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 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:18 pm 
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The ANC have gone twenty-four years on their momentum so far, but the legacy of Mandela is currently being overshadowed by the revelations about Zuma. Their core supporters are aging, and every election brings in five more years worth of young voters who care more about the most recent history and less about the legacy...

On top of that, we do have competent opposition. I don't know when the ANC will lose power, but I am reasonably confident that they won't be able to manage it for another thirty-six years.

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 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:03 am 
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Kea wrote:
Well, I hope that South Africa can escape the founding father trap sooner rather than later. In which the party of the country's founding father parlays his legacy into political power long past the time where it's deserved.


Well, Mandela understood the founding father trap more than any other person since George Washington. The courage it took for him to serve one term and step down, even knowing his successors wouldn't match up to him --it's one of the things I most admire him for.

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 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:47 am 
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Nelson Mandela, 1964, at the trial at which he was sentenced to life imprisonment, wrote:
During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.


His were wise and far-seeing eyes, and though he doubtless had a lot of help at the time, he's generally given the credit for South Africa not descending into a very nasty civil war at the end of Apartheid.

Nonetheless, it's also worth bearing in mind that, at the time of his retirement, he was over eighty. I'm sure that the idea of stepping out of the public eye and spending time with his family had some appeal, at least.

(And he did, too. Right out of the public eye, no hanging over people's shoulders and running things by proxy or anything of that sort.)

We still don't have true equal opportunity for all, though the dividing lines are now mostly economic instead of legislated. But we're a good deal closer than we were in the 1960s.

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 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:17 pm 
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Well, a few more things have come out regarding the infamous Gupta brothers. They were known to have owned a few mines; however, it seems that the media has recently discovered that these mines skimped (apparently pretty heavily) on safety equipment because said Guptas kept pulling money out of the business.

They all appear to have left the country by now (which has led to some very uncomfortable questions being asked of the National Director for Public Prosecutions, especially as they're wanted in court over a corruption case around a dairy farm). Oh, and there's an enquiry currently going on regarding their (very corrupt) involvement with Eskom (the state-owned electricity company). They've been scheduled to come before a Parliamentary Enquiry next week and answer questions on this matter - and their lawyers have apparently received notice of this - but no-one actually expects them to turn up. It seems they had their fingers in lots of pies, and now all of that is coming down on them at once... this is probably due to that massive leak of emails, allowing people to quickly figure out what they had their hands in.

On top of that, they're apparently under the legal spotlight in India, too.

Long term, corruption is not paying off for them.

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 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:30 pm 
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CCC wrote:
Long term, corruption is not paying off for them.


I'm afraid it's far to early to say that, unless they are actually dead or in jail right now.

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 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:12 pm 
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They're probably going to retire comfortably in a country with no extradition treaties with either South Africa or India and live until the ripe old age of 96.

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 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:11 am 
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Better add Canada to that list. It turns out the Gupta's getaway plane was financed by a Canadian crown owned bank. When they got to running, they defaulted on the payments, and now they want their plane back.

Link.

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 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 2:36 am 
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kitoba wrote:
CCC wrote:
Long term, corruption is not paying off for them.


I'm afraid it's far to early to say that, unless they are actually dead or in jail right now.


Yeah, you've got a very good point. Worse yet, they've already lived something like eight years in luxury, and that's enough for some people.

Last I heard, they were all outside the country and trying very hard not to be specifically located, though I believe the police forces of a handful of countries are trying to ask them questions regarding things like tax evasion.

Zuma, on the other hand, was actually in court on Friday, as a defendant. Not for long - basically, long enough to schedule his case to actually be heard in June - but nonetheless. Note, this isn't for the corruption while he was President; this is for a case of corruption involving an arms company from before he was President. And then he went out and gave a big speech to his supporters about how the accusations against him are all part of a big and vaguely defined plot against him.

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 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:40 pm 
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Well, Zuma was in court again today... and his trial's not going to be starting anytime soon.

Long story short; as long as he was President, the State paid his legal fees. He is no longer President, and the State's money is under control of people who have no desire to throw good money after bad.

Zuma's legal team was very high-powered, and came with a price tag to match. Though he's got a lot of money from questionable sources, he hasn't really invested it well (he's got, I think, something like six wives and two dozen children), and he has a shockingly expensive lifestyle. So his legal team has now apparently been trimmed down a smidge, and there are a few pending court applications with regard to who is supposed to be paying them.

The Guptas, meanwhile, are staying out of the country and fighting (via lawyers of their own, apparently quite successfully) to keep their assets unfrozen.

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 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:15 pm 
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Over the past couple of years, my response to this thread has gone from, "Oh, poor South Africa, when will they ever get it together?" to "Wow, they did it*, why can't we?"

Let's face it, prosecution is just the icing on the cake. The cake is not having disastrous leadership.


*successfully and peacefully get rid of a massively corrupt, vulgar and dangerous leader

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 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:06 am 
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Prosecution is just icing, yes. Personally, I'd be happy with just the certainty that Zuma could never rise into a leadership position again. (Without the prosecution, he honestly could. I'd say that odds are against him ever being President again, but honestly, his odds of getting himself or one of his close allies into the Presidential seat are significantly better than, say, my odds of getting there; he has all the contacts, experience, and he really is very good at politics).

And yes, leveraging him out of the position of President was a massively positive and very necessary step. But - when it comes to clearing out a corrupt government - it's a necessary first step. But it is only a first step.

Now, an important second step - figuring out exactly how far and how deep the corruption runs and rooting it out of the rest of government - is currently underway. (One of the reasons why this is difficult is that almost all the anti-corruption tools in Ramaphosa's arsenal are ones that were bent, blunted and/or broken in Zuma's time). But recent reports have pointed out quite clearly how, when someone turns off all the anti-corruption tools, he's not the only person to take advantage and it could take some time to finish dealing with the rot.

Though getting rid of Zuma does seem to at least be preventing it from spreading further, it nonetheless remains that the longer you leave someone like that in charge, the deeper and more pervasive the issues that you have to clean up once you get rid of him again.

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 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Mon Dec 09, 2019 5:46 am 
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So, it's been a while.

To briefly summarise the last about six months; the wheels of justice grind reeeeeeeal slow. But they do grind.

Bosasa (the company), having been heavily implicated in corruption allegations, tried to reinvent itself (renaming itself to "African Global Operations"). This did not work out. Their assets have recently gone under auction.

The Gupta brothers, a group of Indian businessmen who profited massively from some incredibly corrupt dealings, are rumoured to be somewhere in Dubai. Personally, I doubt that they're where anyone expects them to be. I also doubt that they're ever going to visit any country that shares an extradition treaty with South Africa; they're basically in hiding for the foreseeable future. (A little aside: they were reportedly unhappy with the testimony of one of the witnesses in the Zondo commission, several months back, and asked for the opportunity to cross-examine the witness by video link, presumably from Dubai. Judge Zondo told them that they were welcome to come and interrogate the witness... but only if they did so in person. There probably wasn't a large policeman jiggling a set of handcuffs next to Judge Zondo, but the same implication was very much there... the Guptas declined the offer). Nonetheless, negotiations to try to sort out an extradition treaty with Dubai are underway (albeit stalling a bit for poorly-understood reasons).

The Zondo Commission, lead by a deputy chief justice by the name of Raymond Zondo, is still investigating corruption like anything. There's a lot to investigate, mind you, but they've looked quite thoroughly into Bosasa (see above) and the Guptas (see above) and have interrogated Zuma on occasion as well. They are the wheels of justice in this case. And they are grinding (see Bosasa, Guptas, above).

But what of Zuma himself? Well, in his earlier presentations to the Zondo commission, he appears to be suffering from a very strange memory malady. He doesn't seem to recall much (if anything) from the time during which he was believed to have been acting in all sorts of corrupt ways; while, at the same time, he claims crystal-clear recollection of certain incidents from before he became President, which he insists all go to show that this entire scenario is all due to a terrible and convoluted plot aimed to discredit him personally. A plot which somehow never came to light during the almost-a-decade in which Zuma was President. But he (unlike the Gupta brothers) did go up in front of the Zondo commission and at least present his side of the story, filled with vague accusations and hidden plots as it may have been.

It's a little odd that he was never arrested, but even deposed, the man (a) holds a lot of political influence through a web of friendships, and (b) doesn't seem likely to go on a rampage, so if he wasn't considered a flight risk then one can kind of see why he would be allowed to remain outside of prison. (I think it was a poor decision. But I can kind of see why it was made; and I do appreciate that no-one seems willing to trust him with overt power anymore.)

But now he's - apparently quite suddenly - decided to head over to Cuba for "medical treatment". Treatment of what? Well, the claim is that it's treatment of complications related to having been poisoned in 2014; a claim which Zuma made, but there doesn't seem to exactly be any evidence to suggest that it actually happened.

So perhaps he's trying to find a doctor to sign something says that he was poisoned so he can present it as evidence that his "conspiracy" actually happened. Or perhaps he just wanted to get out of the country before he actually was arrested, who knows?

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 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:53 am 
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I would also suppose an expresident, who flees the country and thus is out of the way and no pressing concern for anyone, is more convenient, then an expresident, who either gets convicted and serves a prison sentence, where his followers cry "political justice", or who goes free because of insufficient proof, and then tries a comeback with "I did get acquited".

So building him a golden bridge to exile might be smart machiavellism.

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 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:55 pm 
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It's kinda weird to think about, but Zuma does have a number of supporters, still.

Not enough to vote him into power on their own; he needs the support of his former party for that, and it seems clear that said party isn't going to be part of that mess again.

To be fair, getting him out of the country does ensure that he remains out of any sort of power, and is by far a better option than him getting back into power (this country wouldn't survive that long; his previous decade in power is pretty much the direct cause of stage six load-shedding, and the less said about that the better. Let's just say that stealing the money that's supposed to be used to maintain the electricity grid is not a smart move, long-term). And Zuma does employ some remarkably sharp lawyers. So I can certainly see your point.

Even so... if Zuma gets away, and the Guptas get away, then what message does that send, exactly? Bribe and corrupt your way through the country and we won't be able to arrest you afterwards?

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 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Mon Dec 16, 2019 7:48 pm 
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CCC wrote:
Bribe and corrupt your way through the country and we won't be able to arrest you afterwards?


Honestly, I would take that deal with Trump, as long as steps were taken to close the loopholes and make sure it couldn't happen again...

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