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By Kekeletso Nakeli

Columnist


Why Zuma holds onto power

Jacob Zuma returns to the spotlight, interdicting parliament and perpetuating the stereotype of African leaders addicted to power.


At what point do we admit the abusive nature of the man who is Jacob Zuma? Many of us are in agreement about the abuses he committed to the economy and the nation.

Yet, so many quarters of the country are ever so quick to come to his defence.

We survived him as a head of state. Many let out a sigh of relief at his departure as the state president, thinking the worst was over.

While others may have argued it was an attack on progressive black people in commerce and industry, others were honest about the fruitless expenditure of those years, convinced that we had broken free and on the path to newness.

But the man is now back in the spotlight – Zuma, in whatever capacity, returns.

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His actions speak of the stereotype that African leaders are addicted to the power that comes with national leadership, that life after their tenure seems too bleak for them to accept that it is time to hang up their gloves.

The age of retirement in South Africa is approximated at 65 years old. In essence, Zuma should have retired around 17 years ago. Yet here we are.

True to his form, he is now interdicting the first sitting of parliament. This is how he opts to reintroduce himself to parliament. Chop us Zuma, we are clearly your vegetables.

We are repeatedly mocked by a man whom we should have rejected long ago. We are forced to ask ourselves, the cognisant voters, how does this man keep rising to power?

Were we so asleep to the happenings around us that we allowed charisma to overrule political intelligence and ability?

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Were we so smitten and caught up in the words that the feasibility of policies in whatever simplistic form it presented itself, took over all sense and sensibility?

As different as the Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa eras are, look how similar our today is…

The truth is, it really is up to every individual where their political reasoning lies.

Up to every individual to believe in change, uvalo (fear) or too loudly proclaim asijiki (no turning back) – every individual has the right to choose their standing ground and to support, believe and embody the agenda of their political party of choice.

The price of freedom was and is still too high for us to take this precious freedom for granted.

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The sentiment now is that a man who fought for the same freedom does not know life outside of the fight and that is why he holds onto power so much, no matter how unnecessary.

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