South Africa – President Zuma takes advice from son-in-law to be – and undermines Minister for Finance

“If the plan proceeds‚ it is likely to cause chaos throughout the state system as budgets are allocated according to programmes.

It also undermines Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s statements when he presented the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement last month. He said a funding shortfall of more than R61-billion over the next three years would be created if the government were to finance the full cost of study for 40% of undergraduates.”

It becomes evermore bizarre. A President who is more influenced by a son-in-law to be and, based on his recommendations, sends out signals that embarrass and undermine the South African Minister for Finance. 

Even more worrying is the continued progression towards a Zuma dynasty. 

What is being proposed, at one level, is a welcome objective – access to higher education for all.

But a distinguished judge, appointed by the Government to investigate the matter, concluded that such was not achievable. After lengthy deliberations, and in consultation with several Government departments, including the Department of Finance, retired judge Jonathan Heher, produced a weighty tome of 748 pages, in which he concluded the objective is not realistic in the present economic climate. 

If Zuma proceeds with his future son-in-laws recommendations, the cost will be 40 billion rand in the 2018 fiscal year. The additional money will have to be cut from the budgets of other departments and services. 

South Africa’s Sunday Times carries a picture of Zuma’s youngest daughter’s fiancé, Mukovhe Morris Masutha (28), graduating at the University of Johannesburg with a Masters of Science in Economic Geography. As the hooding ceremony progresses, he stands, proudly and arrogantly, holding a yellow ANC t-shirt emblazoned with the image of his future father-in-law. It is embarrassing and crass. 

Yet again, it is a worrying sign of how South Africa, under Zuma, is progressively losing its way. Once again, it must be said, that this is not the South Africa that Madiba spent 27 years in prison for; that Biko gave his life for; and the international anti-Apartheid Movement stood up for.

It is painful to watch and discouraging too, knowing how Madiba’s legacy has been tainted.  

You may read the full Sunday Times story by clicking here.