Zuma must have been at his wits’ end, af­ter suc­ces­sive min­ions failed to im­ple­ment the R1 tril­lion nu­clear deal. Time to call in the big guns

Financial Mail - - EDITOR’S NOTE - @ro­brose_za

As Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma “reshuf­fled” his cab­i­net last week, it took all of 15 sec­onds for any­one versed in Zu­ma­nomics to get what he was up to. It was all about get­ting the nu­clear deal done be­fore Vladimir goes all Ukraine on the Union Build­ings. Shaft­ing Blade was just the Bel­uga caviar on a buck­wheat blini.

It must be in­fu­ri­at­ing for Zuma: all the ap­pa­ratchiks hired to clinch the nu­clear deal in re­cent years had one job — and botched it. In­stead, they lost fo­cus and did things like flog­ging SA’S strate­gic oil re­serves. If only the gov­ern­ment med­i­cal scheme cov­ered Ri­talin.

Ev­i­dently, Zuma thought, I need a pro. En­ter David Mahlobo: the hith­erto “state se­cu­rity min­is­ter” whose Linkedin pro­file should in­clude such high­lights as jam­ming jour­nal­ists’ phones in par­lia­ment, and rou­tinely pop­ping past a brothel in Mpumalanga whose owner, you know, smug­gles rhino horn for a liv­ing.

We have no idea what Zuma told Mahlobo be­hind closed doors. I’d like to imag­ine it went like this . . . Good news David — your name is on the list.

The list? No, Mr Pres­i­dent, you know I’d never do any­thing to em­bar­rass you. It’s just spec­u­la­tion — it’s just a spa where I was get­ting my nails done. Also, that video could have been any­one. And if you look at the date stamp, you’ll see I wasn’t there for long.

JZ: He­hehe — no, the list of the new cab­i­net, af­ter the reshuf­fle. It’s hard to read, but it looks like you’re down to be en­ergy min­is­ter. Damn en­crypted faxes, bane of my ex­is­tence. If only the Krem­lin used e-mails for more than just send­ing out fake news.

DM: Re­ally? Well in that case, I’m hum­bled, I’m


En­ter David Mahlobo, Ja­cob Zuma’s con­fi­dant and fan of the oc­ca­sional man­i­cure. Now, he has just one job ...

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