Zuma little more than an ungrateful Tintswalo

The Tintswalo metaphor widely used by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation Address is a double-edged sword, and cuts both ways.

I hold the view that the age difference between former president Jacob Zuma and Ramaphosa influences the defe-rence the incumbent displays towards his predecessor as is the principle of ubuntu that restrains the president from openly attacking the leader of the newly formed MK Party.

Out of sheer respect for the elderly, Ramaphosa felt constrained to talk about the flip side of Tintswalo as it pertains to Zuma.

Ramaphosa isn’t as robust as former president Thabo Mbeki is when processing complex matters. Recently, Mbeki told his audience at Unisa how Zuma badly mismanaged the country, contributing to its demise by collapsing most state institutions during his tenure.

Zuma is another splendid example of a Tintswalo who bene-fited from the democratic 1996 Constitution, which today he berates, even though he was involved in negotiating its crafting. After almost 10 years of captaining our country as president, Zuma today abhors the constitution.

It wouldn’t be farfetched to fear that, should he win the elections post the May 29 national and provincial elections, the first thing Zuma would do would be to throw the constitution out the window and replace it with God knows what.

 Zuma seems to care less about the pronouncement by the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) that because of his criminal conviction and sentencing to a 15-month jail term without the option of a fine, he would be ineligible to be elected president of the country.

Zuma’s interest and end game is to get his battles with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) aborted. In his younger days, Zuma used to boast that he was not scared of going to prison.

This was until he was convicted and sentenced to a prison term by the Constitutional Court on a contempt of court charge yet he was more than a grateful beneficiary of a parole courtesy of a supposed terminal illness.

Now at the ripe age of 82 years, he believes he is fit enough to become the country’s president again. What has become of the terminal illness now?

The inverse of this is that should he fail to summit to the presidential residence, Mahlambandlopfu, in Pretoria, after the elections, there could be chaos and insurrection in the country, as indeed some prominent members of his party have threatened recently.

Since taking centre stage, in a manner of speaking in Polokwane during the 2007 ANC conference, Zuma has from that time, practically lived up to his name. He became a man of contradictions and untruths that a friend of mine would say: “Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma is our Savimbi or Dhlakama.”

When Zuma became president in 2009, he couldn’t wait one bit to show his true colours. In the South African context, we have never had a leader who was as feared by his own ANC national executive committee and cabinet as he was.

He aggressively dismantled proper governance, and wreaked havoc in state-owned entities, serving his own interests, not those of the people. He replaced capable chief executive officers in state-owned enterprises with his puppets for the purpose of achieving his own pecuniary goals.

The SABC during that period ended up with a chief operating officer who was clueless about what an ideal chief operating officer ought to do in a big corporation such as the SABC.

At some point Zuma’s buddies wanted to rattle down the Reserve Bank, doing the same at our Public Investment Corporation. Thank goodness, their attempts were nipped in the bud when Ramaphosa appointed retired Judge Lex Mpati to head the PIC Judicial Commission of Inquiry.

His eyes were also focused on dismembering the South African Revenue Service where he also appointed a lackey.

His warriors in the MK Party are preparing to wage war against our democracy should their leader’s name not appear on the ballot paper. The nation should prepare for another insurrection ala July 2021.

It is my belief, though, that this time, our security cluster will be equal to the task of protecting our hard-won democracy


  • Muofhe is an admitted advocate of the high court

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