thabo Mbeki as leader in 2007 and as pres­i­dent of the coun­try the fol­low­ing year, the ANC cited a grow­ing per­son­al­ity cult that was de­vel­op­ing around him. Zuma has taken this to an­other level, with sec­tions of the or­gan­i­sa­tion treat­ing him like North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.

. Loy­alty to the repub­lic

The #Gup­taleaks have re­vealed that Zuma, to­gether with the Gup­tas, have a Plan B to flee to Dubai should things go pear-shaped for them. Should such a per­son con­tinue to gov­ern a peo­ple to whom he no longer owes to­tal loy­alty?

. Self­ish in­ter­est

Fail­ure to dis­tin­guish it­self from Zuma will hurt the ANC in the eyes of a pop­u­la­tion that de­spises him.

. The right thing to do

With each pass­ing day, Zuma in­flicts more hurt on South Africa. Pre­sum­ing that the ANC will re­move him soon af­ter the De­cem­ber con­fer­ence, as some within the party are plan­ning, an­other five months of him at the helm will be an­other five months of Gupta rule. Big de­ci­sions will be taken for him and us in Sax­on­wold which will make the party re­gret why it did not take this op­por­tu­nity. So, we ap­peal to all those rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the peo­ple who be­lieve in South Africa to rid the coun­try of this mag­got be­fore it eats up the roots of our beloved repub­lic.

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