Forum    Search    FAQ

Board index » Chat Forums » Political Opinions and Opinionated Posts




Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 126 posts ] 
 
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:13 am 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Tue May 21, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 12203
Location: The things, they hurt
The day South Africa manages to peacefully transition from the ANC to another (non-insane) party is the day that will pass the true test of democracy. What besides hero worship sustains the ANC in power? Do they parcel out any tangible benefits to their supporters?

Top 
   
 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:26 am 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Wed May 15, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 10732
Hero worship is most of it, really.

Well, before the ANC was in power we had Apartheid. Very few people want to go back to that, but I suspect that a lot of the ANC's supporters are worried that anyone else who gets into sufficient power just might go there. So they vote ANC because they're worried that anyone else will be worse. (To be fair, Zuma is greedy and corrupt, and the economy is slowly collapsing, but to the average man-on-the-street the economic collapse is slow enough that he can pretend it's not happening and he's not being directly victimised by the government, so things actually are better for the moment than they were pre-1994).

Others - I've heard this viewpoint expressed in quite forceful terms by a caller to a radio station - have stated that they will vote ANC until their dying day because the ANC ended Apartheid and they can remember what Apartheid was like on the receiving end. Until that generation either dies of old age or realises that the ANC today is not what it was back in 1994, they're going to have a bloc of really committed voters.

I mean, there are a few things that they do provide. Free housing (which apparently has a waiting list like you wouldn't believe) for those who cannot afford houses, provision of basic services to those who never had said basic services... it's actually quite a lot, most of it especially designed to give a bit of a leg up to the poorest of the poor. Thing is, most other parties would happily have a go at providing exactly the same, for exactly the same reasons... and, being less corrupt, would probably do a better job of it.

(Oh, and the ANC also provides lucrative government contracts to their friends and families. But that's not for the common voter).

In a here-and-now kind of sense, the second-biggest party is the DA, or Democratic Alliance. They seem fairly sane, most of the time (they're not perfect, they're politicians). For the last several years, they've had control of a single province at the provincial level (the other eight provinces going to the ANC), and it's the best-run province in the country - in terms of things like infrastructure maintenance and stuff like that. (And, yes, housing and services are included). They, in short, do a better job of making sure the trains run on time. But they've been having a lot of trouble shaking off their perception as being the party of white monopolist capital (which is a perception you do not want in this country, because it costs you votes).

The loudest party is probably the EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters), who are going after a completely different support base - the disaffected poor black voter. They're loud, showy, and tend to try to rile up the emotions rather than rely on logical argument. If they ever actually do get into power, they're either going to have to abandon some of their loudly shouted slogans or they're going to make an even bigger mess of things than the ANC does. Their main good point, in my view, is that they're not afraid to loudly point out when Zuma oversteps, and there is absolutely no way they could be considered in any way related to white monopoly capital (not given the way they keep shouting for it to be torn down). If Zuma really manages to wreck things for the ANC, a chunk of his voter base may well go here.

Top 
   
 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:40 am 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Tue May 21, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 12203
Location: The things, they hurt
CCC wrote:
In a here-and-now kind of sense, the second-biggest party is the DA, or Democratic Alliance. They seem fairly sane, most of the time (they're not perfect, they're politicians). For the last several years, they've had control of a single province at the provincial level (the other eight provinces going to the ANC), and it's the best-run province in the country - in terms of things like infrastructure maintenance and stuff like that. (And, yes, housing and services are included).

Does this happen to be the richest province?

Top 
   
 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:02 pm 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Wed May 15, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 10732
Interestingly, no.

It's the second-richest province in terms of GDP per capita, behind the ANC-led Gauteng. If you'd rather go in terms of total GDP, then it clocks in at third behind Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. (Those lists are a few years old, but I very strongly doubt Gauteng's fallen off the top spot yet; there's a lot of big business in Pretoria and especially Johannesburg).

Top 
   
 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:38 pm 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Wed May 15, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 10732
So, there have been a few developments over the last few days.

A few political parties (not the ANC, but everyone else) have got together and formed the Freedom Movement - along with several other organisations - with the deliberate aim of getting Zuma out of office as President. They're planning another protest march in Pretoria next week Thursday, to keep up the pressure. It seems they're quite serious about this.

The EFF has now also submitted a motion to Parliament requesting a vote of no confidence in Zuma. Considering that the DA's vote of no confidence is still pending, I doubt this will make any actual difference - I think Parliament can handle this by simply having just the one vote - but it's more a statement of intent than anything else, I think.

Oh, and for those who remember Zuma's corruption charges... they were dropped (all 783 of them) a while back by the head of the National Prosecuting Authority... then the DA appealed that to the High Court, who promptly said that the dropping of the charges was clearly politically motivated and had nothing to do with the merits and re-instated them... only for both Zuma and the National Prosecuting Authority to appeal that decision to the Supreme Court Of Appeal... who have just scheduled both appeals to be heard together. In... a few months. The wheels of justice grind slow sometimes. (This has been going on since Zuma became President, so... about eight years now?) But they get there in the end. And, boy, it turns out that a President with a good lawyer can really delay a corruption allegation.

Top 
   
 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:59 pm 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Wed May 15, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 10732
Well, according to Zuma, his predecessor in office, Thabo Mbeki, despite having been President for the maximum constitutionally-permitted two terms and having been the leader of the ANC before Zuma, "is no expert on systems of government" and thus the court should disregard his opinion that ANC MPs might be feeling somewhat intimidated and unable to vote as their conscience dictated.

Top 
   
 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:19 am 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Wed May 15, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 10732
Well, more things have been happening.

You may recall that I previously spoke about Nkandla - Jacob Zuma's KwaZulu-Natal homestead that at one point received "security upgrades" worth several millions in taxpayer's money, including such things as a new swimming pool. (If you're asking how exactly a swimming pool is supposed to be a security upgrade, well, the official answer is that it's a reserve of water to be used in case of fire. Turned out the courts didn't buy that explanation either.)

Well, now the Department of Public Works is apparently doing 'upgrades and repairs' on Nkandla. One gets the idea that it's a matter of noticing that the paint on this building is starting to fade, so let's rebuild the entire building...

The DA is very loudly saying 'no' to spending so much as an additional government cent on Nkandla - if he needs renovations, the President can pay out of his own pocket for it. The Presidency is saying that there are no plans to upgrade Nkandla at all. The Department of Public Works are saying that they're just about ready to start and everything's all been approved.

--------------

As to the actual anti-Zuma protests; the provincial chair for the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal (one Sihle Zikalala) says that Zuma's not going to step down due to a few protests by people who, he insists, are not the people who ever voted for the ANC. This seems to be part of a general pattern of digging in heels and refusing to move.

--------------

But, one way or another, Zuma cannot remain President after 2019 - he'll have served his term limits. (What horrors he can do to the economy in two years are not pleasant to contemplate). And there are 783 corruption charges against him which have been reinstated and are pretty much waiting for him to leave office.

Now, before I describe his response, I have to describe a somewhat strange tradition within the ANC. You see, the party puts a lot - and I mean a lot - of importance on the appearance of unity (over and above actual unity). So, as a matter of ironclad tradition, no-one ever states in advance that they are campaigning to be the new leader of the ANC. (The still campaign for it, mind you, but in subtler, more deniable ways). And, no matter who wins party leadership, the entire party is expected to fall in line behind the new leader.

The ANC is having an elective conference coming up soon. Whoever is leading the ANC after their elective conference is the front-runner for being President after Zuma. Now, since (due to iron-clad ANC tradition) there are never any actual official candidates, one has to look at the 'candidates' - those who appear to be starting to try to push for their own agendas, and seem to be courting and (often) receiving support from structures within the party, all the while loudly claiming that they are not seeking the leadership position for themselves. (It's a stupid tradition, in my view)

At the moment, there appear to be two of them. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Jacob Zuma's ex-wife, is one of them. Somehow, she's being guarded by the Presidential protection unit, and no-one seems quite sure why; but a lot of Zuma's major allies are supporting her bid for the Presidency, as is Zuma himself. (Their split appears to have been amicable). It would seem that her election will result in more of the same; a different person to continue the Zuma legacy.

The other 'candidate' is Cyril Ramaphosa. Businessman, rich, intelligent, currently the vice-President. He's been making a few comments about 'rot' within the party and eliminating corruption. How sincere he is is open to question (I mean, he is a politician) but he does seem to be pushing in the direction of employing anti-corruption measures to thoroughly investigate Zuma.

Top 
   
 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Tue May 02, 2017 9:39 am 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Wed May 15, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 10732
So. Another big step happened on Monday.

There's a group called Cosatu. That's an acronym, for "COngress of South African Trade Unions" - basically, a whole bunch of unions got together under one banner and called it Cosatu. They don't represent quite all the trade unions - but they're a very big fish in that pond. And they have a very close relationship with the ANC. Cosatu, the ANC, and the SACP (South African Communist Party) between them form what is known as the Tripartite Alliance - an alliance of three parties with very similar aims - that have been working together for a while now.

As an alliance, it makes a lot of sense. And that's probably why, as an alliance, it's stood for so long.

Now, Monday was Worker's Day. It's a public holiday. As per usual, the unions, being composed almost entirely of workers, tend to hold rallies and other celebrations on Worker's Day. It's been traditional for a few years now for the ANC president to present a speech at one of these rallies.

This year, the president is Zuma and his popularity is kind of declining. Some of the unions had kind of suggested in advance that perhaps he should forgo the traditional Cosatu speech this year. (Cosatu had, after all, already called for his removal as President).

But, he decided he was going to give a speech anyway. I have no idea what he intended to say, though; he was booed off the stage before he could get a word out. Some of his compatriots, in other cities, were also booed off-stage. (Incidentally, Cyril Ramaphosa, current deputy president and Cosatu's stated preference for President over Zuma, was cheered and made his speech without negative incident).

This is pretty significant, because Cosatu is pretty much made of the core demographic that the ANC relies on for votes.

We're still waiting to see exactly how Zuma's going to try to spin this one.

Top 
   
 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Tue May 02, 2017 10:37 am 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Sun May 26, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 2236
Location: Vienna, Austria, EU
Am i getting this right?:

The ANC in parliament is actually an ANC-COSATU-SACP alliance.

If so, shouldn't the power to replace ANC (actually alliance) MPs be with a comittee consisting of representants of all alliance members, rather then with the ANC boss alone?

So if COSATU is positioned anti-Zuma, couldn't they protect anti Zuma AND/alliance MPs?

Top 
   
 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 1:35 am 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Wed May 15, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 10732
No, the ANC in parliament is really just the ANC. The tripartite alliance is more an agreement to work closely together and not get in each other's way than a political body in its own right.

The three elements of the alliance have a lot of influence on each other, and Cosatu does have a fairly strong voice in choosing who the leader of the ANC is (as I understand it, this has more to do with the fact that a lot of people are members of both organisations than anything else, but I could be wrong here). Once he's chosen, though, they have comparatively little control over what he actually does. They were a major part of Zuma's original push for that leadership position (something for which they recently went as far as to publicly apologise for) and will probably cause some fairly significant trouble for him at the ANC's next elective conference (in December).

So they can't protect the positions of anti-Zuma MPs, no.

Top 
   
 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Thu May 04, 2017 1:21 am 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Wed May 15, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 10732
Well, Zuma has now spoken on the booing at the May Day rally.

He says it's a sign of a mature democracy.

And... that's about it. He appears to actually, at long last, be at a loss for excuses. (Or maybe he's realised that excuses are little better than reasons for media outlets to explain to everyone just how shoddy they are - maybe he's trying to make this as much of a non-story as he can).

Also, the Constitutional Court hearing to find out whether or not the idea of a secret ballot in a vote of no confidence is constitutional or not finally has a date set for it; and that date is Monday 15 May. Or, at least, that's when the hearing will start; any actual verdict will no doubt be some time later.

Top 
   
 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Thu May 11, 2017 4:02 am 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Wed May 15, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 10732
So, the court has agreed that Zuma needs to give the DA the documentation on which he based his decision to fire Pravin Gordhan as finance minister. In short, it's his prerogative to hire and fire the ministers he wants to - but his decision must be rational. (What does a 'rational decision' mean in legal terms? Good luck figuring that out).

This includes a "spy report" which was mentioned at one point. So, Zuma has to either provide this spy report to the DA or he has to appeal the judgement. (And yes, there's a time limit). Now, there are a lot of options for what he can do at this point. But I admit that I would never have predicted what he did. Apparently he asked the DA to send him a copy of this spy report so that he could hand it over.

That's right. The DA had to ask a court to force Zuma to let them see this spy report, and when the court says Zuma has to provide it, he asks the DA - the very people to whom he is supposed to hand over a copy of the report - for a copy of the report so he can hand it over to them.

I have no idea what the reasoning s supposed to be here.

(There have been people suggesting that the entire "spy report" is a wholesale fabrication).

Top 
   
 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Fri May 12, 2017 3:12 am 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Wed May 15, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 10732
Okay, so apparently it all comes down to certain court rules being interpreted creatively. You see, it turns out that there is a rule that says (in short) that if two parties are engaged in litigation, and Party A refers to some document in the official papers that it files with the court, then Party B may request a copy of this documentation from Party A and Party A must provide it. Clearly, this is intended to be used in the case where a document is used to support Party A's case, and Party B needs to have access to the document in order to prepare their case properly.

In this case, the DA filed official documentation with the court, asking it to compel the ANC to hand over all documentation associated with the decision to fire Pravin Gordhan as finance minister, "including the 'spy report'". The ANC lawyers then said, more or less, "You mentioned this 'spy report' in an official paper filed with the court. Per rule number whatever, section something-or-other, you are therefore required to provide us with a copy of this document if we request it. We are requesting it."

In other words, the lawyers are rules-lawyering, apparently as a delaying tactic.

I can only imagine that this will eventually lead to the rules being changed. That, or people are going to need to figure out how to ask the court to compel someone to hand over copies of certain documents without ever actually explicitly referring to the documents in question.

Top 
   
 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Fri May 12, 2017 5:07 am 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Sun May 26, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 2236
Location: Vienna, Austria, EU
I guess a sane interpretation of the rule would be that the DA now has to hand over documentation on why they believe a spy report exists.

Top 
   
 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Mon May 15, 2017 4:04 am 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Wed May 15, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 10732
Zuma's on public record (very public record, "countrywide TV press interview" type public record) as having mentioned it. Apparently the DA are "consulting with their legal team on the matter". Which is only sensible.

(When they did a recent radio interview, the interviewer asked a question that suggested that the spy report had been leaked on Twitter. So it seems it does exist, and it seems the DA probably has actually seen it, but it seems they want it in a way that they can legally use it in a court case or something).

--------------

So, apparently Zuma think that the whole rise of anti-ANC sentiment is the fault of some mysterious "third force" that's deliberately destabilising the country. It's apparently got nothing to do with him spending millions of taxpayers money on his private homestead, or his cabinet reshuffle that got us downgraded to "junk" investment status. He says that "those saying that the ANC is in crisis must come to Zuma and tell Zuma that he is no longer leading well". And the crowds that marched to Parliament with signs saying "Zuma Must Fall"; the people who booed him at the Cosatu rally; what exactly does he think they were telling him?

He also says he can't correct his mistakes if no-one will tell him what he did wrong. I just have to take a moment here to marvel at this. Has he not being paying attention to the various court cases that he's been involved in? Has he not opened a newspaper or listened to the news? He's not an idiot, he's proven that much... but he's playing one.

He's also officially endorsed [url=https://www.businesslive.co.za/rdm/politics/2017-05-15-zuma-puubicly-backs-nkosazana-for-president/[his ex-wife[/url](herself a fearsomely political politician in her own right, having held several ministries and led the AU) as next ANC president.

And then there's the question of Brian Molefe. Brian Molefe was recently re-instated as head of Eskom (the government-owned electric power utility responsible for most - pretty near all - of our electricity). Now, he left a while back under a cloud, accused of mismanagement, misappropriation of funds, and entering into some very questionable deals with companies owned by Zuma's best friends, the Guptas. How questionable? Well, Eskom generates a lot of its power fro coal-burning power stations; and apparently they spent a good deal of money on buying substandard and possibly unusable coal from a Gupta-owned coal company. It got to the point where they said that there wasn't enough power for everyone to use it at once so they had to shut off entire regions for a few hours every day... suffice to say that was not popular (but somehow the loadshedding stopped once they'd managed to push through their preferred increase in the cost of electricity. Funny how that works). Anyhow, so, accused of corruption and so forth, Brian Molefe stepped down after only eighteen months as CEO... and now he's back, for some [url=https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2017-05-14-molefe-gambit-zuma.does.not.care.any.more/#.WRlWaa3lby0]poorly-understood reasons[/url]. The official reason is that that was the only way to avoid paying him a R30-million pension payout. (How does even a CEO get on a pension plan that pays out R30 million after eighteen months?) Oh, and apparently there's some sort of deal to buy nuclear power stations (assembly hopefully included) from Russia. Exactly what the deal here is is... questionable at best, but Zuma seems firmly in favour of it, and that by itself is enough for people to start asking who exactly is getting a pile of money on the side from this nuclear power deal.

In other news, the Constitutional Court will today hear arguments on the issue of a secret ballot in Zuma's vote of no confidence. Everyone involved is bringing high-powered lawyers. There is no appeal from the Constitutional Court on matters pertaining to the constitution, so this has to go right the first time. (On matters not pertaining to the Constitution, the Constitutional Court can't rule, as I understand the situation).

Oh, and the charges the DA has laid (back in 2014) against Zuma regarding the Nkandla scandal (short version; Zuma spent taxpayer's millions on his Nkandla estate) still haven't been prosecuted yet. The DA says that if something's not done about it really quickly they will "pursue legal action". (Is it possible to sue the National Director of Public Prosecutions for refusing to prosecute a case? Not for saying no, but just for putting the thing on a shelf for a few years and trying to forget about it? I guess I'll find out soon.)

Top 
   
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
 
Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 126 posts ] 

Board index » Chat Forums » Political Opinions and Opinionated Posts


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

 
 

 
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: