Defend Truth


The age of reckoning is upon us: Bring it on and arrest Jacob Zuma


Oscar van Heerden is a scholar of International Relations (IR), where he focuses on International Political Economy, with an emphasis on Africa, and SADC in particular. He completed his PhD and Masters studies at the University of Cambridge (UK). His undergraduate studies were at Turfloop and Wits. He is currently a Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Fort Hare University and writes in his personal capacity.

Let’s put matters to the test: Arrest Jacob Zuma. And given his disrespect for the judicial process, we don’t want a quiet reporting to the nearest police station. No, we want to see a proper arrest with handcuffs, so that the message is clear — this is what happens if you try to make a mockery of our judicial system.

I have always been a firm believer in the adage that Josephine Tey reminds us of, that, truth is the daughter of time. When I look at the Radical Economic Transformation (RET) types and their desperation to hoodwink our people, I know that with time the truth shall prevail. 

But also that “you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time”. Remarks made recently by some of these characters where they suggest that they have massive support in a number of provinces are simply false information. Yes, they have been active in all provinces drumming up support for their cause to stay out of prison and not for their pro-poor policies as they would like our people to believe, but it has not yielded the required support.

Why? Because the majority in all our provinces can see right through these misfits. Where were these so-called pro-poor policies when indeed they were in the driver’s seat under Jacob Zuma? Instead, we now see and hear the full extent of their looting and stealing from the state coffers during the State Capture period (nine wasted years of Zuma). 

They stole the money meant to remove unhealthy asbestos roofs and, as a result, our people still breathe in these toxic fumes. But Ace Magashule and Co don’t care, as long as they have their fancy cars and fancy suits and fancy shoes. And increasingly now, fancy words to try and get themselves out of this mess they have created. Our people will not fall for these forked tongues. We see you for who you are, the age of reckoning is upon us, we dare not falter. 

On the one hand, it’s as if Zuma is stuck in a time warp. He still thinks and believes that the ANC is bigger than the state. How sad that he has not realised that this has not been the case for so long already.

So, before you lose interest completely, may I remind you, “bad men get away with it when good men and women do nothing”. I know one can get rather disillusioned with all this nonsense in the ANC, but if we decide to step aside and concentrate on family and other priorities, we still need a functioning country, do we not?

Zuma’s absconding from the Zondo commission last Thursday is not so much a slap in the face for Zondo and the commission, but actually a true test for the ANC leadership. Zuma is plainly saying to them, dare to arrest me. Just like he was under the illusion that “my people love me” prior to his resignation, which we had to force him to do, he now is still firmly of the opinion that the country will somehow revolt in his defence should authorities arrest him.

Well, I say, let’s put that to the test. Arrest the former president with immediate effect. And by the way, given the disrespect he has shown towards the judicial process and the blatant manner in which he and his lawyers have conducted themselves, we don’t want a quiet reporting to the nearest police station and hand yourself over. No, we want to see a proper arrest with handcuffs, so that the message is clear for all to see — this is what happens if you try to make a mockery of our judicial system.

He is bluffing and now is not the time to pander to Zuma’s nonsense.

On the other hand, we see the RET campaign masters beginning to oil their machinery and getting bolder in their approach. For the first time, some of them have now verbalised that they intend to galvanise sufficient support among ANC members so that they can rally a call for Ramaphosa’s removal from high office. Then, which I think is brilliant spin-doctoring, in case they somehow don’t succeed in this ridiculous plan, they come up with a lame strategy to suggest that the CR camp will influence votes because they will buy them, “as they did at Nasrec”.

First, let’s set the record straight: it was not the CR camp that stole money from state coffers to fund voting fodder at Polokwane, Mangaung and Nasrec. There exists plenty of evidence that the RET types engaged in this — investigative journalists have exposed this many times.

So, to now suggest it will be the CR camp that will engage in such nefarious activities smacks of desperation. Why should anyone believe you? First, you steal from us (our taxes), then you come in sheep’s clothing and try to suggest the other camp will do so. Why should we believe thieves?  

Second, let me restate the obvious: to rid ourselves of elements who steal state resources in order to have a war chest, you must also get money from somewhere. Either you too steal from the state or you look elsewhere — in the case of CR it was the private sector that came to the party. Not because they wanted to unduly benefit post the conference, no, but because they could see how their respective businesses were being negatively affected because of the ruinous management of the economy and how corruption was becoming rampant and detrimental to their businesses. 

So, before you lose interest completely, may I remind you, “bad men get away with it when good men and women do nothing”. I know one can get rather disillusioned with all this nonsense in the ANC, but if we decide to step aside and concentrate on family and other priorities, we still need a functioning country, do we not?

Let me conclude by illustrating the double standards of the RET camp. Rule 4:16 of the ANC constitution stipulates that the resolutions of conference must be implemented without fear or favour. In keeping with this rule, the RET types have been clamouring for the president to implement conference resolutions on land, the Reserve Bank and many other issues, so, what now? Does it not apply to resolutions that negatively impact on certain comrades? Because there is also a very clear resolution that members must step aside once charged, but alas — the rules of Animal Farm doth apply, some animals are more equal than others, it seems.

And in case Josephine Tey’s chosen adage does not make it clear enough, the holy book also reminds us — in the book of Luke 8:17, it says: “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.”

Keep walking forward, Mr Deputy Chief Justice, and do not be deterred by the shenanigans of simpletons. I am confident that the next NEC of the ANC will ask the secretary-general to step aside because what Ace doesn’t realise is he is not bigger than the ANC. Local government elections are on the horizon and the next general election is also not far off. The Ramaphosa administration wants what every first-term administration wants, a second term. And it won’t allow Ace, Zuma or anyone else for that matter, to jeopardise this. 

I say again, the age of reckoning is upon us, and we dare not falter. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • John Buchan says:

    Spot on, Brilliant.

  • Meirion Griffiths says:

    Finally, someone cuts to the chase and has the balls to say what has to be said. Brilliant stuff.

  • Janice Kitchen says:

    Spot on again. At some stage however the citizens of this country will be needed to support our courts and Cyril by showing it in the streets. We cannot sit by and allow tyranny to prevail.

  • Alley Cat says:

    Great article Oscar. I just hope that your optimism is well founded, I would like to believe that your predictions will come to pass but not sure I do.

  • Lawrence Jacobson says:

    Great article. As South Africans, we need to maintain belief in ourselves. Having been through so much over the last 50 – 100 years, and more, we are still here. That speaks of a people with resilience, determination and hope.

  • M D Fraser says:

    I could not agree more. However what concerns me is that we almost never see any comments in this forum from a Mthethwa, or Langa, or Msimang, or similar. On the other hand I am so encouraged by persons with similar names phoning in on SAfm agreeing with the sentiment described above by Oscar. There is hope.

    • District Six says:

      Correct – an astute observation. “Corruption” as putrid and treasonous as it is, isn’t the only problem SA has; but it certainly flags the loudest people’s cognitive bias on race and on privilege.

  • Gerrie Pretorius Pretorius says:

    Well said!

  • Glyn Morgan says:

    Zuma reminds me of Trump. Or maybe it is the other way around! In fact the entire ANC remind me of the US Republican Party! Ramaphosa an’ all!

  • Sergio CPT says:

    Give that man a Bells! 100% right and can only hope/pray that finally these thieves, parasites and low-lifes will be arrested, their ill-gotten confiscated and may their stay in prison be long and hard. Common Hawks, NPA etc. the time is right to do it now! Carry out your duties and serve/save SA!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Very well put

  • Glyn Morgan says:


  • Peter Dexter says:

    Brilliant! Let’s hope Judge Zondo and the NPA read this and respond accordingly.

  • Graeme de Villiers says:

    Any bets on how long it will take Captain RET, Carl Niehaus, to start squawking?

  • Nos Feratu says:

    Agreed. But a Hollywood arrest will not per se be sufficient. “Druk hom in die kas” needs to be demonstrated for a long period, with bread & water and not caviar & champagne.

  • Chris Kirsten says:

    Please just get a few facts straight. Asbestos is a fibrous rock. It has no fumes. With age the cement matrix which holds it together, decays and releases these every fine short, microscopic fibres. Worse than fumes, it causes silicosis or better, asbestosis as seen in miners. This makes the entire escapade even far worse. Once painted the problem is gone. No fibres, no fumes. You can even give the paint and brushes to the home owners. That’s the real terrible depth of it. Crime has no end. No, Zuma is not stuck in a time warp. He stays exactly in character. Around 2012 he said the law cannot tell politicians what for. Anything changed in the meanwhile? He does what he thinks. And no, the ANC is no-one to respond to this. The entire RET gang needs orange overalls, big-wigs included. Zondo has the legal teeth for it. Does he have the b . . . s for it? This is High Noon at the OK Corral. It’s a case at law and if Zondo does nothing and he suffers nothing in his profession, you have kissed South Africa goodbye without even knowing it. So, I will wait to see if he dots his i’s and crosses his t’s as required in labour law on disciplinary cases. This is the parting of the ways . . .

  • Johan Botha says:

    Now is the moment Cyril. Support Judge Zondo, arrest and incarcerate Zuma and watch his cohorts disappear along with Ace, Julius and the others of this ilk. The nation is ready!

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