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Jacob Zuma is not to blame for South Africa's mess

18 Jul 2021 at 07:06hrs | Views
At the time of going to press, over 100 people had been killed and hundreds hospitalised after riots and protests related to the imprisonment of former South African president Jacob Zuma.

Don't blame Zuma for the mess.

Zuma may be a bad guy, but he was railroaded to prison by a court so tainted, captured by an elite white economic aristocracy, and pressured by public opinion that it threw away all wisdom in favour of a quick fix. It broke all the rules in the book of wisdom.

If I were to make a list of them, sunset would fall before we were done. But for the sake of those who care to listen and to share the wisdom of the fathers, here is an abbreviated list:

- On August 7, 2007 former police minister Adriaan Vlok confessed that he had attempted to murder anti-apartheid activist Reverend Frank Chikane. Readers are warned to take a safe seat before proceeding. Vlok arranged for Chikane's underwear to be laced with poison in 1989. the poison attacked Chikane's nervous system and made him violently ill. He barely survived, but lost some of his functions.

You, sluggard, read between the lines.

Vlok's 10-year sentence was replaced with a five-year suspended sentence. the blacks in charge, wishing to be regarded as kind and gentle, mouthed these words:

"This case is not about retribution, even less about revenge." Well, Zuma will be looking through his jailhouse window.

The Philistines were singing hymns. "Zuma must go to a jailhouse." Well, that may be so, but where and when do circumstances alter cases?

Did Zuma, by disobeying a court order, commit a more horrendous crime than that committed by Vlok?

Ask Reverend Chikane that question.

- On August 22, 1998, Victor Lugaju presided over a case that would be his most memorable ever. Unrepentant former president PW Botha, then 80 and frail in body, but still full of racist spunk, stood before him.

A bare five years had passed since black jurists were allowed to "sit on the bench". the freedom fighters who had sacrificed their lives and families were Jacob Zuma, Nelson Mandela and Winnie Mandela.

Botha said some bad words. He had refused to honour three summons from the truth and Reconciliation Commission. that commission, according to the spicy Botha, was "tu ..tu" ( a snide reference to Bishop tutu) much a propaganda tool for Bishop Desmond tutu and the African National Congress.

Considering Botha's age and his prior position in South Africa, Judge Lugaju gave him the option of 12 months in a jailhouse or a fine of R10 000.

He escaped a jailhouse.

A Reuters correspondent who wrote about the story remarked that the atmosphere was not about revenge or retribution.

Botha never apologised and if the story be told, it was Mandela who sought his widow, after his death, to show grace and mercy.


Perspective is how one sees the world. Winnie Mandela's world was coloured by her experiences during the anti-apartheid struggle, which took 35 years of her life.

In one of her reminiscences, when she was accused of the murder of Stompie Moeketsi, she said some bitter words.

"You see those black judges. We went to prison so that they could be recognised as barristers and advocates at law. Now, they wear the gowns, they tell us about the rule of law. they want to lock us up," she said.

There is another reminiscence associated with Winnie. Nelson Mandela talked so much, or practiced reconciliation and grace. the BOSS (South Africa's secret service) fed him with terrible information about Winnie when he was at Robben island, including love letters she had written to Dali Mpofu.

Mandela forgave everybody except his wife.

The generation that fought for freedom in South Africa and elsewhere should be treated with grace and mercy. But more to the point, and that is Winnie's point: It seems easier for Africans to forgive white people who committed terrible crimes against them (reference Chikane case) than it is to see their brothers in the same light.


Zuma is somewhat a scoundrel.

The case against Zuma is found in the state capture report. Vitjie Mentor (p89) thought she was having a social fellowship with Ajay Gupta (a Zuma financier). She was told that if she could, as minister of State Enterprises, cancel the proposed South African Airways new route to Mumbai in favour of Jet Airways (a Gupta airline), she would not regret the decision.

In another paragraph, the same Ajay offered an emolument of R600 million with R600 000 cash payment if deputy minister Mcebisi Jonas would become their man in the Finance ministry. It was Jonas who eventually blew a whistle on the Guptas and caused all the furore we have now.

Whatsapp, print media and television shows are conflating the two cases with Zuma's refusal to appear before the Commission of Inquiry.

There is a very close similarity with Bill Cosby's case.

The fact that Jonas and Mentor have made these allegations does not make Zuma guilty. these sluggards, who claim to know all about the rule of law, forget that the law is an ass.

Zuma does not have to prove anything before anybody. the law (which I have told you is an ass) assumes that Zuma is as clean as a nun's white uniform.

It is the responsibility of the state to make that case. Please bear with me. Zuma is free to hire a Chitepo or a Beatrice Mtetwa who will make fools out of the prosecutors.

Mentor says that Zuma was in the Gupta house and appeared as she was about to leave. Mentor is assuming that Zuma knew or approved of a previous conversation between herself and Ajay. Please, be careful.

Also, brother Jonas assumes that Ajay will say to a court of law that his words were approved by Zuma. Please, my brothers. I am not that naïve.

Those who hate Zuma are conflating issues which have nothing to do with each other. the Zulus have a very negative perspective on Cyril Ramaphosa.

Like Zimbabwe, South Africa has two development templates about which nobody knows about and nobody pays them any mind. the first was the Reconstruction and Development, 1998 and the second was Rehabilitation and Reparations programme of 1999. together, they would boost housing by two million and unemployment by half. today unemployment among youths is 75%.

When it was discovered that Ramaphosa's political campaign had received large donations from capitalist moguls, namely the Oppeheimers (mining house) and the Ruperts (a banking family), an attempt by Julius Malema in parliament for full disclosure was rebuffed.

Ramaphosa has his Oppenheimers and Ruperts. Zuma has his Guptas. One has six and the other has half a dozen - it makes the same difference.

Source - the standard
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