Opinionista Omry Makgoale 11 March 2021

Our Constitution and democracy are in grave danger from Zuma and his efforts to scuttle the Zondo Commission

A new movement for democratic reform is now a life-and-death issue for South Africa. The present electoral system puts the ANC’s party headquarters in control of the government, instead of MPs elected as individuals in constituencies accountable to voters. We, the voters, are powerless.

Omry Makgoale

Omry Makgoale is a rank and file member of the ANC. These are his personal views.

Former president Jacob Zuma’s plan is to scuttle the State Capture inquiry so he can nullify the evidence already presented at the commission by questioning the integrity of the judge. 

If he cannot scuttle the inquiry, he wants to prevent it from completing its deliberations without him giving evidence or responding to questions. 

Zuma’s main excuse for refusing to present himself in front of Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo is his claim that once upon a time they had girlfriends who were siblings. According to Zuma, Zondo will not treat him fairly because their former girlfriends were siblings! What cockeyed logic. 

This is Zuma, the man who has claimed he wants to clear his name in court from the time when Schabir Shaik, his former financial adviser, was arrested — up to now. Ever since Shaik was found guilty by the high court in Durban/eThekwini in 2005 for paying Zuma R1.2-million and for soliciting a bribe from the French arms company Thomson-CSE (now Thales), as well as guilty of fraud for writing off more than R1-million of Zuma’s unpaid debts, Zuma has found every trick, every excuse in the law books, to evade presenting himself before the commissions and the courts. 

The man is a professional liar. When former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela asked him questions about his close friends and patrons, the Guptas, and their meetings with them at the Guptas’ mansion in Saxonwold, he refused to answer, unaware that Madonsela was tape-recording him. Later, when Madonsela published the report, Zuma cried foul, claiming he had not been given a chance to respond. The Public Protector then played the recording where she was heard asking Zuma questions about his relations with the Guptas, with Zuma refusing to answer. His lie about not being given a chance to respond was thrown out the window. 

The Zondo Commission has listened to more than 50 witnesses and read affidavits, with more than 30 witnesses implicating Zuma in wrongdoing. Instead of Zuma answering to the implications with affidavits or presenting himself to the commission, he has sought to find ways of not answering the accusations and found ways to evade, being aware that this is breaking the law. Zuma now plans to dislodge Zondo and scuttle the entire commission and its findings. 

The Constitution and democracy are in huge danger, with President Cyril Ramaphosa paralysed — a captive of Zuma’s cronies in the ANC top six. The entire process of constitutional democracy in South Africa is under threat from a cabal of the ANC elite who have plundered the finances of the state for their own private riches. 

Many members of the ANC National Executive Committee and ANC Members of Parliament are implicated in various illicit projects in state-owned entities and municipalities. It is not in their interests for Zuma to appear before the Zondo Commission. They want the commission to be stopped immediately, with all revelations classified under national security and sealed off from the public. 

The unity slate conceived at the ANC’s National Elective Conference at Nasrec in December 2017 by DD Mabuza, deputy president of the ANC and South Africa, is a toxic concoction that will lead to an explosion in the near future. At the heart of the battles inside the ANC and government is access to the Treasury and with it access to tenders and a lavish lifestyle. 

Soviet-trained and as a former member of the Central Committee of the South African Communist Party, Zuma knows how to use Marxist language to prevent himself from being tried in court for theft of public funds. The ideology of radical economic transformation is designed to whip up mass public support against the constitutional process among the very people who are most hurt by the destruction of the economy caused by the looting of public funds carried out by Zuma’s cronies. 

His RET “machinery” has complained that the Zondo Commission is a waste of money. What about the Mediosa mobile clinic in the North West, was it not a waste of money? What about the Vrede Dairy Farm project in the Free State, or the asbestos project? Were they not a waste of money? Or the Gupta wedding at Sun City? Or the Bosasa millions funding electric fences and cameras for various ministers and government officials?  

Taking the country downwards and downwards, the real “radical economic transformation” is from government by looters.

Zuma defies the courts, and the ANC NEC — with its majority of his supporters — brushes the matter aside. Instead of reprimanding him, or expelling him from the ANC, they allow him to defy the law. 

Under the current conditions, the people of South Africa are aware that the ANC cannot self-cleanse and cannot self-correct. Everyone can see there is no equality before the law. Under the ANC’s culture of State Capture, we as citizens are not equal. 

A new movement for democratic reform is now a life-and-death issue for South Africa. The present electoral system puts the ANC’s party headquarters in control of the government, instead of MPs elected as individuals in constituencies accountable to voters. We, the voters, are powerless. Deployment of politicians to national Parliament, provincial parliaments and municipalities by party headquarters has proven to be a colossal disaster for the country, and for the ANC.  

This is not democracy, and the paralysis of Ramaphosa shows the danger we are in. 

It is now clear that we, the people, must speed up for parliamentary electoral reform so that we can directly elect the president, Members of Parliament, the premiers and mayors. All leaders must be directly elected by the voters. Scrap the deployment policy where only crooks are deployed.   

Let us campaign together for more democracy. DM

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All Comments 12

  • Great article that sums up the real situation in this poor country with so much promise and potential. The thieving, obnoxious, putrid and evil ANC has all but destroyed SA. Its vile leaders involved in state capture and enablers must also be tried for high treason and locked away forever.

  • In my opinion….Jacob Zuma was the cause of South Africa’s reputational demise in the eyes of the world, as much as Donald Trump was to the USA. They are both lying thieving politicians who have only one interest – themselves and their ill gotten gains.

  • A great summary of the situation. Electoral reform is essential. Government spending needs to be rastionalised and government influence in society needs to focus on the all important educational issues which will take generations to fix – we need to start NOW. Health care is another essential which is likely to be bogged down by socialistic NHI legislation in process. SOE’s are a huge drag on our fiscus, but such a wonderful resource to plunder. Privatise these, and our financial books are likely to balance in the medium term again.
    Where are our true representatives in this regard, who are they?

  • Omry has summarised what numerous commentators have said during the past few months. The pillars of our three-tier government are crumbling rapidly. What is left is for the people of SA to make the power which they thought they had after 1994 truly their own. A people’s revolution is brewing.

  • Summed up perfectly, thank you. After attacking the Zondo Commission, the next step is already underway; with Zuma, Magashule and Duarte already starting to challenge the Constitution (what Magashule calls the “so-called” Constitution).

  • A top class article! Thanks Omry Makgoale. I suggest that this article is spread out to all the poor and off-line who would benefit most from a real democracy. Has this been published in The Sowetan? DM editor reading in – please spread this around to all and sundry. Thanks.

  • A poignant & incisive but grim take on matters facing the ruling party!Given the so-called naivety of the majority of the electorate,it is highly unlikely that fundamental change in the system towards accountable representation will prevail in the end.The growth of voter apathy is more likely.

  • Until the majority of our voters wake up to the fact that the ANC/EFF cabal is looting as fast as possible in the background while distracting us with small “wins” against corrupttion, we can only watch our money being stolen by the few political “elites”

  • Malema got booted out of the ANC for far less… The fact that he is being “given space” to think about his actions when his actions are clear to everyone… the ANC is dead, but people still keep on voting for this zombified corpse of a freedom movement.

  • I think that a split in the ANC is inevitable and if the DA and the ANC moderates have the courage to stand up against the Zuma / Magashule & Co crooks without politicking getting in the way, then SA may just have a chance of survival. If not it will be the end of our nation as we know it and hope it to be in the future.

  • Students protest because they have no money to pay university fees, a family man is accidentally killed in the confrontation… but billions in state funds have been squandered or stolen by thieves like Zuma et al. If I were a student with fee debt I’d be rattling the fence at Nkandla.

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