Late last week, the Mail and Guardian published a piece about a plan from several provincial heads to extend Zuma’s tenure as president of the ANC, perhaps by as much as two years.
It is claimed that their plan would assist the ANC’s stability, but predictably, the M&G’s exposé differed radically from their view; the M&G says that it would be easy to think Messrs Magashule et al were wanting to protect their patron at the head of the ANC.
And, who can blame them? It seems that it is the venal Zuma who has given them almost limitless power to play fast and loose with both provincial processes and the public coffers, such that self enrichment and aggrandisement may be the result. Usually no-one even bothers even breaking a sweat as this way, wealth can be acquired with little more than the stroke of a pen, or an outstretched hand.
As if that weren’t enough, the non-accountability that comes with these appointments also means that when caught, the sanction for such criminal acts range from none, to reward by promotion – sometimes as high up the ladder as the country’s cabinet.
In return, the patronage will ratchet up several notches. It’s possible to imagine Zuma saying; “Thank you for your support Mr Provincial Head (substitute a name of your choosing here). You know, with the long-term now secure, I think we will be able to build one of those new nuclear stations in your region.”
What a bonanza that will be for the tender-riggers.
So, a move to extend the stay of our hated and feared leader until 2019, probably around the time for our next general elections, should hardly be seen as good news.
But, what is this really all about?
I’ve been suggesting for the last couple of years that sooner or later, we will see a proclamation, making Zuma president for life. Can Magashule and co’s move be a precursor to that?
“Nah. Constitutionally, that’s impossible,” I hear you say.
But, you forget that we are dealing with a man (and a large number of his ANC patronage-puppets) who have shown less and less respect for the constitution as the days have ticked by. They’ve shown no liking for, or obeisance to the rules that govern our actions to date, what’s going to change in the future?
So, when Zuma declares himself High Chief Muckety-Muck-For-Ever, he and his money-grabbing followers will once again do what they’ve done so many times already; simply take no notice. With the justice system and the police in his pocket, it’s hard to see who can or will take action to stop him.