Dictators come in many forms but they have one thing in common, they never go quietly into the night. President Jacob Zuma has proven himself to be a illegitimate misleader with a dubious track record, criminal friends and a self-seeking lawlessness. Let us not imagine that he will rise to the occasion and step down. He will not. He will have to be pushed, and the once mighty ANC can no longer control him.
The ANC elected Zuma. The ANC enabled Zuma. The ANC shielded, excused and sustained his failure of a presidency. Why? Because party, faction and tribal loyalty is a blinding force that blurs the lines between justice and self-serving justifications. The “good guys in the ANC”, like Pravin Gordhan, Mcebisi Jonas and Naledi Pandor made a strategic miscalculation – that the ANC could save itself and reform.
The writing was on the wall when Women’s and Youth Leagues became mouthpieces for Gupta ploys and Saxonwold cabinet appointments. The Zuma patriarch had crushed the heart and soul of the ANC. His cancerous non-ethic had devoured the spirit of Oliver Tambo and Nelson Mandela. Cry the Beloved Movement.
The Deputy President won the party presidency, but did so hanging on by bloodied fingernails and the help of DD Machiavelli Mabusa. His was a victory of happen stance alignment between competing selfish ambition, not principle, vision or sheer credibility. Those were relegated to the background the day a Vavi-Malema alliance, from within the ANC, gave us Zuma.
So where does that leave us? In the same place most post-Colonial African nations were after liberation. It has given us a hollow-man power monger who is likely to be proven in time to have masterminded the capture and liquidation of our state. If former president Thabo Mbeki was guilty of denial, it is the ANC’s true believers that are now in denial. Ubaba will not go silently into the night.
The opposition have a role to play and need to stop dilly dallying and comparing egos.
The churches and broader faith community need to pick a side, history is watching.
The business community, infamous for hedging and whispering to power, need to smell the coffee beans. Nenegate was a only dress rehearsal.
We did not choose this fight. We would rather olé olé, fix education, build our nation and raise our kids in peace and quiet. We may have to fight for that future. DM
Marius Oosthuizen is a member of faculty at the GIBS. He teaches leadership, strategy and ethics
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Marius Oosthuizen is a member of faculty at the Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa. He teaches leadership, strategy and ethics. He oversees the Future of Business in SA project that uses strategic foresight and scenario planning to explore the future of South Africa, Africa and Brics.
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