Instead of a nation preoccupied with the scandals surrounding President Zuma, the United Democratic Movement (UDM) advises that we should rather deliberate his exit strategy.
Since the advent of democracy, we have never been faced with a crisis of this magnitude i.e. allegations of corruption at the highest level.
The African National Congress (ANC) has completely misinterpreted their mandate. They are clearly using their majority to do their utmost to protect President Zuma at all cost.
People must understand that the president and his executive are not subject to the Labour Relations Act. It is therefore not necessary to prove his culpability beyond reasonable doubt, but the balance of probability shows that President Zuma must be relieved of his duties.
We cannot allow a person to perpetually spend taxpayers’ millions and in the process flout the rule of law with impunity. It is clear that our system is flawed and the holes must be stoppered.
We are at a stalemate; to name but two, the image of the country is dented and our economy is in shambles. Under Zuma’s leadership, there is an unrelenting charge against any body doing their work and maintains the rule of law.
Politicians in the ruling party and some of their political partners, ministers and deputy ministers downward, protect President Zuma. They do not care how much damage they inflict.
The UDM believes that South Africans cannot take lightly the unrelenting onslaught on public institutions, like the public protector, or quashing of any attempt to point out Zuma’s mistakes. With all the noise generated in his defence, Zuma keeps silent and yet he is the accounting officer of this country.
The UDM suggests that we, as a people, must find an amicable way to relieve Mr Zuma of his duties. However such a package must be conditional so that we do not have another Zuma disguised in the system. He must go home and we will exonerate him, however such a package should include three things:
- A change in the Electoral Act that allows South Africans to directly elect their president in the 2019 elections.
- In terms of the executive, candidates for cabinet must first be vetted in public hearings to ascertain whether they are fit for office.
- In addition, the speaker, as the presiding officer of parliament, must come from outside politics and be a career professional.
With the storm around the President, as well as the controversy around Belaka Mbete, regarding the R25 million stake she received from the granting of a licence to Goldfields mining company which constituted a bribe, is a toxic combination.
Unfortunately South Africans gave the ANC the green light in the 2014 election thus endorsing this corruption. Something has to change, and it must happen soon.
We remind South Africans of the history and controversy surrounding President Zuma.
ARMS DEAL SCANDAL – SCHABIR SHAIK AND TONY YENGENI
President Zuma fought a long legal battle over allegations of racketeering and corruption, resulting from his financial advisor Schabir Shaik’s conviction for corruption and fraud.
Bulelani Ngcuka, the national director of Public Prosecutions at the time, investigated both President Zuma and the Mr Tony Yengeni after allegations of abuse of power. While Yengeni was found guilty, the case was dropped against Zuma, with Ngcuka stating, “…that there was prima facie evidence of corruption, but insufficient to win the case in court”.
When Judge Squires delivering his verdict, Shaik was found guilty on two counts of corruption and one count of fraud. Judge Squires stated that there had been “overwhelming” evidence of a corrupt relationship between Shaik and Zuma.
2005: THE SUCCESSION BATTLE WITH FORMER PRESIDENT THABO MBEKI
In June 2005, former President Thabo Mbeki removed Zuma from his post as Deputy President due to allegations of corruption and fraud related to the $5-billion weapons acquisition deal in 1999.
2005: ALLEGATIONS OF RAPE AND THE INFAMOUS SHOWER COMMENT
In 2005 Zuma was charged for rape, but was acquitted. The trial generated political controversy when he, as head of the National AIDS Council, admitted that he had not used a condom when having sex with the woman who had him accuses him of rape. He did this, despite knowing that she was HIV-positive and said in court that he took a shower afterwards to “cut the risk of contracting HIV”.
2007: ARMS DEAL SCANDAL CONTINUED: THE NATIONAL PROSECUTING AUTHORITY INDICT PRESIDENT ZUMA
In late 2007, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) indicted Zuma to stand trial on various counts of racketeering, money laundering, corruption and fraud. A conviction and sentence to a term of imprisonment of more than 1-year would have rendered Zuma ineligible for election to parliament and consequently would not have been eligible to serve as president.
In 2008, Judge Nicholson held that Zuma’s corruption charges were unlawful on procedural grounds in that the National Directorate of Public Prosecutions did not give Zuma a chance to make representations before deciding to charge him, a requirement of the Constitution, and directed the state to pay legal costs.
In 2009, the NPA dropped all charges against Zuma and co-accused French arms company Thint in light of new revelations about serious flaws in the prosecution.
2013 – SOUTH AFRICA’S RELATIONSHIP WITH THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
Central African Republic dictator François Bozizé, sent his son Jean Francis Bozizé, then the CAR’s defence minister, to Pretoria to cut a deal with Zuma to send enough South African troops and weapons to halt the Seleka rebel advance on the capital, Bangui – but far fewer than promised arrived.
Long frantic talks were held with Zuma, just three days before Bangui fell, to remind the the president to honour a back-room deal.
2013 – GUPTAGATE
President Zuma was reportedly directly implicated in the so-called Guptagate scandal, but he denied having prior knowledge or involvement in the landing of the Gupta wedding jet at the Waterkloof Air Force Base.
2013 –NKANDLA… SECURITY OF THE PRESIDENT
President Zuma was accused of having used taxpayer funds to make improvements to his private home in Nkandla. He was accused of deceiving parliament about the use of funds for his security, instead of using them largely for personal expenses. Zuma and his cabinet protested the allegations, claiming that the expenditures were for necessary security facilities of the head of state.
2014 – THE “SPY TAPES” – ARMS DEAL DEBACLE WILL NOT GO AWAY
Speculation flourished that the Zuma team resisted releasing the so-called “spy tapes” at every turn, when supposedly the contents show the more than 700 corruption charges against him were part of a plot to nip his presidential ambitions in the bud.
Yet, in announcing his decision to drop the charges in 2009, then-acting National Director of Public Prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe made it plain that there was nothing on the tapes that would have fatally damaged the prosecution’s case.
Instead, Mpshe argued there had been an abuse of process. The timing of the charges had been manipulated for ends other than the legitimate purpose of a prosecution, which was to secure a conviction.
He alleged the former head of the Scorpions, Leonard McCarthy, and his NPA counterpart, Bulelani Ngcuka, had discussed when to charge Zuma with the aim of maximising damage to his campaign for leadership of the ANC.
President Zuma and his protectors milked the delay in handing over of the “spy- tapes”. It was never Zuma’s intention to produce the spy-tapes. Instead he opted to use public funds to fight a legal battle from start to finish.
THE BLURRED LINE BETWEEN STATE AND PARTY
There is a disturbing trend that reared its ugly head over the past years. The ANC will stop at nothing to protect President Zuma. They disrespect the judiciary and laws of this country. They hurl insults at the public protector tha has done a proper job of making transgressors face the music.
THE ANC OF YESTER YEAR AND THAT OF THE PAST FIVE YEARS.
There is marked difference between the style of late former president Nelson Mandela and that of former president Thabo Mbeki, versus that of President Zuma.
In fact, Zuma has forgotten what the ANC values yesteryear were . The best way of putting it, is to say that his actions are un-Mandela, un-Mbeki and un-ANC.
TO THE DETRIMENT OF SOUTH AFRICANS
One cannot help but think that President Jacob Zuma is the proverbial cat with nine lives. The past five years have exposed that the Zuma-regime is not serious about alleviating poverty.
The millions of rands spent on President Zuma’s legal fees is an insult to South Africans who are forced to pay for his ever-increasing legal bill. President Zuma is using the public purse as a slush fund to protect him and his family. One wonders how much money slipped into Mr Michael Hulley, President Zuma’s attorney, own pocket. He is after all a business partner of the Zuma family.
Maybe President Zuma’s style is not that far from quiet diplomacy. However his idea of quiet diplomacy is literally staying mum, or he pleading that he did not know.
It is time for the president to stop wasting taxpayers’ time and money and face the music especially amidst the noises about his health.