Is Zuma playing his final card?
The president says Western governments want to oust him, a justification frequently used by dictators
So, it turns out, the ANC’s integrity commission did its job. It looked into President Jacob Zuma’s many failings and concluded that he should walk the plank.
This was some time ago. The commission met Zuma in December and April.
Thankfully, City Press came to the rescue on Sunday and revealed the contents of a report by the commission addressed to ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe in May. It was signed by Rivonia triallist Andrew Mlangeni, the newspaper reported.
The significance of the date was that it was one week before the last sitting of the ANC’s national executive committee meeting.
The report revealed that Zuma met with the commission and refused to resign.
What was particularly revealing was the reason Zuma gave for this dogged holding onto office.
"When he was head of the ANC’s intelligence department, he had been advised of plots to get rid of him. Recently, he had been made aware of similar plots and threats to his security," the report said.
"The essence of the president’s refusal to resign is
his belief that there exists a conspiracy by Western governments to oust him as president of the ANC and of the country. Their objective is to replace him in order to capture the ANC."
This is revealing for it is one step away from the justification that is frequently given for the seizure of state power by dictators.
It would appear that Zuma is entering that twilight zone in politics where ruthless means are wielded to secure questionable ends.
Mlangeni advised: "The integrity commission does not agree with the president’s explanation. It does not accept the notion that opposition to the president can be attributed solely to a Western conspiracy. This explanation ignores the very real problems in the ANC, as evidenced by the rapid decline in support for the ANC."
The integrity commission expressed concern about a raft of Zuma-led disasters, including "the state of the tripartite alliance, disarray in state institutions, irresponsible comments made by the ANC women’s and youth leagues, and the conduct of some cabinet ministers", City Press reported.
Mlangeni wanted the report tabled at the NEC, but he underestimated Zuma’s reach.
Mantashe declined, explaining: "Reports of the integrity commission do not go to the NEC, in terms of the national general council meeting. But people wanted it for their own purposes."
This can loosely be translated as: "Reports of the integrity commission are not supposed to be taken seriously. If that happened, we’d all be in deep trouble."