Jacob Zuma at the End of the Road?

Jacob Zuma

Jacob Zuma, the president of South Africa, has now reached the end of the road and should step down in light of the recent Con-court ruling. The constitution court found the president had acted unlawfully by ignoring the remedial actions of the public protector’s report on Nkandla. It is a remarkable day for South Africa and Democracy as the president has been ordered to pay back the money.

The ruling African National Congress (ANC) party has issued a statement regarding the findings of the Con-court and will meet to discuss the appropriate action needed. South Africa now waits for the ANC to make a decision on whether Zuma will be recalled, or if the president will continue to serve as president. Support for the president is being garnered and the ANC Women’s League has announced it had “confidence in the nation’s development under his leadership.” The ANCWL’s support for the president is touching and the blindness of how the country has degenerated under the Zuma leadership boggles the mind.

While the debate on whether to remove Zuma or ignore the Con-court ruling is underway, the president and ANC should refer to the speech made on Sept. 22, 2008, when Thabo Mbeki was recalled. The following excerpts are from this speech announced in 2008:

“The decision to recall him was not taken lightly, but it had to be taken in the interests of making the country move forward. The country needs a strong and united ruling party at the helm of government, capable of galvanizing support for the government’s development agenda.

“As the ruling party, we need to sustain the confidence of our people in the ANC and its government. Once this level of confidence is weakened, the ANC has no alternative but to take action…”

“When we met with President Thabo Mbeki on Friday morning, ahead of the NEC discussion, he said that as a disciplined cadre of the movement he would readily accept and abide by any decision of the organization and subject himself to its wishes.”

“The ANC prides itself on having leaders who rise to the occasion, who put the organisation and the country first, no matter how challenging the circumstances may be.”

The 2008 speech by the president and ANC reflect the courageous and honest intentions of both authorities. Under the leadership of Zuma, South Africa has descended into chaos. The economy is a major concern, crime is rising, corruption is a new norm, and potential state capture by individuals is an emerging threat. Constructive criticism is snubbed and the ANC remain defensive, lacking honesty, and integrity.

If the president is not voted out, the ANC will never restore its credibility as a Democratic party. The ANC has proven to be incompetent and irrelevant, and much like Zuma, is a parasitic exploiter. The ANC has lost direction and is keeping South Africa mired in an outdated, slow evolutionary level.

Should the ANC vote to keep Zuma in power, how will the president be able to face diplomats, business people, and the public? The public might resort to mass action to remove the president. Millions of angry people could stage marches, demonstrations, and petitions. These measures will become an embarrassment to the ruling ANC party. Jacob Zuma has hurt too many people and will not be able to go from the spotlight into a peaceful retirement. It is, indeed, the end of the road for Zuma and either decision has a terrible after taste for the ANC.

Opinion by Laura Oneale
Edited by Leigh Haugh

News24: We stand firmly behind Zuma – ANC Women’s League
Mail and Guardian: Zuma should make way for new leaders – Mathews Posa
Polity: Jacob Zuma on the recall of President Thabo Mbeki and the way forward (22/09/2008)
Featured Photo Courtesy of GovernmentZA Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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