Former president Jacob Zuma has taken to social media to boast
about his extravagant lifestyle, despite facing numerous counts of corruption.
Love him or hate him, as unfortunate as it may be, the former
president has an air of invincibility about him. Ubaba, Msholozi, JZ, “The Father
of Duduzane” – call him what you want, just don’t call him powerless; that would
be a grave underestimation of former president’s political prowess.
Zuma, a thorn in the ANC’s side
As the ruling African National Congress (ANC) blazes a campaign trail across the length and breadth of the country – handing out t-shirts and party paraphernalia along the way – there is one man, behind the scenes, who has the propensity to make or break the ballot box come May 8. To reason that corruption and disunity are in no way related, would be naïve. Indeed, factional battles fought along lines of fierce allegiances exemplify the current predicament of the ANC and, via proxy, the country as a whole.
President Cyril Ramaphosa promised South Africa a “New Dawn”, a renaissance of sorts, which would ultimately free the country from the oppressive bondage of state corruption, poverty and all societal ills propagated during Zuma’s tenure. South Africans were promised accountability; justice. Commissions and inquiries, Constitutional court verdicts and hearings – all of them implemented with fervour and potential – yet, to date, no ANC cadres implicated in wrongdoing have found themselves behind bars. The promise of that New Dawn is quickly fading, with potential for disaster at the polls.
This foreword brings us to Jacob Zuma himself – the head honcho. Despite grievous misdeeds during his term of office, the ANC has chosen to keep him close-by. While Ramaphosa, may on occasion, when feeling particularly brave, choose to take jabs at Zuma by pointing to the damage done during his years at the helm, the ANC tiptoes around Msholozi. This is because the former president remains incredibly powerful – especially within KwaZulu-Natal. The respect afforded to Zuma by the new-guard of the ANC is one born out of fear, not admiration.
Jacob Zuma: When in Rome…
When in Rome… pic.twitter.com/GDttDBPcqj
— Jacob G Zuma (@PresJGZuma) March 14, 2019
Zuma flaunts his position of untouchability – particularly on social media. His most recent Tweet is an image of Msholozi himself, standing God-like on a stairwell, puffing on a Cohiba cigar. It’s not a cheap smoke, either – one cigar retails at around R500. Rich, particularly when you’re accused of costing South Africa almost a trillion rand. Still, the most telling aspect of Zuma’s social media post is the caption – which speaks to the grandeur of Julius Caesar.
“When in Rome…”
Ironically, Zuma’s Romanesque caption may turn into a
parabale of different meaning for the current ruling elite, Ramaphosa himself,
who may turn around and comment “Et tu, Brute?” before the year is over.