Max du Preez
Zuma 'a danger to SA's economic stability'
Max du Preez
The single most serious clear and present danger to South Africa’s short-term economic and political stability has a name: Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma.
There can be little doubt left now that Zuma has decided to fight to the bitter end rather than retire quietly after the coming local election or early next year, as senior ANC leadership elements (and much of the rest of South Africa) had hoped.
We should prepare ourselves for the possibility that Zuma will employ a scorched earth policy; we should face the fact that it isn’t beyond him to want to pull the pillars of the state down on all of us ...view middle of the document...
This time it was done to bring fear and loathing to Zuma opponents and prepare the atmosphere. Zuma is flexing his muscles.
As things stand today, it is clear that Zuma has outmaneuvered his opponents.
He has clearly not abandoned his ambitions to claim the national treasury for his and his cronies’ benefit, just as he had done successfully with the Hawks, SARS, the National Prosecuting Authority, SAA, Denel, the SABC and other state-owned enterprises.
The treasury holds the keys to the state coffers and it is the first prize.
Zuma’s previous attempt to capture the treasury was when he fired Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister on 9 December last year and replaced him with Des van Rooyen, a move that had Gupta fingerprints all over it.
That was five months ago, but Zuma still refers to it. Last week he again tried to justify his appointment of Van Rooyen and hinted that it was a white capitalist conspiracy that had forced him to fire Van Rooyen and appoint Gordhan. This false narrative, that South Africans shouldn’t fear the Guptas but the Ruperts, has gained some traction in ANC circles.
(I found it very disturbing to watch Zuma at the weekend meeting of the Gauteng ANC making jokes about the uproar his appointment of Van Rooyen had caused – just days after the Public Investment Corporation revealed that it had lost R99bn in the day after the appointment.)
Zuma 'wants to take revenge'
Zuma’s forced climb-down on Van Rooyen was the most serious injury ever to his political career. He is still smarting and wants to take revenge.
He and his sidekicks have been very successful in softening the impact of the Constitutional Court’s damning findings on Nkandla by twisting and turning the court’s words and offering a half-hearted apology.
His other headache, the high court’s decision that the withdrawal of criminal charges against him was illegal, is something he can put on the backburner, playing his old game of slowing down the judicial process.
The story that Zuma wants to replace Gordhan with the present Eskom CEO, Brian Molefe, has been doing the rounds for many weeks now, as has the story that the Zuma loyalist just sworn in as MP, Sfiso Buthelezi, was destined for a senior position, possibly Molefe’s deputy.
(The Daily Maverick reported yesterday that one of the Gupta brothers had...