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SOUTH AFRICA UPDATE:
Imagine: Jacob Zuma Could be
South Africa’s Next President!
by Shaun Willcock
In The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted” (Psa.
“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked
beareth rule, the people mourn” (Prov. 29:2)
In a bitter contest which revealed deep divisions within the ruling African
National Congress (ANC) at its conference in Polokwane in late 2007, Jacob Zuma
was elected president of the ANC, supported wholeheartedly by Communists and
unionists. This makes him the very likely next president of South Africa, given
that the ruling ANC has no serious competition and in all likelihood will sweep
to victory with a massive majority, as it has ever since 1994, by fair means and
Unlike President Thabo Mbeki (who is still the country’s president until SA’s
next election in 2009 even though Zuma is now the ANC president), Zuma is seen
as a man with a common touch, connected to “the people” (ah, that old Communist
phrase), friendly, affable, with a ready smile and a hearty laugh, a humble Zulu
– everything, in short, that Mbeki is not. Mbeki is aloof, unfriendly, remote
from the masses, a would-be intellectual given to making long, rambling speeches
that few can understand.
But just who is Jacob Zuma, really? South Africa, and the world, needs to know,
given the fact that he may soon be in charge of the most powerful country in
Africa. So here are some facts about the man who would be king.
Jacob Zuma –
is an ANC ex-revolutionary (he and his cronies would call him an ex-“freedom
* was on trial in 2007 for rape, of which he was acquitted; but he certainly did
have a sexual affair with the young girl who was HIV-positive; and afterwards he
took a shower because he thought this would protect him from contracting AIDS;
is going on trial again this year, this time on charges of fraud, corruption,
bribery and racketeering, involving millions of Rand;
* as a private citizen, failed to render his own income tax returns for eight
years, from 1995 to 2003, when his friend, businessman Shabir Shaik (now in jail
himself) submitted and signed them on Zuma’s behalf;
sings a song, at public rallies, with the words “bring me my machine gun”, a
revolutionary song from the days when the ANC was conducting a terrorist
campaign against SA’s previous white government;
has surrounded himself with leftists and open high-ranking Communists;
displays at best an indifference, and at worst a hostility, towards such
things as freedom of speech and the rule of law.
None of this concerns the false religious leaders who enthusiastically support
him! Not a whit. They regularly pray for him, laying hands on him, and never
mention his immorality or anything else. He was even made an honorary pastor in
a church last year! But this is to be expected of the leftist promoters of the
diabolical doctrine of “liberation theology”, who were fully supportive of the
terrorist ANC during the years of its terror campaign against the state. They
are wolves in sheep’s clothing. For them, the Bible is nothing but a document to
be twisted and distorted to justify their support for a political “gospel”.
And none of this concerns his devoted and fanatical supporters, either, who
appear willing to follow him to the ends of the earth, no matter what he has
done. Anywhere in the civilised world, his shenanigans would have resulted in
his stepping down, in shame, from public life. For regardless of what he may be
found innocent or guilty of, he has definitely been shown to be a man lacking
any real integrity and thus unfit to govern. But South Africa is no longer part
of the civilised world.
It is very much a part of wild Africa now. And Zuma “has not only weathered the
storm but risen in prominence, dragging with him a coterie of suspect cronies,
like dirty froth rising to the surface of the body politic.” Not only is he an
honorary pastor, not only do religious leaders regularly show their total
support for him and ignore his character, but also, until recently he was the
head of SA’s “Moral Regeneration Movement”, the purpose of which was supposedly
to halt the moral collapse that has been occurring in the country ever since the
ANC came to power and instituted legislation favouring pornography, abortion,
homosexuality, access to contraception for children, the “rights” of criminals,
First the ANC government brings in all this disgusting legislation;
and then it wonders why the morals of society go into freefall, and throws its
weight behind the national “Moral Regeneration Movement” to attempt to fix the
moral mess it created, yet without repealing the legislation legalising
immorality of all kinds! One can be forgiven for thinking SA is now governed by
madmen. And to top it all, Jacob Zuma headed up this movement for the “moral
regeneration” of society! It would be a joke if it wasn’t so tragic.
As if ungodly men could ever bring about an individual’s or a society’s moral
regeneration anyway. Regeneration (the new birth) is the sovereign work of the
Holy Spirit of God, and Him alone (Jn. 3:1-8).
Zuma is a Zulu, and traditionally, Zulus are permitted to be polygamists. In
1959 he married his first wife, and they have no children. In 1976 he took
another wife; she committed suicide in 2000. They had five children. In the
1980s he married Nkosazana Dlamini. They have four daughters. She is at present
the powerful South African Minister of Foreign Affairs. They divorced in 1997.
In January this year the 65-year-old Zuma married another wife. She already has
two children with him. And yet despite all this, he admitted, in court in
2007 when on trial for rape, to having an affair with the young woman who
accused him of rape.
At his most recent wedding, a traditional Zulu one, Zuma was dressed in a
leopard skin and loincloth (but with tennis shoes on, unlike his barefooted Zulu
ancestors), and participated in the traditional Zulu foot-stomping dances,
waving a spear around. Unlike Thabo Mbeki, who aspires to looking and acting
like an urbane British politician, Zuma is happy to be seen in semi-traditional
Zulu attire; and there is nothing wrong with wanting to do so. But at one point
he stumbled and fell backwards in an undignified manner into some people sitting
watching the performance. In itself an unremarkable event, a simple accident,
not worth mentioning as it can happen to anyone – except for the fact that it
shows up the hypocrisy of the media. We recall that, years ago, white
right-winger Eugene Terre’blanche fell off his horse during a march through a
city, and became the butt of endless jokes in the media.
Yet when Jacob Zuma, not astride a horse but standing on his own two feet, falls
clumsily to the ground, the press hardly mentions it at all. Is this an
indication of the usual fawning nature of the liberal media, who were quite
prepared to criticise Zuma until they saw the writing on the wall? Certainly we
note a change in the media’s attitude to the man since he was elected ANC
president: prior to that the media was far more critical, but since then they
have often been at pains to point out that he has the “common touch”, that he is
a “man of the people”, etc. Given his own comments about media freedom, one
can’t help but wonder if the media is already preparing for the usual
bootlicking that has characterised so much of it from even before Mandela became
Zuma says he has a “deep-rooted suspicion” that “senior members of the
government” played an important role in serving the charges against him. He also
said, “I am innocent. I committed no crime. I will fight to the bitter end in
the highest court to prove it.” Of course, according to the law a man is
innocent until proven guilty; and it may yet be found that Zuma was, after all,
right about a conspiracy to prevent him becoming SA’s president by means of the
charges brought against him. There does indeed appear to be grounds for this
possibility. It is well known that President Thabo Mbeki, and those close to
him, are not at all happy about Zuma becoming president, and it may well turn
out that attempts were made, by very high-ranking people, to prevent Zuma ever
coming to power by means of trumped-up charges. Time will tell.
The big question is: why was Zuma elected to the ANC presidency in the first
place? There are a number of reasons. For one thing, the ANC rank and file
is frustrated at Mbeki’s slow pace of economic “transformation”. They want to
see a more rapid promotion of Marxist economic principles than Mbeki was
prepared to tolerate. It’s not that Mbeki wasn’t “transforming” the economy; but
he was doing it slowly, so as not to frighten investors, and he was doing it
according to new-style Communist economics, which has recognised that outright
Marxist economic policies simply do not work, and that Capitalistic policies
have to be used as well. But all this was not enough for the unthinking black
mobs who are demanding everything, and demanding it now.
For another thing, Mbeki is aloof from the masses, and dictatorial in his style,
paying little attention to them whenever he makes any decision. This is
unacceptable to the masses of ANC supporters, who demanded a president who would
take them seriously, and basically implement whatever they decreed. It is a form
of mob rule, essentially. The ANC promised the millions of black poor in SA that
when it came to power, they would be given everything their hearts desired:
houses, cars, jobs, you name it. Of course, those in the top echelons of the ANC
knew this was crazy: they said these things to rally the masses behind them, so
that those masses would sweep them to power. And it happened. Nelson Mandela
came to power, and the country rode the wave of liberal and Red euphoria at his
victory. Things didn’t change much for the masses: in fact, wealthy white faces
were simply replaced with wealthy black faces at the top.
Then when Mandela stepped down, Mbeki became president, and he, for all his many
faults, was wise enough to realise that outright, mob-rule economic Marxism
would be a disaster for SA. He trod very cautiously, and although in other
respects his presidency has been a train smash for the country, economically it
has not fared too badly, all things considered. But it is now fourteen
years since the ANC’s rigged victory, and “the people” are growing increasingly
restless. They have not seen too many of the ANC’s pie-in-the-sky promises being
kept. The millions of poorly-educated, semi-literate masses, who have been fed
the Marxist lie and have believed it, want a president who will give them
everything on a plate.
And they believe Zuma to be that man. They don’t care about his rape trial, his
affair, his mismanagement of his own money, the many other charges hanging over
his head, his quite frightening statements about what he really thinks of the
independence of the judiciary and media freedom. Like the millions of women who
voted for the immoral Bill Clinton in the United States, millions of female ANC
supporters, usually so concerned about the tens of thousands of women raped in
SA every year, have turned a blind eye to Zuma’s sexual shenanigans, and have
declared that they want him anyway. He is at present riding a wave of popularity
that has only ever been trumped by that of Mandela himself.
And yet, despite his smiles, his homely touch, and all the rest of it, Jacob
Zuma is not a man any thinking person, any decent, law-abiding person, would
want as president of the country. Unfortunately, thinking people have little
choice in the matter. The issue has been decided by the unthinking masses, “the
people”, fanatical supporters of Zuma for all the wrong reasons.
One thing is for sure: a Zuma presidency does not bode well for South Africa.
There are some very, very ominous and frightening signs of this: First, there is
his own trademark song, “Bring me my machine gun.” This does nothing to make
whites feel comfortable at the thought of a Zuma presidency, given the fact that
this song was born in the ANC’s brutal terrorist revolution against the South
Second, there is the fact that he is a very left-leaning, Communist-friendly
populist, who could so very easily pander to the mobs who have supported him
through all his trials. They will demand rewards for this support, and one
cannot see how he will refuse them.
Thirdly, there is the extremely ominous trend, among his fanatical supporters,
to think that the ANC is above the law, higher even than the government. The
Zuma-supporting secretary-general of the ANC Youth League, for example, is on
record as having said: “The ANC does not account to government [but] it is the
government that should account to the ANC.” And Zuma himself has stated that the
ANC constitution should take precedence over the South African constitution.
Fourthly, there is the decided lack of respect for the law, and the judiciary,
from his most vocal (and powerful) supporters. For example, the KwaZulu-Natal
region of Cosatu (the Congress of SA Trade Unions), one of the ANC’s allies,
stated that “South Africa will be plunged into chaos and there will be
blood-letting” as a result of the latest charges against Zuma. KZN Cosatu leader
Zet Luzipho actually went so far as to say, “People are angry... this time there
will be blood in the courtroom.” This is frightening talk, and given the history
of Africa, it is not far-fetched. To his credit, Zuma replied, “No, no, no. That
is precisely what I don’t want. I do not want people to die and shops and cars
to be set alight. I understand the people’s anger, because I am myself deeply
disturbed by the NPA’s latest move. But there are other, legal means for them to
air their opinions and give voice to their unhappiness.
Violence is not the answer and I will never sanction it. I call on everyone to
remain calm and act legally.” Very good words. Encouraging words. And if he
means them, all the law-abiding citizens of this country can rejoice.
Unfortunately though, this is Africa, and time and time again the words that
have come out of leaders’ mouths do not match their actions. Mugabe said all the
right things, too, when he first came to power. How we hope that this time, this
will be a leader who goes against the trend in Africa. But we see nothing
encouraging. In fact, quite the opposite. In January, Deputy Chief Justice
Dikgang Moseneke (a black man) said, at his 60th birthday party, “I have another
10 to 12 years on the Bench and I want to use my energy to help create an equal
society. It’s not what the ANC wants or what the delegates want; it is about
what is good for our people.” Excellent words and oh how we need such judges in
SA today! But immediately he came in for harsh criticism from the ANC.
The National Working Committee of the ANC criticised his “disdain” towards ANC
members and said his comments highlighted the difficulty the judiciary “appears
to have in shedding its historical leanings and political orientation.”
Translation: the judiciary must not be independent, it must toe the ANC line.
Oh, and once again – blame it on the past, the white legacy. The ANC Youth
league, for its part, demanded that the deputy judge apologise. Apologise? For
what? He spoke the truth! Judges are not accountable to the ANC! He may have
done so, but we did not read that Zuma corrected this blatant disregard for the
independence of the judiciary displayed by the party he now governs.
Fifthly, there is his attitude towards media freedom. In January he made the
statement that each day brought “fresh instances of a media that, in general
terms, are politically and ideologically out of synch with the society in which
[they] exist.” He added: “There are few, if any, mainstream media outlets that
articulate a progressive left perspective.” This was published on the ANC’s
official website. “This is one of the reasons why, although there may be plenty
of newspapers and magazines on our newsstands, and a multitude of radio and TV
stations occupying our airwaves, the overall orientation of South African media
is politically conservative.” He went on: “At times, the media function as if
they are an opposition party.”
These are very, very dangerous words. Taking each one of Zuma’s statements
quoted above, what is he saying? He is saying that: a)the media must be
politically and ideologically on the side of the ruling Marxist ANC; b)the media
must promote a “progressive left perspective” (i.e. a Communist perspective);
c)it is wrong for the media to be politically conservative (actually the SA
media is, sadly, very far from being conservative! It is for the most part
decidedly liberal and leftist); d)the media should not oppose the ANC.
And then, of course, came the inevitable blame being laid: it’s all the fault of
apartheid! After saying the media function as an opposition party, Zuma added:
“In part this can be explained by the structure, culture and values of the media
inherited from apartheid, and by the commercial forces that drive most media
institutions.” What utter nonsense! Every time the ANC needs a scapegoat,
apartheid and the whites are blamed. The reality in SA today is that blacks
control large swathes of the media, many of whom are deeply sympathetic to the
Zuma then said that an effort had to be made to “transform [their favourite
word, a cover-up for total control of every aspect of life in SA, to use the
words of the late Steve Tshwete] the South African media environment so that it
becomes more representative of the diversity of views and interests in society,
more accessible to the majority... and less beholden to commercial interests.”
Translation: take control of the media. This is naked Communism and unless SA
wakes up, what little is left of its freedoms (most have already been taken away
or undermined) will evaporate.
Certainly, SA faces a very uncertain and frightening future. For the battle for
control of the ANC is now in full swing. And African politics in
post-revolutionary periods give no hope for optimism here: all too commonly, as
the revolutionaries now sitting in parliaments start slugging it out between
themselves, the countries they supposedly govern start to unravel at the seams,
often even descending into anarchy and outright civil war. It is not at all
unlikely that SA could follow this all-too-familiar pattern. The top leadership
structures of the ANC are now firmly in the hands of the Communist Left: the SA
Communist Party, the Congress of SA Trade Unions, etc. The National Executive
Committee is the body that runs the ANC itself. The fiery hothead and president
of the ANC Youth League, Fikile Mbalula, is now on that body. So is Blade
Nzimande, the general secretary of the SA Communist Party. The new ANC general
secretary is the SA Communist Party chairman, Gwede Mantashe.
We are reading various pieces in the liberal press that are giving the
impression that Mbeki and his cabinet were all centre-left politicians but not
outright Communists; and that now, the Zuma camp is a hardline Communist one.
But the truth is not that simple, and is more sinister, and we should never lose
sight of two facts:
Firstly, the fact that the ANC has been for decades a Marxist organisation! It
is not becoming a Communist-dominated party only now, under Zuma; it has been a
Communist-dominated party for many, many years! But there are two types of
Communist in the world now. There is the old-style Communist, represented by
such as Castro, Mugabe and others, who still follow the classic, old-style form
of Communism that the world came to know and fear for so many decades in the
twentieth century; and there is the new-style Communist, who does not even use
the term, who prefers to speak of himself as a “Social Democrat”, who follows a
more Capitalistic economic policy (having recognised the failure of the
old-style economics), but who in most other ways is fully committed to the
ongoing Communist revolution worldwide. Such are the present leaders of Russia
and other eastern European states. Mbeki falls into this latter camp; Zuma
appears to fall into the former. At least many of his cronies do. And in many
ways, the latter camp is far more dangerous; for they are Communists disguising
certain aspects of their Communism. Communism did not die with the fall of the
Berlin Wall and the orchestrated “collapse” of the Soviet Union; it simply
metamorphosed into a form that has fooled the western world, and has been making
giant advances ever since throughout the west which naively thinks it is a
Seen in this light, then, the Zuma victory appears to mean that, for now,
old-style Communism may have triumphed in SA. It is far more open about its
Communist policies, it is geared far more to the mobs, the masses, “the people”
(to use that old Communist phrase); but let us not make the mistake of thinking
that it is more dangerous than the new-style Communism which Mbeki and his
allies have been promoting for years now. Both are deadly; and Communists will
make use of either one to advance their cause, depending on what they perceive
the need is at any given time.
Secondly, the ANC has been relentlessly pursuing the second stage of its
two-stage revolution in SA. The first stage was the one that brought the ANC to
power; and the moment that occurred, the second stage began, the purpose of
which is to extend party control over all aspects of life in the country. To
reassure jittery investors and keep the populace from panic, the years since
1994 have seen the advance of this second stage, but at a slower pace. This was
planned from the beginning. But the time has now arrived for the ANC to increase
the momentum, in its judgment; to push forward the Marxist agenda in all spheres
at a more rapid rate than before – a more openly revolutionary rate.
Thus, the Mbeki era giving way to the Zuma era is merely the next stage in a
very carefully laid-out plan. There are forces at work here that are far bigger
than these two men. Far bigger.
The ANC conference at Polokwane, which saw Zuma take the ANC presidency in a
massive defeat for Mbeki, will change all South Africans’ lives in the future.
Mbeki is an austere, aloof man who alienated many of those in his own party. His
dictatorial streak, his refusal to clamp down on those close to him who were
found to be very shady characters in the eyes of the law, his go-it-alone,
I’m-right-and-everyone-else-is-wrong attitude to leadership, his wicked approach
to Mugabe and the destruction of Zimbabwe, his greedy desire to try to hang on
to power when his time was up, and much more, earned him few admirers. He was
humiliatingly defeated at the ANC’s conference. For a man who has given his life
to the ANC, this must have been a bitter, bitter blow indeed. And yet he has no
one but himself to blame. And yet, as bad as the Mbeki era was for the
country in so many ways, South Africans may, in time, look back to his
presidency with something almost approaching nostalgia, if the Zuma era proves
to be anything like the disaster it could so easily end up being.
Shaun Willcock is a minister of the Gospel and lives in South Africa. He
runs Bible Based Ministries. For other articles (which may be downloaded and
printed), as well as details about his book, audio messages, pamphlets, etc.,
please visit the Bible Based Ministries website, or write to the address below.
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