By Bruce Gorton | Sowetan Live |
President Jacob Zuma may be too much – but his propensity to survive scandal after scandal proves he is one president we just can’t touch.
On Monday night‚ he withstood an attempt to remove him from office after a dramatic three-day African National Congress (ANC) national executive committee (NEC) meeting.
The ruling party will announce the outcome of the meeting at a media briefing on Tuesday after Zuma departed to Havanna‚ for the funeral of former Cuban president Fidel Castro.
Sources in the NEC said on Tuesday that the motion to remove Zuma was rejected and a “settlement” was reached.
Here’s a look at five scandals that Zuma weathered this year:
1. Nenegate — Zuma doesn’t get it
Zuma said South Africans were just overreacting to the sacking of Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene.
According to IOL‚ firing Nene cost the government’s Public Investment Company about R99-billion.
To put this into context‚ according to Stats SA‚ it would cost our country R250-billion over the next three years to sustain free university education. That works out to just over R83.3-billion a year.
Zuma cost our country more in the space of a week than it would cost to fund free tertiary education for a year‚ and South Africans were over-reacting.
2. Nkandla and the Constitution
The Nkandla homestead continued to be a thorn in Zuma’s side in March‚ when the Constitutional Court found that Zuma had violated his oath to uphold the Constitution.
“The failure by the president to comply with the remedial action taken against him‚ by the public protector in her report of 19 March 2014‚ is inconsistent with section 83(b) of the Constitution read with sections 181(3) and 182(1)(c) of the Constitution and is invalid‚” the court found.
The court ordered Zuma to pay back the money for non-security upgrades including his pool‚ chicken run‚ visitor’s centre and culvert.
Evidently violating his oath of office wasn’t enough for the ANC to consider the president unfit for office‚ however.
3. Mr 783
April was no kinder to Zuma than March – with the High Court in Pretoria finding that the decision to drop the 783 corruption charges against him in 2009 was irrational.
Judge Aubrey Ledwaba questioned the secrecy around the decision to drop the charges‚ saying in a unanimous ruling: “If the decision had been rational and above board‚ why the secrecy?
“Mr Zuma should face the charges as applied in the indictment.”
4. Losing the metros
The ANC lost control of another of the country’s capitals as Tshwane fell to the Democratic Alliance (DA). The Economic Freedom Fighters’ support meant that the DA also took control of Johannesburg. The DA also won Nelson Mandela Bay.
All of this signalled that the ANC had lost major support‚ in part due to the constant scandals that plagued the president. While the ANC was expected to take notice when voters punished the party at the ballot box‚ so far the president is still president‚ largely because of the ANC refusing to impeach him.
5. The State of Capture report
Former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s state capture report found that Zuma may have breached the executive code of ethics‚ and that his son Duduzane’s relationship with the Gupta family may have been a conflict of interest.
In terms of remedial action‚ she directed that a commission of inquiry he set up and headed by a judge appointed by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.
While the report didn’t provide concrete findings save that more investigation was necessary‚ it has fuelled distrust in the president over the influence the Gupta family allegedly has over him.