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Zuma's true love of yore

By unknown | Apr 14, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya

Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya

Jacob Zuma's popularity as ANC leader - long before he became its president - is unquestionable.

Thousands have committed themselves to defending the Nxamalala, Nkandla, native by all means at their disposal, including taking lives for him.

Among those whose support for Zuma is passionate - something akin to the concept of "true love" preferred by songwriters and greeting card writers - is one Dr Zweli Mkhize, ANC chairperson in KwaZulu-Natal.

Unlike the thousands of other supporters, Mkhize can say without any hint of contradiction that he has been through thick and thin with the ANC Number One and the man tipped to be the next president of the republic.

The unwritten records of the underground activism era have it that Mkhize worked under Zuma when the ANC was still banned.

It would be remembered too that according to court records, after being charged with rape, Zuma sent Mkhize to his rape accuser's family to try and find an "out of court" settlement.

Similarly, Mkhize has been at Zuma's side throughout the on-off-on-off corruption charges that the National Prosecuting Authority finally called off last week.

So it is no great shock that he is happy that the charges against his friend, comrade and one-time commander have now been dropped.

"We are pleased that the NPA has finally been able to confirm for itself that there was a manipulation of processes," he says.

"This [manipulation] is the information that has been generally known within the ANC. We knew long before he was charged that he was going to be charged and be removed from government. We also knew that he would be replaced by someone from KwaZulu-Natal. This was aimed at reducing tensions associated with the removal of Jacob Zuma."

Mkhize knows this because "people talk". But unlike such people, there are things he will not talk about. For example, he will not say whether he knows who is the "Big Man in Shell House", referred to by the acting National Director of Public Prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe when the charges against Zuma were dropped.

As far as Mkhize is concerned, journalists are on a wild goose chase hoping that someone will solve the next day's lead story by revealing who the "Big Man" is.

"You will not get anyone in the ANC to tell you who the Big Man in Shell House is."

This is because there are many big men figuratively and physically. The other reason, without using as many words, is because the "Big Man" is such a spent force whom the party would not bother expending resources in unmasking.

Besides, "the ANC knows everything that happens at Shell House".

He says an institution the size of the ANC will always have some individuals who do not adhere to strict party discipline, so it will not be worth the organisation's while to pursue every little matter that arises unless there is evidence that it could affect its functioning.

So it is back to the conspiracy to prevent Zuma from ascending the presidency. The media, reckons Mkhize, was party to this conspiracy.

"Certain information was fed to the media. It [the media] thought that people who were following him, who were in fact defending the ANC, were crazy.

"We knew it because members of the ANC are everywhere, they see these things." And as he said earlier, "people talk".

"There are honest people in the NPA. They thought that they were dutifully following proper instructions, but a few others were manipulating the process."

But what about the indisputable fact that Schabir Shaik went to jail precisely because a judge found him guilty of bribing Zuma, a view upheld by two higher courts.

"The relationship with Shaik was purposefully distorted. There are many people who returned from exile who needed assistance.

"And you will find that everyone who returned from exile needed some assistance to help them adjust. The relationship was never based on corruption.

"Schabir donated to the ANC, like many other business people, and he knew like the others that there were no strings attached.

Still, the question lingers, Zuma was accused almost a decade earlier, how does a conversation that happens towards the end of 2007 prove that there was always a conspiracy against him?

"The problem you have is that you are catching the tail-end of a crocodile and thinking that you know the entire anatomy and size of the animal when you don't even know how many people it has swallowed."

The doctor has spoken.


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