When a democratically elected president opts not to resign, he is not breaking the law. When a former ANC president decides not to the leave the highest office, he is not breaking the law. When a cadre of the ANC who has been recalled, decides to ignore the leadership of the party, he is not breaking the law. President Jacob Zuma is not a criminal, not in the legal sense. Not yet. But he is a delinquent president, one who has “failed in his duty”, as the term signifies. He is a PW Botha-style autocrat who has overstayed his welcome.
Jacob Zuma has broken the public trust. He has betrayed the spirit of the law and violated the common good. He has liquidated his legitimacy as a leader. By defying the party now, Zuma is simply extending his long-established delinquency. Think about the gravity of the situation: one man holds the nation at gunpoint, basically saying: “I will use power for myself, my in-group and my narrow and extractive interests.” This was factually and legislatively proven by the Constitutional Court’s finding that he violated the Constitution and betrayed his oath of office. The man is a delinquent and his delinquency is infecting the sacred office of the Presidency. His delinquency is defacing the ANC beyond recognition.
So now that this delinquent has decided to dig in, what should we the people do?
Jacob Zuma is not the first African leader to flout the rules, but he is the one who is now flouting our rules. How far are we willing to let this guy drag us down? Junk? Or are we willing to call out the tribalists and factionalists who have enabled this guy to thrive at our expense? We are not calling for a criminal overthrow of a democratically elected President. We are calling for the democratic resistance, the pressure and the principle, to turn the keeling ship upright. Future generations will thank us. DM
While we have your attention...
An increasingly rare commodity, quality independent journalism costs money - though not nearly as much as its absence.
Every article, every day, is our contribution to Defending Truth in South Africa. If you would like to join us on this mission, you could do much worse than support Daily Maverick's quest by becoming a Maverick Insider.
Click here to become a Maverick Insider and get a closer look at the Truth.
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.
Canola oil is named such as to remove the "rape" from its origin as rapeseed oil.