[DEBATE] : Only Zuma denialists say it was not a victory, Vuyo Mvoko, B Day
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Sat Sep 23 12:26:54 BST 2006
Business Day, 22 September 2006
Only those with Zuma denial could say this was not a victory
IT IS too early for Jacob Zuma and his supporters to celebrate a
technicality, say those familiar with the law.
The elite including business and political leaders who either frown on, or
are vehemently opposed to, the prospect of a Zuma presidency are pinning
their hopes on the fact that the case has just been struck off the roll, and
not dismissed once and for all.
The problem with us South Africans is that a dozen years on, we are still
refusing to learn very simple lessons that this democracy is teaching us.
Worst of all, we find it so easy to dismiss truth and reality, simply
because it is not quite what we would like to hear or see.
True, Zumas victory on Wednesday was merely a confirmation of what
Bulelani Ngcuka said on that fateful Saturday, August 23 2003. The
latter-day businessman was still the head of the National Prosecuting
Authority (NPA) when he called a press conference and said although there
was prima facie evidence of corruption, he would not charge Zuma because
he did not think the case was winnable. Ngcuka took this position in spite
of his own underlings strong recommendation that the suspect be charged,
And for more than three years now our country, which deserves much better,
has been plunged into chaos of comic proportions, which we will no doubt
witness for some time to come.
Yes, the pundits are correct. Zuma is not out of the woods until the NPA
comes with its new evidence something the authority insists it will be
able to do by mid-October. But do Zuma and his supporters really have
nothing to celebrate, notwithstanding that ominous possibility?
They have lots and lots to celebrate. Zuma looks set to assume the
leadership of the most powerful organisation in SA, the African National
Congress (ANC), and eventually, the west wing of the Union Buildings. And it
is an indictment on them that there are still those who refuse to hear that
Zumas ascendancy to the highest political position in this country is a
possibility. More so considering that most of them regard themselves, and
are regarded, as the cream of SAs political, business, and academic elite.
Of course, one would not be so naive as to ignore the overall impact that
hitherto undeclared Zuma opponents in the ANCs presidential race may have,
including the possibility of victors by default. But without new and
incriminating evidence from the NPA, they will have an uphill battle.
It is that recognition that is resulting in many ANC leaders and cadres now
saying hail to the new chief Zuma albeit in all manner of disguises.
There is little other explanation for the changes in the ways the ANC
parliamentary lot have suddenly come to behave including their out-of-hand
rejection of some proposals, such as that of the parliamentary majority
partys chief whip, Mbulelo Goniwe, who recently asked his comrades to throw
their weight behind party president Thabo Mbeki.
Obviously buoyed by Wednesdays decision, the pro-Zuma lobby is set to up
the ante. Already the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) is
demanding Zumas reinstatement as deputy president of the country
something they know is unlikely, as it is Mbekis prerogative to appoint
anyone to his cabinet. But then Cosatus aim is not to get Mbeki to do
something everyone knows he wont be keen to do: the idea is to pit Mbeki
against as many ANC cadres and structures as possible. In other words, short
of a coup, they want to force a crisis in which the ANC president will be at
odds with his own party.
And even if the NPA was to charge Zuma, his supporters are determined to
make sure that Mbeki, too, is immediately investigated.
Was it any wonder then that at Gallagher Estate in Midrand where Cosatu,
staunch Zuma allies, were holding their annual congress this week the ANC
deputy presidents cabinet-in-waiting was already flaunting it? As early as
Monday, the labour minister-in-waiting, current Cosatu general secretary
Zwelinzima Vavi, said he was smelling victory and he invited all and
sundry to a celebration party that was to be held at the same venue after
the Wednesday Pietermaritzburg High Court decision. The party happened.
Unless the denialists are prepared to do a lot more about what they dont
like including coming up with foot soldiers to match Zumas and mounting a
seriously determined campaign they may as well reconcile themselves to the
fact that Zuma and his crowd are far closer to the pound seats Schabir
Shaiks father-in-law was said to have identified.
But anyone is free to continue frowning just as many people did three
years ago when some of us said there was no end in sight for the fight that
had just started, and which continues to this day. We said the NPA head
could have done better. Clever people said the fight against corruption
had nothing to do with the battle for soul of the ANC, which is what some
of us stupid journalists, so-called analysts and other dunderheads, were
insisting was the case.
* Mvoko is an independent media and political consultant.
Web site at: http://amadlandawonye.wikispaces.com/
Blog at: http://domza.net/
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