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The Zuma spectacle makes one wonder …

If we can’t tackle corrupt political practices when brought before the criminal justice system, SA has no chance of holding politicians to account.
It seems liberation credentials give leaders impunity, but the countless chances we give to politicians must end, says the author. Image: Siphiwe Sibeko, Reuters

Does former President Jacob Zuma want his day in court or not?

He has always insisted on wanting to have his side of the story heard in response to the allegations made against him. Despite continuous assertions of cooperating with relevant authorities, his deeds arguably seem contrary.

From his recent actions, such as submitting a questionable sick note to the KwaZulu-Natal High Court, it is easy to assume that he has no intention of having his day in court.

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The latest developments in the more than ten-year-long corruption trial, include a warrant of arrest being issued against him. Again, for reasons known only to Zuma and his legal advisors, it appears the former president is bent on avoiding court.

He is not, as we have seen throughout the country, the first politician to be dogged by serious allegations.

Nor is he the first leader in the world, especially Africa, who has had to face the law after their term in office. Those within the ANC who criticise the pursuing of corruption or criminal charges against Zuma, claim the allegations and charges are a cover-up against the witch-hunt used to settle a series of political scores and are more about a power struggle within the party than anything else.

The spectacle surrounding Zuma has made me wonder – do Africans attach a special kind of sentimentality when it comes to corruption or allegations thereof against former leaders who were part of liberation movements?

Is this lenient stance among voters exploited by leaders who demonstrate arrogance without limit in using their terms in office for personal and political gain?

Acting with impunity in the fundamentally grimy and crooked arena of politics while coining it – is this acceptable? Not even the knowledge that individuals are being investigated has deterred some politicians and public servants.

Is the South African public more forgiving? Would the outcome be different if the governing party was mostly white or had no struggle credentials, or has the public becomes so numbed by corrupt practices that we don’t care?

I use the former president as an example to provide a basis on which to argue that if South Africa cannot demonstrate that as a growing democracy it can tackle the corrupt practices in politics when brought before the criminal justice system, then it has no chance of holding politicians to account.

Message to the nation

Moreover, it is saying to the ordinary citizen: ‘Accept that politics and corruption go together, and there’s little we can do to change it’.

Without getting into the endless debate as to who is more corrupt – the public or private sector –and whose corruption affects society the most, an inescapable observation is that corruption in South African politics goes beyond the individual.

Evidence indicates that it instead becomes part of the collective, part of management, and that it extends beyond the routine charges of fraud, nepotism, collusion and abuse of state resources – practices that mark government or the public sector as a whole.

In the democratic South Africa, the political game shows us that power corrupts, and the fundamental nature of politics is such that it poses a greater risk to democracy.

At the heart of public memory regarding the government’s mounting failures is that there is a lack of accountability, and it stems from political parties’ failure to contain the ambitions of dangerous men and women who seek power.

This has given rise to corruption, self-indulgence, materialism and the permissible culture of aspiration to leadership by anyone.

In the case of the ruling party, the rationale that leaders are accountable to its members, in particular its elective conference voting delegates, has become inconsequential to the very people elected to lead.

Paradoxically, at least to me, this amorphous ‘collective decision’ type of answerability is a way of shrugging off responsibility.

An increasing point of frustration within the country regarding corruption, whether in the public or private sector, is that while accountability is being talked about, it is woefully missing and never applied.

The prevailing assumption that democracy deepens with each successful election will be tested in the face of the miasma of corruption that has become a feature of the democratic South Africa.

In recent years, it has eroded, stolen and captured resources meant for the people.

To remedy this situation and instil accountability into politics, the sentimental, often utopian, lenient and soft-hearted approach, as well as the countless chances we give to politicians must come to an end.

Until we do that, their self-serving nature is such that corruption will flourish and accountability will remain a wish.

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COMMENTS   35

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We need to simplify the law. All that should be needed to lock someone up is proof that a person has lived and spent at a standard above what they have disclosed on their tax returns or have reasonable explanation for. Once that is proven they are guilty – easy – saves a lot of time and legal fees.

All well and good intentionally. But useless if the policy of no enforcement continues.

There is one big reason for this: voters who are unable to make the mental connection between their power to vote and holding politicians to account. There is no inkling of concepts like accountability, honesty and integrity in the majority of voters in SA. A democracy is only as good as the quality of its voters, and in SA this is extremely poor.

In the tribal system none of the concepts exist.

No accountability as you are just part of the collective.

No honesty as it has no value.

No integrity as in a collective it would make you different.

Oh. And importantly you NEVER hold the “chief” accountable.

Carve this in stone, we will never see an ANC politician, corrupt or not in jail. Period, done.

There will be a few fall guys for pretenses, ala Shake, 2 white officers in the air force but NEVER a cadre.

Mention Zuma’s name and it literally gets lit.

Be sure to check domestic and
international Corporation Actions reports from your brokers or you’ll miss important stuff whilst focused on nonsense.

problem is = the longer it takes to sentence a guilty person, the lessor the effect it has on other people who even consider the same crime. to date the guptas just disappeared into the thin air of dubai – if they ever come back to account for their actions we can prepare for another noah’s flood

Zuma is a Gupta puppet who had done this country irreparable damage. He should be given a lifelong sentence. He must be one of the worst president ever to have ruled, like his brother, Mugabe.

Carl won’t agree with you.

Could be a short sentence…

I would prefer stripping him and his cadres of all forms of assets. No point Z dies in 2023 after being sentenced in 2022 but his legacy lives on in the stolen billions enjoyed by the family and guptas and hangers on

Zuma will will himself to death before even appearing in court, then Carl will blame WMC, Rupert, Oppenheimer and any other self made white wandering past.

Faked his mothers death………..:):):)

No, it is an African thing. Read the book “Why Africa fails” by Elly Twineyo-Kamugisha. On pg 77 he lists Africa’s biggest looters. The top ten are (1) Gen Sanni Abacha (Nigeria) US$20 billion (2) Pres Félix Houphouët-Boigny (Ivory Cost) 6 US$ billion (3) Gen Ebrahim Babangida (Nigeria) US$5 billion (4) Pres Mobuto Sese Seko (Zaire/DRC) US$4 billion.(5) Pres Mouza Traore from Mali US$ 2 billion (6) Teodoro Mbasogo Equatorial Guinea US$ 600 million (7) Pres Henri Bedie Ivory Coast US$300 million (8) Pres Dennis Nguesso Congo US$200 million (9) Pres Paul Biya Cameroon US$200 million (10) Pres Omar Bongo Gabon US$80 million. They all have one thing in common: Not one of them was ever held accountable for their theft.

This Zuma saga is beyond ridiculous. The never-ending excuses. The Stalingrad tactics – despite ‘wanting his day in court’. The fake, altered medical certificate. Seriously, we need billboards throughout the country stating: ZUMA HAS ROBBED THE POOR. That is the absolute undeniable fact. Yet poor fools still want selfies with him when he appears in public??? Duh! Is there no cure for stupidity? Or maybe there is, if we finally end up like Zimbabwe. Then the light about ANC looters may eventually dawn on an uneducated populace.

the majority of Zimbabwean voters have still not woken up to the fact that their lives will never get any better and will vote the crooks governing that country back into power at the next election and for decades to come. Our voters here display the same support for failed, crooked politicians and will no doubt continue to do so for ever.

And guess what, my neighbour’s Zimbabwean domestic working in Cape Town (with papers) still has on her Whatsapp profile picture a photo of Robert Mugabe with the words: “My leader, my hero.” That despite the fact that many Zimbabweans are eating tinned cat food today. The mind boggles.

The majority of Zimbo voters are dead / have left the country (legally or illegally) / have never been born yet / are completely imaginary, existing only on the ZANU-PF voters list.

Ag shame have a heart. He is very sick (So they Say)

What has Zondo Commission achieved? How many more years will this still go on? What will this then have achieved? How long will the prosecution (if any) then take? Are there enough qualified prosecutors to prosecute successfully?
I say give the culprits a year to come forward to admit, compromise on an amount of say at least 50% payback, ban him from future similar activities. If he does not react, speed up investigations with private sector and double his penalty. This country need the money now not in ten years time. Otherwise the existing path is a smokescreen.
Unless ANC is not in charge (of ripping the country)

One big problem is that EVERYONE in the ANC, including family Mandela, benefited from the corruption in the Arm Deal and Zuma’s wrongdoing. So the party is on the line, not just Zuma.

Indeed, the entire black connected elite is on the line.

Amandla in the Nguni languages means “power”. The word was a popular rallying cry in the days of resistance against apartheid, used by the African National Congress and its allies.

What happened, seems the power has been replaced by heads in the sand.

Perhaps we should follow the example of Sudan – Sudan’s rulers have agreed to hand over ex-President Omar al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to face genocide and war crimes charges. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-51462613

But then we would also have to send most of the ANC elite as well.

The problem is that SA cannot and will never (not in the foreseeable future at least) be able to hold its politicians to account. It is the criminal cadre cabal that holds them to account from their committee room at Lootfreely House. The “democracy” that is shown is but a farce. The only plus is that we still have press freedom and a reasonably trustworthy judiciary. For now.

Another good article by the author.

The voters have failed to keep the politicians accountable.

For hundreds of years the voters had no experience of democracy, elections and voting – exactly as the liberation parties want it.

Where is the voter education?

I do believe that the 4 top advocates appointed will start proceedings against the State Capturers before June this year.

Zuma has given cause to be held in custody until his trial. I think that is very clear yet he still evades all…

I really hope Zuma misses his court date on 6 May so they can arrest him, lock him up, deny him bail as he is a flight risk and let him spend the duration of his trial behind bars!

….there won’t be a golf course big enough for JZ to spend his life in.

Wishful thinking. That will never happen as long as the ANC runs this country.

During a recent DAVOS interview, Richard Quest from CNN still wants to know “How many are currently in jail?”

(The international community sees SA govt being soft on, or protective on corruption.)

Yep, SA is increasingly on the world’s radar for the corruption that’s so blatantly obvious – and still unpunished – in South Africa. Zuma and several of the ANC top leaders need to go to jail pronto. They all have robbed the poor. And the world, and investors, are now clearly seeing it. Not good for FDI.

Whether Zuma, the Guptas, Markus Jooste, etc. will ever be held accountable for their actions is less of a concern, considering the current state of affairs within SA. The real conversation that we should be having is regarding the probability of SA reverting to the African mean (Zimbabwe more specifically) and what actions we can take to protect ourselves for this eventuality.

In my peer group, it’s only the fund managers (mainly PMs) that speak very positively about SA’s prospects, for very obvious reasons. The government has shown us time and time again that they have no idea how to govern, how to solve the education issue (they have lowered the pass mark as a solution), how to solve the unemployment issue, their unfriendly stance towards business, their lack of accountability, their socialist policies, other economically inefficient policies such as BEE (with the further need for forced female representation) , EWC, NHI, and the list goes on and on. I can’t for the life of me determine reasons to remain in SA, let alone raise a family here, with the economic (and currency) risks that we are facing,including Eskom and all that it entails. A considerable amount of highly qualified friends and peers have already left our shores and a lot of the people that I speak to daily are considering the same. Luckily, I have an EU passport so it makes the planning somewhat easier.

But what about everyone else? Unfortunately, by this I am referring to those grossing at least R70k per month as the rest simply have very little choice. Why take out a mortgage for a property that will eventually be worthless in dollar terms. What can you do to avoid the eventual demise? For years, Magnus has been advocating for you to take your money offshore, I wish that I went all in when CR was elected and the Usdzar was around 11.80 or so, it’s definitely not too late but surely it pains you at the current exchange rate.

Either way, unless you forecast a different endgame for SA, sadly one’s energy and focus should be directed at planning the eventuality of emigration, unless you one day instead want to be a gazillionare in Rand terms.

# Skopskiet, I admire you for your realism.

Yes, we all have something to say or contribute (to propose political & economic solutions), but there are days I realise myself “why all this waste of time and energy to find solutions, instead of researching one’s exit (escape?) from Africa.”

When a sinking ship’s water rushes in for decades at a higher rate it can be pumped out, it’s no use to go deep into the hull trying my bit to plug the whole….the drunk Captain and his majority sailor don’t care…just let them enjoy the sinking party….and just less effort to find the nearest life-raft.

…..as Ship SA is not the only ship on the global ocean. It will need some hard rowing… 😉

Another
National
Crisis

Won’t ever change, it can’t, it doesn’t want to.

A short lesson in African politics:
Africans love a ‘Big Chief’. The fatter and wealthier the better. (insert mugshot of Zuma/Julius etc)
It is a badge of personal power and a mark of success.
If you have not enriched yourself and your tribe in the time of plenty, (read time in office) you are a disgrace and not a ‘Big Chief’.

By contrast, someone like the young, skinny Mmusi Maimane commands no respect – he has not enriched himself, seems to value rule of law, fraternizes with the wrong tribe, and is definitely not worthy of being a ‘Big Chief’.

End of comments.

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