Award-winning columnist, Bhekisisa Mncube, urges President Cyril Ramaphosa to forget his avowed political decency mantra: just lay down the dynamite for the RET mobsters, then you’re home and dry.
Mr President, His Excellency Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, with due respect, Sir, let’s agree to disagree on the Jacob Zuma vs Judge Raymond Zondo matter.
Recently, you said uBaba “might yet be persuaded to change his mind” about respecting our courts. Persuaded? Bollocks.
Seriously though, you cannot ask a thief to return the ice cream when the cone has already been eaten. It is a fool’s errand. uBaba ka-Duduzane has shown the Constitution and its constitutional creatures, the People, the middle figure. It’s no longer about Zuma vs Zondo, but uBaba vs the People.
The last time I checked, the ANC wannabe military vets’ nton nton and its offshoot the Radical Economic Transformation (RET) forces were already at the gates of that monument of corruption, iNkandla compound, allegedly to protect the former head of state. To protect him from what, exactly?
Former president Zuma made his bed now he has to lie in it. There’s no wiggle room to manoeuvre.
The Constitutional Court has ordered uBaba to comply with the country’s laws, including appearing before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into state capture led by Deputy Chief Justice Zondo. If Zuma is so disinclined, then the South African Police Service and the National Prosecuting Authority must “do the honours” and haul uBaba screaming and kicking to jail for contempt of court. The sine qua non of constitutionalism is that everyone is equal before the law, including uBaba, Ace Magashule and their cronies.
In English, they say what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. As in the case of uMaNtuli (perhaps not), our former first lady who suffered at the hands of rogue agents and uBaba looked away, it’s time for us to give uBaba a taste of our constitutional incarceration. This includes a communal cell with a single, cement-made bed, single face cloth and Sunlight soap slice. He must be served cold tea with brown sugar (not honey) for breakfast, and half a portion of porridge served with salt, not sugar.
Our saving grace, Mr President, is that the RET gangs’ combined forces lack the intellectual dexterity and military savviness required to mount an insurrection. Thus we can afford to ignore both that pompous old windbag Carl Niehaus and the other wimp, Kebby Maphatsoe. Both are nothing but all talk and no trousers. Despite this relief, we are still faced with a full-blown constitutional crisis.
Our Achilles heel, Mr President, is the beleaguered Magashule. He is the president emeritus of the dark forces hell-bent on reversing the last three years’ gains. Magashule marshals both the RET forces and its alleged military vets’ insurgency mob, from the centre at Luthuli House right under your nose, Mr President. He uses your cash that you raise in the business world to weaken and collapse your government. He is aiming for your head, a regicide of sorts.
Mr President, you must keep in mind that Ace is not a run-of-the-mill hoodlum, but a “professional” gangster, born and brewed in the Free State sun under the tutelage of uBaba. He rose from within the ranks of uBaba’s School of Looting and Avoiding Jail Academy to be the holder of the golden key to the unearned riches of the Free State government and beyond. Ace is uBaba’s most successful protégé. He now holds all the Aces, including the proverbial get-out-of-jail free card for uBaba and his cronies if he survives the step-aside debacle. He intends to dig in his heels about stepping aside; instead, he aims to go for the jugular. The all-out offensive against the Thuma Mina Brigade will be felt far and wide, sending tremors to the Union Buildings.
South Africa: Welcome to Stalingrad Two and Scorched-Earth Warfare, season one.
If the Ace project fails, the whole RET gang and their lieutenants’ feeble rebellion attempts flop. If Ace wins, we can kiss our Constitution with its “liberal concoction” and our children’s inheritance, goodbye.
Mr President, it’s time to muster the political timing and strike while the iron is hot. It is a jungle out there. Our (ANC) politics today is governed by the gangster’s code. Eat or be eaten.
You’re our last hope, Mr President, the real Nelson Mandela’s protégé. For a second, forget your avowed political decency mantra: just lay down the dynamite for the RET mobsters, then you’re home and dry. The days of running with the hares and hunting with the hounds are over. Otherwise, we are all going over the cliff. Send me.
This Letter to Mahlamba Ndlopfu is written by Bhekisisa Mncube a former senior Witness political journalist, the 2020 regional winner in the Opinion category of the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award, and author of The Love Diary of a Zulu Boy, a memoir.
This opinion piece was first published in the Witness (News24). He writes in his personal capacity.