Thapelo Lekabe
Digital Journalist
3 minute read
7 Sep 2016
4:42 pm

‘18-lives Zuma looking for stooge to replace him’

Thapelo Lekabe

Gareth Cliff and author Fred Khumalo have torn into the president and his former supporter Blade Nzimande, who 'can maybe see things we can't'.

Gareth Cliff . Image courtesy: Twitter

If you think President Jacob Zuma is going to step down anytime soon amid mounting calls for him to leave office, you might not be privy to the fact that he has more than nine lives or that he’s working on finding the perfect stooge to replace him.

All this came up during a recent radio interview between Gareth Cliff and well-known author Fred Khumalo, who says the emperor of Nkandla has got to be like a cat or even better, noting every scandal Zuma has seemingly waded through unscathed.

“They say the average cat has got nine lives. I think our president has got maybe 18 lives. The number is too long to enumerate,” said Khumalo, adding: “The man has got so many lives; he might just surprise us and see his reign through.”

The president came in for a serious roasting, with the pair also poking fun at Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande and the communists, who are apparently finally standing up to him.

Khumalo, who penned a book on the controversial Gupta family and their relationship with the president called #ZuptasMustFall – says the fiasco playing out between Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and the Hawks is something most South Africans fully comprehend the significance of and the real question is when the Zuma years will finally reach their end.

“Where are we heading as a nation, that’s the question. People are robbing the country blind – we know that, but what are we going to do about it, that’s the major question,” Khumalo said in the no-holds-barred interview on CliffCentral.

The illustrious journalist says the muted response from ANC carders in government and public remarks that the party’s NEC members have “smallanyana skeletons” (said by ANC Women’s League president Bathabile Dlamini) is because they know they get fed from the president’s patronage machinery.

“Right now, when you raise your voice like Sipho Pityana did, thank God he is not in government. He doesn’t stand the risk of losing anything. Look at Pravin Gordhan; he’s finding himself in trouble because he tried to do the right thing,” he said.

Cliff joined in the fray and said, “Even poor Blade Nzimande has finally found a voice,” referring to the SA Communist Party’s proposal that Zuma’s powers be capped and the widening gulf between the ANC and the communists.

The provocative radio and TV personality said the reds had “suddenly developed principles” because their heads were on the chopping block.

“It’s all about self-interest at the end of the day; when you can see the writing on the wall you might want to reconsider your levels and sense of loyalty to the powers that be, so maybe Blade can see things we can’t,” Khumalo responded.

They both agree that Zuma’s next big move will be ensuring he finds a “stooge” to replace him as president in order to ensure continuity, the passing on of patronage to his debtors who put him in power and ensuring he is never brought to account for his leadership.

“Those are the intimations I’m getting as well, because the man is indebted to so many people. Once he moves from his current office, people are of the opinion that the taps and the tenders will have to be shut down,” Khumalo added.