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 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:57 am 
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Even if he can't get back into power again, failed attempts at doing so would likely be inconvenient for the powers that be.

And given AFAIK the ANC has not purged all Zuma supporters, if south africans had wanted more strict justice, they would have needed to vote the ANC out. The reformed ANC stands as far as i can see for a soft transition away from Zumaism.

As far as signals go, this is a double edged sword. On the one hand the low threat of retribution is not good for general prevention, on the other hand probably it gives corrupt politicans an incentive to run away with their loot early, rather then hold onto power at all cost, which makes it harder to build entranched networks of corrupt politicians.

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 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:38 am 
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kitoba wrote:
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...


There's always the "gain enough power to have the loopholes repealed" strategy, though. That'll be a tough one to stop...

Interestingly, he appears to be back from Cuba. So he wasn't running away. One wonders exactly why he went there, then.

arcosh wrote:
Even if he can't get back into power again, failed attempts at doing so would likely be inconvenient for the powers that be.

And given AFAIK the ANC has not purged all Zuma supporters, if south africans had wanted more strict justice, they would have needed to vote the ANC out. The reformed ANC stands as far as i can see for a soft transition away from Zumaism.

As far as signals go, this is a double edged sword. On the one hand the low threat of retribution is not good for general prevention, on the other hand probably it gives corrupt politicans an incentive to run away with their loot early, rather then hold onto power at all cost, which makes it harder to build entranched networks of corrupt politicians.


The ANC has not purged all Zuma supporters (that would be pretty close to half the party) - they've simply purged a few of the more blatantly corrupt ones and demoted a few others. I don't think that they have any choice but to make a soft transition away from Zumaism if they want to keep votes; Zuma may have been corrupt and greedy, and may have lost votes just about every election, but the party did retain the votes of over half the country and the party will want to keep those votes. So their official position is more or less "we'll keep promising the same stuff except this time we'll do it without the corruption", mainly in the expectation of retaining the same votes.

I suspect it'll be a winning strategy. And it'll win even harder if they can actually deliver on some of their promises. (This last part will be tricky, because a lot of money has been very carefully taken out of the country and that rather limits the options for the people who are left in charge).

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 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:37 am 
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So Zuma was supposed to be answering some tough questions on potentially corrupt dealings in front of the Zondo Commission around the end of January, but has pled off on the grounds of illness.

Now, it's possible that he is actually ill. (Though I can't help but think of Schabir Shaik, who was found guilty of corruption - paying bribes to Zuma - back in 2005; was released on medical parole in 2009, apparently on the basis that he was practically at death's door; and is still somehow surviving - and still, as I understand the matter, out of jail on medical parole - eleven years later).

Though Zuma claiming that "it's not that he doesn't want to testify, he just can't" seems a bit disingenuous. After all, some of these allegations have been hanging around since 2005, and Zuma's become famous for stonewalling and dodging court appearances in any way that he can. This just looks like it fits the same general pattern.

Still, Judge Zondo is going to call him at a later date instead. It's not as if there isn't plenty of other evidence of Zuma's corruption to still listen to, after all.

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 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:38 am 
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There is now a warrant of arrest issued for Jacob Zuma.

He was supposed to appear in court on corruption charges related to The Arms Deal (a set of charges dating back to an incident in the 1990s), but was mysteriously absent. Normally, he arranges to have cheering crowds bussed in for 'moral support' - said crowds were also not in evidence today, a pretty clear indication that his absence was planned. And, indeed, Zuma's lawyer told the court that he was out of the country for medical reasons and presented a note to that effect. Since the judge didn't feel that the note was sufficient (apparently, it was undated, unclear, and had been altered), a warrant was then issued for Zuma's arrest on grounds of not showing up to court without sufficient reason.

Apparently it won't actually be executed until early May - Zuma's lawyers have that long to persuade the court that his medical reasons for not appearing are valid. So it's possible that it may never be executed. Nonetheless, it seems a clear indication that the court's patience is stretching very thin.

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 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2020 6:24 am 
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So, that warrant of arrest turned out to be a slightly bigger deal than I thought it would be. (I thought it would more or less simmer quietly along in the background until Zuma's next scheduled court appearance on May 6.)

No, it's been seized on as a talking point by Zuma's supporters. More specifically, said supporters are loudly pointing out the warrant as "proof" that the entire judiciary is massively biased against poor little Jacob Zuma.

Zuma himself is now back in the country, saying that he is "not afraid of jail". He also claims that he really is sick (though he remains capable of standing up and addressing his supporters) and re-iterated that he is definitely more than ready to go to court as soon as possible. (Since he's been spending over ten years dodging, delaying, and avoiding any chance that the court might actually get anything done with respect to the charges against him, that seems highly unlikely.)

It's also noted, however, that the other politicians who are loudly supporting Zuma seem to be the ones who are themselves facing corruption charges. That is to say, one possible interpretation of their support for Zuma is that if they can sell people on the idea of a judicial conspiracy charging corruption for politicians they want to get rid of, then they can try to use the same conspiracy to get out of facing their own corruption charges.

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 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:01 pm 
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If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table.

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 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Sun Feb 28, 2021 2:53 am 
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So. What with Coronavirus and all (one of the few national disasters which can't be blamed on Zuma) it's been about a year since I said anything here. What's happened to Zuma in that year?

I'd love to be able to tell you that he's been arrested, had his assets seized, and given a legally appropriate punishment. Unfortunately, I could only do that if I were to outright lie.

So. What has he been up to? Well, there's this commission - headed by a retired judge by the name of Zondo (hence, it 's called the Zondo Commission) which is supposed to be interrogating witnesses, asking questions, and basically getting down to the bottom of what was up with this whole State Capture thing. Now, it seems they've been doing an overall decent job in interrogating most witnesses. And they've found out about all sorts of corruption. But - they wanted to interrogate Zuma. (You can see why, I'm sure.)

How did Zuma respond to this?

First, he insisted that Zondo had a personal grudge against him and therefore must recuse himself. (Zondo disagreed). Zuma turned up briefly, during which time he apparently suffered acute memory loss of everything that happened while he was President (but remembered with crystal clarity some people who had been plotting against him before that). Oh, and as soon as the questions started to get a bit uncomfortable, he delayed and stalled for a bit, then slipped out when there was a break and refused to go back.

Zondo put out a warrant of arrest. Zuma appealed this all the way up to the Constitutional Court (the highest court we have). The Constitutional Court basically told Zuma to go and testify in front of the Zondo Commission. Zuma didn't turn up to do so.

...at this point, I don't think he's going to turn up. I think that means that he could, in theory, be arrested. This will be difficult in practice, however, because he - somehow, unbelievably - still has his firm supporters. Some of whom have, apparently, taken to providing a 24-hour guard over his property so that he can't get arrested.

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 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 5:49 am 
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Well, Zuma's made a few more public statements on the whole mess.

Apparently everyone's conspiring against him, especially the party he used to be in charge of. Oh, and the Constitution subverts the will of the people by letting other people (court judges) have power over him, Zuma.

Or, in other words, he thinks that what he wants is 'the will of the people', refuses to listen to anyone who tries to tell him anything different, and assumes that everything that doesn't go his way is a plot against him.

...I think he's been spending a little too much time talking with his rabid core supporters.

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 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:53 pm 
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I suppose he's not going to get the memo and go retire in exile already.

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 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 09, 2021 5:34 am 
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If he had wanted to retire in exile, then I imagine he would have left the country about the same time as the Gupta brothers fled our shores. In the process, he would have left behind the very large homestead that he paid for from public funds, and he would presumably have also left behind his several wives and all his children. (He might have taken them with him, of course, if they were willing to go on the run with him...)

He would also have abandoned his pride, his supporters, and any legitimacy in his claims that he's the victim of some terrible political conspiracy. And he has a lot of pride.

Plus, he has a very recognisable face... and I very much suspect that if he's caught trying to leave the country with all these corruption allegations hovering over his head, that he's going to be very firmly stopped - and succeeding or not, he's going to be even more firmly embarrassed.

It might be possible to persuade him to retire. But I somehow can't imagine him ever accepting exile. Not at the cost of what he thinks of as his dignity. He doesn't like to lose; and what he likes even less is to concede without even fighting.

...I mean, maybe I'm reading him wrong. He's crafty enough to have a public persona that differs from his real personality, so I probably am reading him wrong in a number of ways... but that's the impression I get.

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 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 3:10 am 
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Frequently, when a crooked leader is deposed, there's an under-the-table deal with the new rulers that allows him to leave the country with a huge pile of money and no criminal prosecution, in exchange for shutting up and staying away for the rest of his days. This clearly did not occur. Perhaps he is too egotistical to take such a deal. Or perhaps it was never offered.

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 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 3:28 am 
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I don't think that such a deal was ever really on the cards for Zuma.

So far as politics go, there is the big party - the ANC. They regularly get over 50% of the vote all on their own (though their percentage did decline somewhat over Zuma's presidency - before him, they were regularly getting over 60% of the vote, and they breached 60% again as soon as Zuma was out). So whichever president the ANC puts forward is the President of the country. While Zuma was president of the ANC, then the ANC put forward Zuma as their presidential candidate. But to remain president of the party, he needs to win the party's internal vote to select its own president.

He got ousted when he lost that internal vote (and, I mean, he barely lost it, the votes came out at something like 49%-51% in favour of Ramaphosa). Ramaphosa very quickly arranged to get rid of a few of the more corrupt politicians in order to secure his voting base, and showed Zuma the door; once Ramaphosa was the president of the party, Zuma stopped being president of the country very quickly. (This is the same time as his partners-in-corruption, the Gupta brothers, left the country with amazing suddenness - almost as if they were trying to beat the news to the airports - and they have stayed scrupulously outside the borders ever since). So ousting Zuma was done entirely without requiring any cooperation from Zuma.

At the same time, the ANC isn't the only party. The second-biggest party (about 20% of the vote) is the DA, and they are extremely gung-ho about anything that'll embarrass the ANC. They're the ones who are pushing the corruption allegations against Zuma in every court they can, and they are the ones who kept that legal pressure on even while Zuma was president. (Zuma used his presidency to avoid getting into court - he didn't subvert the courts themselves, merely avoided them). Zuma losing power is not going to make the DA stop pushing those charges. It's possible that they might have been persuaded to stop pushing them in exchange for getting Zuma out of power - but since Zuma's removal from power didn't require them to stop pushing those corruption charges, well, they pretty much won't. Their end-game in this is to be able to tell the voters that they had managed to get the corrupt villain Zuma behind bars, and they are going to push hard in order to be able to deliver that message.

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