Letter: Legacy of flawed leader prepared to sell his soul to highest bidder

Justice Malala’s column, “Zuma and unity a bad joke” (December 4), highlights just how low Jacob Zuma and his band of corrupt sycophants will stoop to maintain the status quo. They must think that the ANC rank and file are stupid, or believe votes can be bought or manipulated at the imminent elective conference.

Either way, ANC delegates must know if they choose to maintain the current destructive state of affairs to the detriment of the impoverished masses and the greater good of the country, the electorate will punish them come 2019.

The citizens of South Africa are not stupid. The overwhelming evidence of corruption and the dire economic consequences are plain for all to see.

We feel it every time we buy food or fuel. The ballooning budget deficit and rating agency downgrades clearly demonstrate what happens when key, and once esteemed, institutions like SARS and the Treasury are captured by inept, pliable goons.

The inability, or lack of will, by law enforcement agencies to investigate irrefutable criminal activity in our bankrupt state-owned entities despite insurmountable evidence is indicative of the rot.

If only they could pursue the insidious criminal syndicates that have flourished under Zuma’s rule and stem the prevalent lawlessness with the same vigour they expend on hounding honest, competent officials out of office.

Under these circumstances, Zuma’s call for unity must be seen for what it is, more of the same and damn the consequences.

As for his legacy, the divisions within the ANC are obvious.

And if the Guptas’ unscrupulous PR charlatans had not been exposed, Bell Pottinger’s nefarious attempt to sow racial division in our already fractured society would have undoubtedly caused further damage to national unity.

But political and racial division aside, Zuma has consistently failed to lead.

When South African soldiers were dying in the CAR on a non-sanctioned mission courtesy of an [allegedly] shady deal he struck with that country’s former dictator, Francois Bozize, Zuma remained silent for days.

If not for the French expeditionary force who came to their rescue, more soldiers would most likely have died while Zuma sat on his hands.

He was equally reticent at the height of the xenophobic attacks that undermined South Africa’s standing in the international community and threatened diplomatic ties with some of our closest trading partners.

He’s said very little to dissuade the shameful abuse of our women and children either.

Instead, he’s spent the best part of his presidential tenure giving the citizens of this country the middle finger, laughing at our feeble attempts to bring him to book.

Apart from leaving us with a broken economy, crippling unemployment, increasing inequality and associated crime, history will record that under Zuma we suffered the tragedy of Marikana and the mind-boggling insensitivity of Life Esidimeni, for ultimately the buck stops with him.

South Africa, once a beacon of hope and reconciliation, has been rendered a despondent, angry nation.

A country where, to our collective shame, a five-year-old pupil can drown in faeces in a poorly constructed pit toilet despite funds for improving sanitation in government schools being readily available – a sad but fitting metaphor for Zuma’s decade of misrule.

The legacy is of a flawed leader prepared to sell his soul to the highest bidder.

A selfish individual who failed to recognise that with the privilege and influence of the highest office in the land comes great responsibility.

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