Sly, shrewd Zuma manipulates factions in the ANC
IN LIGHT of the impending Parliamentary vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma, it is perhaps opportune that we look at Mr Zuma’s current situation vis à vis the ANC.
In my opinion, Mr Zuma is not the problem. The ANC is. To the extent that Mr Zuma has a simple mind, is uneducated and runs a sophisticated economy, with no basic understanding of economics, finance, basic maths and other reasonably complex topics, is a huge problem.
Mr Zuma cannot tell the difference between a trillion, a billion and even a thousand. A case in point, at the end of a three-day ANC national general council conference which was held in Midrand from October 9 to 12, 2015, he struggled to correctly read the figures highlighting a decline in ANC membership.
Mr Zuma’s understanding of most things is limited and basic, for example how to prevent oneself from contracting HIV. However, Mr Zuma is sly and shrewd enough to manipulate some factions within the ANC for support.
That is what’s keeping him in power. The various factions within the ANC are destructive to the organisation and are responsible for the dysfunction that currently besets the ANC.
The leadership succession battle within the ANC is along faction lines.
There is no one candidate that enjoys the support of all the factions at the moment. Maybe that person will emerge in due course; it is not clear at this stage.
The ANC and Mr Zuma put the interests of the ANC first, over those of the country.
That is the reason he appoints and retains incompetent ministers (Bathabile Dlamini, for example), for the sake of appeasing factions that support him – within the party.
Regarding Mr Zuma’s recall:
the MPs in Parliament will not vote him out, for self-preservation. Most of them benefit financially from their positions, especially the ministers. Ironically, they need Mr Zuma for their survival. If Mr Zuma were to leave, some of them would be reshuffled and lose their ministerial benefits.
We just have to look at Pravin Gordhan, and Mcebisi Jonas’ reaction after the reshuffle. Gordhan had turned the Treasury into his personal fiefdom and had thought he was indispensable.
Most of the ministers do not have the skills and professions to fall back on. The ANC is their life.
So, the MPs will not recall Mr Zuma. In this instance, the problem is not Mr Zuma, but the ANC.
He had said he was willing to leave any time, if his movement tells him to. There is no credible person at the moment to assume leadership of the ANC. And this is perhaps the sad reality for the country.
No credible person to assume leadership
JUST DO THE MATHS: President Jacob Zuma arrives for the morning working session on the second day of the G20 economic summit in Hamburg, Germany, earlier this month.