South Africa: ‘Preparing for his removal’

President Jacob Zuma is fast becoming South Africa’s Robert Mugabe. Mugabe, like Nelson Mandela, lead his people to freedom and independence. Sadly, that is his only saving grace nowadays, as the old man has refused to relinquish political power and has overseen the collapse of several key sectors of the Zimbabwean economy.

There is now talk of the Victoria Falls being renamed Robert Mugabe Falls. A change of name from a former Colonial Empress – why not? A new name that honour one of Africa’s most stunning wonders and which evokes a sense of awe and wonder for the continent that is the cradle of humanity. Robert Mugabe Falls, literally, falls short of what a renaming could achieve.

And even sadder, for those who invested so much hope in the new South Africa, envisaged by President Mandela, is its progressive slide towards becoming the unthinkable – a second Zimbabwe. And greatly aided by the current President who seems to have made Mugabe his political template.

Zuma is the richest man in South Africa, with assets amounting to $13.2 billion, of which 90% are invested in the USA. According to Forbes, these investments makes him the 29th richest man in America.

This is not what the anti-Apartheid movement, at home and abroad, fought for. This is not what Mandela sacrificed his freedom for, and what Steve Biko sacrificed his young life for.

On-line The South African newspaper quotes political analyst, André Duvenhage, a Professor at North West University who says he is 100% confident that President Jacob Zuma will lose his vote of no confidence next week, but says the country must ‘prepare for his removal’.

The South African writes:

Zuma, a veteran of SEVEN previous no confidence votes heads into next Tuesday’s ballot with his presidency teetering on the brink, following a succession of ludicrous political decisions and his role in the Guptas’ state capture.

This – without doubt – is the most perilous position Zuma has ever found himself in, and according to Duvenhage, it could be game over for the President on August 8th:

“There is a huge tide against Zuma this time around. There are more and more senior ANC members coming out against him. The country is opposed to state capture and his links with the Guptas.”

“His removal would not cause the ANC to break up because he would have been removed by parliament, not the ANC.”

Will Zuma lose the no confidence vote?

The NWU professor believes that Julius Malema and his EFF party have had an irreversible influence on how Zuma is viewed by both the public and ANC members.

Speaking at the EFF’s fourth birthday celebrations in Durban this weekend, Malema claimed that he has canvassed 60 of the ruling party’s MPs to vote against JZ in the no confidence ballot: Just fifty of their votes would be required to oust the current leader.

 

Duvenhage then concluded that, with all the factors going against the president, he would launch a desperate bid to stay in power by drafting the army in. This is called the ‘Praetorian Scenario’, which would introduce elements of martial law to help him retain his presidency:

“The president may go with the “Praetorian Scenario” and use security forces to help him to remain in power.”
“We may be in for big trouble. When I read the body language of South African politics, the next six months will be crucial for the ruling party,”
When is the Vote of No Confidence?

If the last year or so has taught us anything about politics, it is to expect the unexpected: Even a few weeks ago, the idea of Zuma being voted out was still rather far-fetched.

Could a #Zumexit be on the cards? The tide has turned rapidly on the president, and it could end up sweeping him out into a vast political emptiness on August 8th.