Zuma didn't disappoint with dramatic twist in finale of soap opera presidency

Former president Jacob Zuma brought song, dance and scandal to the office. Image: SIYABONGA MOSUNKUTU
Former president Jacob Zuma brought song, dance and scandal to the office. Image: SIYABONGA MOSUNKUTU

SA had a leader who sang and danced and gave us new words like Zupta, state capture and Saxonwold shebeen

On Tuesday, when the top leadership of the ANC finally recalled Jacob Zuma from office, and he in turn said he was ready to leave - if only they could give him three to six months to clean up his office - I almost cried tears of desperation.

Not that I was angry at his stubbornness. Like every rational South African, I made peace with his intransigence a long time ago.

I was just sad that the Zuma soap opera which has kept us entertained for the past 10 years was about to end - and it was ending on such an uninspired, jejune note. They fire him, he resigns, and that's it! Where's the drama?

As experienced movie-makers will tell you, bringing the story to an end is always tricky. Do you kill the main character's girlfriend so that the viewer's sympathies deepen?

Or, if the main character had been a bad character all along, do you, at the end of the movie, allow him a moment of redemption?

The finale to the Zuma soap opera was always going to be challenging. After all, this is a man who wasn't just a president. He sang, he danced, and, more importantly, he became the true father of the nation.

He added new words to our national vocabulary: Zupta, state capture, Saxonwold shebeen, 100% Zulu and so on. He therefore could not leave us on a vapid note.

Imagine my relief, then, when on Wednesday, the gods of storytelling suddenly came to the party. They added a beautiful dramatic twist to the tale.

We learnt that the Hawks had just raided the Gupta residence in Saxonwold and arrested three people.

Money-laundering charges against the three stem from an investigation into the now infamous Vrede dairy farm project.

In 2012, the Free State government got into a partnership with Estina, a BEE company.

In terms of the partnership, government ploughed around R500-million into a farming project that would benefit both parties, in terms of the government's vaunted public-private partnership strategy.

But, it soon emerged that the funds meant for the farm were being siphoned off from the project, and being redirected into the banking accounts of Gupta-linked companies.

February 14 2018 will not only be remembered as a Valentine's Day that coincided with Ash Wednesday, it will also be recalled as the day Zuma finally fell.

Ash Wednesday marks the day when many Christians start fasting in preparation for the death of Jesus during Easter, a period which also sees Him rise from the dead.

By all indications, Zuma is dying politically. But are there chances that he might be resurrected again?

In many of his public statements Zuma always said the ANC would rule until Jesus comes.

Even if Zuma does finally die politically now, he's had his fun.

It's amazing that a man with so much hanging above his head has been able to survive this long.

The fact that at least 22 books have been written about him while he was still in office should tell you something.

His detractors have spent the past few years trying to put him in a corner, without success. What they failed to realise was that a man who lives in a rondavel cannot be pushed into a corner. Zuma built those Nkandla rondavels for a reason.

But, of course, everything does come to an end. Games of smoke and mirrors also come to an end. Even rondavels do finally run out of tricks.

Now, let's see what those Hawks are up to.

But, whatever the Hawks do in their investigations, we certainly must see the president's son Guptazani Zuma in the finale.

The sports-car-loving Guptazani and his Gupta extended family certainly deserve a part in the finale.

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