Contrary to what the ANC NEC might think, and contrary to what he himself might be thinking, the time for Jacob Zuma to leave is now.
Six years into his premiership, David Cameron resigned after the British public rejected his ‘stay’ call, rather opting to leave the European Union. He could have stayed and delivered Britain from the EU, but true to what he preached before the vote, he elected honour over greed for power.
Standing outside 10 Downing Street, he said: “The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered.”
Well, no such nonsense happens here at home.
Here, the ruling party seems happy to take a heavy pounding in a crucial election contested on national issues mainly because of its scandalising leader. He stays … they let him stay, in spite of all the haemorrhaging he has already caused.
Here at home, you have a leader breaking down COSATU into a meaningless workers’ desk. This is the same COSATU that has always made a great part of the tripartite alliance’s backbone, a powerful machinery which has always made a great impact on how the ruling party fared in previous elections. But the president and his men collapse it … and he stays.
In South Africa, you have a leader who has seen to the birth of the ruling party’s greatest prickle, a burgeoning thorn that has seen them bleed profusely in the last election. Any political novice will tell you Zuma’s folly gave rise to the wonder called EFF. Yet the man from IFP’s Nkandla stays.
In South Africa, police kill tens and tens of miners and four years later, nobody is in prison for murder. Four years later, we still have the same president. No accountability. No honour. The massacre was not important enough for the minister of police and the president to resign.
If the ANC is not going to remove Zuma for all the above reasons (there are more), perhaps it should consider that in 2019, a lot more young people than it has hitherto been the case will be eligible to vote. These are young people who would have to endure the swollen ‘Long Walk To Freedom’ to know Mandela. Put simply, loyalty based on history will quite likely not work in the ANC’s favour when these young ones vote.
Perhaps they should consider that Mmusi Maimane is a young Black person leading a very strong force against the ANC. The DA wants to govern. Maimane wants to be president, and, of all the weaknesses the ANC has, Jacob Zuma alone is Maimane’s most valuable resource.
Perhaps they should consider that the EFF is led by a bunch of energetic, radically sexy young people who are determined not only to frustrate the ANC by exploiting its biggest weakness, Jacob Zuma, but are also single-minded in spanking them at the polls.
This is a bunch of young people who are determined, every step of the way, to show why the ANC has failed in the project of giving the Black man his dignity back. They are determined to show that the Freedom Charter and the ANC are diametrically opposed.
The time to remove Jacob Zuma is now. The ANC knows fully well, just like we all know, that his removal will have obvious positive spin offs where the electorate is concerned. Note that I am not referring to the meagre million or so multi-factional ANC membership, but the general electorate. This is because with all the scandals that have enveloped him, Jacob Zuma has become so uncool with the electorate that removing him alone will almost certainly win the ANC a few more votes come 2019.
Removing Jacob Zuma now will subtract from the equation what renders the ANC frail and the DA and EFF solid – the courts. Remove Jacob Zuma now, and the game will sure change. The opposition will have a new problem to find in order to humiliate and frustrate the bleeding ANC.
But removing Jacob Zuma presents an interesting problem, does it not, because it will quite likely introduce the era of the ‘buffalo-man’, Cyril Ramaphosa, the very one famous for ‘concomitant action’ taken against the workers of Marikana. These Lonmin workers wanted better pay – R12500 per month – in order to give their families a taste of a better life. ‘Concomitant action’ saw more than forty miners feeling bullets enter them before taking their last breath.
So ‘buffalo-man’ at the helm might have the same consequence as the man from IFP’s Nkandla.
But whichever direction the bleeding ANC takes, the issues are clear, and the piercing condemnation from the electorate is inescapably thunderous.
Ed. Maruping is an independent commentator. Visit other media platforms for his works.