In his latest letter to the Constitutional Court, ex-President Jacob Zuma, moved past the race card and went straight to the martyr card. Once again, the chief architect of the State Capture Project has called the commission which, as President he established, as illegitimate.
“I have no doubt that the Zondo commission has become a complex project controlled by my political foes. Even though I established the commission, I was aware that it had been proposed as part of the campaigns to force me out of government,” he said.
If it is not cringe-worthy enough that Zuma can try to undo his own work, he then goes full martyr:
“For the cause of constitutional rights, I will walk in jail as the first prisoner of the Constitutional Court.”
For nearly three decades, South Africa was home to the world’s most famous political prisoner, Nelson Mandela. At the infamous Rivonia Treason Trial, Nelson Mandela also played the martyr card when he said:
“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
Nelson Mandela was facing real danger. It was believed that the judge may sentence Mandela to death because of his resistance to the politics of the day. Many observers believes that Mandela was making his own case worse by volunteering to die for his beliefs. As we all know, the judge sentenced Nelson Mandela to life in prison with hard labour and he spent 27 years incarcerated.
While in jail, Nelson Mandela enjoyed great admiration for his resistance to an unjust system. He won global admiration for his courage in standing up to his oppressors. His actions and stature played no small role in the liberation of South Africa. He left prison as a hero in the eyes of the country and the world.
Jacob Zuma is a crook and has done untold damage to the country that he twice swore an oath to protect. I find it highly unlikely that he will be on the receiving end of any sympathy other than from similar crooks. The vast majority of the South African population understand what Zuma did. Every time that Eskom flips that switch, or when trains can’t run because they can’t fit through the tunnels’ South Africans are reminded of Zuma’s ruinous reign. There is not a chance that the arrest of the New South Africa’s ‘original sin’, will bring the country to its knees.
So lets imagine that Zuma has been incarcerated, what then?
Well there will be outrage by the so called “RET” forces of Ace Magashule and Carl Niehaus and the usual call to action. It is highly unlikely that any kind of critical mass of ANC members will join them for one simple reason, they will lose their jobs if they do so as well as their position at the trough. So you will not find any Cabinet Minister, Mayor or member of parliament giving up their fat salary, ample perks and access to tenders just to be seen to side with a judicial delinquent. So that leaves the free T-shirt brigade; but who buys the T-shirts?
Zuma will threaten that his arrest will lead to an invasion by a latter day Zulu army, but with the king gone, who is going to organise pay for this. Armies are expensive. I am not sure that the Zulu warlords in Kwa-Zulu Natal will be too keen to take instruction from Ace Magashule from Bloemfontein.
What about the EFF and their newly rediscovered affection for Jacob Zuma?
For the EFF to support Zuma would be a highly dangerous political tactic for a party that was born out of the anti-Zuma slogan: “pay back the money”! This move could also cost Julius Malema his access to money and his ability to dictate policy to the ANC. The rank and file of the EFF may prefer the less dangerous route of fighting H & M mannequins or Clicks stores security guards.
The only thing protecting Zuma at the moment is the fear that other ANC bigwigs have of a full expose by Zuma of who stole the most money. By going to jail, they may just be able to silence him for good.
For the rest of us, we will be rid of a twenty year long nightmare and perhaps the country could get back to business.