On Wednesday, former #FeesMustFall activist Bonginkosi Khanyile pronounced to the world that his hero, Jacob Zuma, would be dropping by his home in Umlazi. Presumably he imagined that they would be plotting the next stage in the revolution, but as it turned out this was just another flight of fabulous thinking since Zuma was unaware that this violent young thug was expecting him for tea.
Zuma has, however, been effusive in accepting a request from another political thug, Julius Malema, to “have tea urgently”. Why Malema would want to have tea with someone he called “dumb” and “the number one fool” will no doubt be revealed once the leader of the EFF works out how to airbrush his party’s official position on the former president.
EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said earlier this week, after Zuma’s woe-is-me announcement that he’d rather go to jail than explain how he and his cronies engineered a decade of looting, that if Zuma does not get arrested for defying the Constitutional Court then, “we can kiss our constitutional order goodbye”. “Do the right thing: arrest Zuma, with no hesitation!” he tweeted. He won’t be invited to the Mad Hatter’s tea party, but another who will be most at home in the company of Zuma and Malema is ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule.
Asked if Zuma would be suspended from the ANC for his recalcitrant approach to judicial process and constitutional obligations, Magashule said: “Why should we suspend a person who believes in what he believes in? Why should we call him into order when he’s done nothing wrong?”
In the madness of the Zuma years the moral compass that might have existed within the ANC appears to have been stolen. It is clearly not just Zuma who should be suspended from the ANC. The ANC has proven itself incapable of getting over itself to do such a thing.
And while President Cyril Ramaphosa could not act unilaterally to expel all the debris from the party, he is responsible for protecting the state. Given Zuma’s open defiance of the Constitutional Court, he would do the country a favour by, as its president, having Zuma arrested, and as president of the ANC, ordering Magashule to step aside.
The ANC has survived breakaways. It has survived expulsions. It will do so again, and the Tea Party can be left to fulminate in jail.