News24

2017-03-07 07:39

President Jacob Zuma. (Supplied, Msholozi)

President Jacob Zuma. (Supplied, Msholozi)

A full-blown bust-up in the ANC cannot be far away. There will be blood on the walls for sure.

President Jacob Zuma has thrown all caution to the wind and isn’t even hiding his contempt for the Constitution any longer.

He and his faction of the ANC and their partners in crime with the big bucks are panicking that their hold on power is slipping and they’re going for broke.

Last Friday Zuma not only blatantly contradicted his own party’s clear policies, he did something that no ANC leadership figure has done since 1994: in effect demand that one of the Constitution’s most critical pillars of stability, the right to own property, be scrapped.

It is called the Robert Mugabe option.

Mugabe and his ruling Zanu-PF lost a referendum in February 2000 when voters rejected proposals to entrench his powers and the confiscation of white-owned land.

Mugabe’s reaction was to allow and encourage the violent occupation of this land and to kneecap the judiciary, steps that pushed Zimbabwe over the failed state cliff.

Members of Zuma’s Cabinet and parliamentary caucus openly criticised the way he repudiated established policy positions and everything said by ANC speakers during the land debate just a few days before his utterances.

All the signs are there that Zuma has actually decided to push hard to stay on as president of the country after he was replaced as ANC leader in December.

He is facing a criminal trial and if that does take pace, certain jail time. He is also slowly losing his battle for the heart of the ANC, at least outside the traditional rural areas. Time for reckless populism and annihilating enemies.

If Zuma is allowed to stay on as president after the December elective conference, we’ll probably be stuck with him until the election of mid-2019.

God help us.

The Mugabe comparison could possibly be taken even further. A few days ago Zuma announced that he was relieving three stalwart advocated, Dumisa Ntsebeza, Ismael Semenya and Andiswa Ndoni, from their duties at the Judicial Services Commission that vets aspirant judges.

One of the replacements he has in mind is apparently Gcina Malindi, the advocate who had represented him in the controversial Zuma Spear case where he burst into tears in court.

Could it be that the Zuma faction of the ANC is trying to load the judiciary with more executive-friendly judges?

If this is the case, it is a long term strategy that could only make sense from Zuma’s point of view if he remains president for a few more years.

The bizarre and outrageous behaviour of social development minister and Zuma insider Bathabile Dlamini during the ongoing Sassa saga is an example of how the Zuma faction has stopped caring about good governance and the rule of law.

Dlamini has shown a fat middle finger to the Constitutional Court, Parliament and the public, and yet her fellow Gupta insider, Des van Rooyen, praised her as an outstanding minister. Zuma said he has faith in her.

Is there anyone in South Africa who doesn’t believe that Dlamini had manufactured the grant payout crisis over a period of two years to make sure that Cash Paymaster Services retain its lucrative contract? Who benefits?

(Another question: when is #Whitemonopolycapital not #Whitemonopolycapaital? When they’re called Cash Paymaster Services and grease the right palms.)

(Oh, and another: isn’t it astonishing that the ANC is so absolutely determined that South Africa needs a state airline, even one that costs us billions, but that grant payments to vulnerable citizens should be privatised?)

In the meantime, the SA Revenue Service is fast on its way to implode while Zuma’s lackey in charge, Tom Moyane, still plays silly power games with his political principal, the minister of finance; and Zuma’s main attack dog, Minister of State Security David Mahlobo, again warns that sinister foreign powers are planning a regime change and he therefore has to regulate the internet and social media.

If we consider how reckless Zuma is beginning to behave, we can conclude that he probably will soon fire Pravin Gordhan, Mcebisi Jonas and other Cabinet ministers not in his favour, regardless of the damage to the economy.

Zuma’s statement on confiscating white-owned land was a shocker, but we shouldn’t fear that it would soon lead to the end of property rights.

This is a hugely complex issue with massive implications for the banking sector, investments, food security and stability, and the Constitution probably won’t be amended during his tenure.

For now, we should see this as more of a populist trick to solidify rural support and a tactic to steer the attention away from his other problems.

Back to my prediction of a proper, open confrontation between the two main factions in the ANC. It could be ugly and affect us all, but perhaps we should consider that the sooner that happens, the sooner we could start a post-Zuma rebuilding of our society.

A last thought. What will Julius Malema do now that his main target agrees with him on land expropriation? Was this a double bluff?

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.