In his final speech as party leader at Saturday’s conference opening, the outgoing ANC president Jacob Zuma has proved yet again why he is so presidential in his words and actions. While thanking the ANC members for giving him the opportunity to serve, President Jacob Zuma claimed that he never wanted to be President.
Of course, one of the presidential features is the ability to use euphemism to present oneself or a situation simple or mild. However, it becomes a political ridicule, if one uses euphemism in a rather clear or blatant situation. To many, it might sound ridiculous for President Zuma to claim he did not want to be the President, while the same Zuma orchestrated and engineered the uprooting of former President Thabo Mbeki to clear the way for himself to achieve his political ambitions.
“I tried to dodge the position and when I was cornered, I thought I would do one term. I couldn’t just say ‘I can’t do it’. I had to.”
Poor Zuma! Was he “cornered” by the persistent ANC begging him to lead them to the promised land, when Zuma was busy shopping for a new wife or what? The ANC must have been so mean in distracting obviously politically naïve and dormant Zuma’s quiet lifestyle, forcing and elevating him to the position of presidency he arguably never wanted or dreamt of. Man proposes!
During his speech, President Zuma told his opponents that he holds no grudges against them, saying that he understands all that went on during his tenure as leader. All that went on or wrong?
“I bear no grudges and I… never [will] because I understand
.I will always be ready for the next order, I am a Soldier.” President Zuma assured.
With hundreds of alleged corruption and abuse of office cases awaiting President Jacob Zuma after leaving office, soon, the world will soon know whether his claims that he bears no grudges are enough to make South Africans forgive him and ignore the intimidating allegations against him.
For sure, President Zuma will always be ready for the next order, to serve – even in prison.
As expected, some supporters of the former president will stage a protest against the verdict, but generally, many South Africans who have recently seen their country’s judiciary’s power seriously dented and eroded will more likely welcome the court verdict.
The ruling will strengthen President Cyril Ramaphosa’s grip on power and help him exercise more control over the ANC government. On the other hand, the verdict will weaken Mr Zuma’s political friends, who have been implicated in corrupt allegations like the former president.
Mr Ramaphosa has repeatedly vowed to prosecute the alleged corrupt heads in the ANC. Is the court verdict against ex-president Zuma the first step towards holding those corrupt officials accountable? Time will tell.