They say there’s a sucker born every minute. Jacob Zuma is banking on that being true. Literally.

uBaba, you see, needs somewhere around R30m to cover the costs of his endless attempts to hold back the legal tide. And apparently he doesn’t have it.

What he does have, of course, is a shabby court of die-hard lickspittles, all still kowtowing before the ruined Big Man, begging him to trample on them for just a little bit longer.

And this week they were in full voice, demanding that “filthy rich” Cyril Ramaphosa contribute to the perverted charity that is Zuma’s legal fund. (Given that I’ve never heard the ANC describe the Guptas as “filthy rich”, I’d be interested to know how these distinctions are made. For example, has Patrice Motsepe dodged such condemnations — he seems to be merely slightly dusty rich — because he bought the nation 20 minutes of Beyoncé?) It was an admirable display of loyalty, but also a sign of how low they and their idol have fallen. Five years ago, when Zuma giggled at the centre of a vast orgy of theft, with public money pumping like custard into open mouths, he could have raised R30m in his sleep. For God’s sake, it’s only seven firepools. But that was before Nasrec. A year and a day later, his former benefactors need to do their sums much more carefully. Back in the golden days of state capture, a million or two bought you into the speakeasy where cadres lit their cigars with bur...

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