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By Eric Naki

Political Editor

‘Smart’ Jacob Zuma at the centre of court cases, commissions – expert

'The man is a chess game player, he is able to fool everybody who believes he is a fool. He is not a fool but is very smart,' political analyst Xolani Dube said.

The courts and commissions of inquiry have become the new battlefields between the ANC camps.

KwaZulu-Natal-based political analyst Xolani Dube said the ANC’s failure to govern had saddled the courts and commissions with loads of work.

Dube said the ANC squabbles had become part of the court processes as far back as 2005, when Jacob Zuma was accused of being involved in the arms deal bribery scandal.

“All the commissions are about the failure of the ANC to govern,” Dube said.

He said most of the major cases had Zuma as a major protagonist.

“The man creates not only a crisis but a catastrophe for the ANC and the entire country. But he manages to swim out of the net because he is not a fool,” Dube said. “The man is a chess game player, he is able to fool everybody who believes he is a fool. He is not a fool but is very smart.”

Even the bruising legal wrangles between Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane and President Cyril Ramaphosa and his Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan is seen as an extension of the infighting.

“Ramaphosaites” like ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe and SA Communist Party (SACP) deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila accused Mkhwebane of involving herself in ANC matters.

The SACP and civil society groups like the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation see a political agenda in Mkhwebane’s actions and as part of the Zuma group fightback.

A Constitutional Court judgment yesterday strengthened the arguments by both Ramaphosa and Gordhan that Mkhwebane got it all wrong.

It dismissed her appeal against an earlier court judgment on Bankcorp and Absa and her recommendation about the Reserve Bank mandate. She was asked to pay 15% of Absa’s legal costs personally.

Dube said all the commissions of inquiry including on Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi’s fitness to hold office, the SA Revenue Service and the state capture probe all had Zuma at their centre.

“Zuma created a catastrophe not only for the ANC but for SA. He is a man of the stage and on every stage he stood, he has new supporters, he is a man who can incarnate himself,” Dube said.

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