For sheer entertainment, please don't deny us a Zuma Sona

02 February 2018 - 16:49
By fred khumalo AND Fred Khumalo
Preparations are under way in parliament for President Jacob Zuma's SONA on Thursday next week. The writer says last year's SONA cost the country a whopping R11-million. /David Harrison
Preparations are under way in parliament for President Jacob Zuma's SONA on Thursday next week. The writer says last year's SONA cost the country a whopping R11-million. /David Harrison

Opposition parties have been campaigning for the State of the Nation Address (Sona) to be postponed until Jacob Zuma is removed and parliament given an opportunity to elect a new president.

This call is quite understandable; it is driven by noble intentions. Sona, after all, is the occasion in which the president of the republic spells out government programmes for the coming year. Indications are that Msholozi might not last long in the seat of power.

Consequently, whatever he says at the Sona in the name of charting out government's programme for the year ahead might just be hot air for which he cannot be held accountable.

In addition to the fact that Zuma might not be the CEO of South Africa Inc for much longer, there is enough evidence that he should have vacated that seat a long time ago. Thanks to the immense power his party wields in parliament, he survived.

Since its birth, the EFF has been campaigning on the illegitimacy of Zuma as president. The EFF was at its most strident on the fact that the president's conduct, especially with regard to Nkandlagate, was enough for him not only to be removed from his position as president, but put before the court for criminal prosecution.

Nkandlagate came at a time when the president was already facing a raft of corruption charges emanating, firstly from his relationship with the convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik, his erstwhile financial adviser.

Though the president used public platforms to ask for his day in court with regard to these charges, his sharp legal team managed to keep him away from the courts.

Now in his twilight days as CEO of the country - a president who has lost the trust of his own party, one might add - Zuma is in a more invidious position.

Last year's Sona cost the public purse a whopping R11-million. The country can't afford to have him waste the country's scarce resources.

In Nxamalala's defence, however, his Sona performances have, for the past three years, been remarkable for their entertainment value.

While we laughed at Nxamalala, we were also inevitably laughing at ourselves for having put in office a person of his stature, for two terms.

This is a president who was deeply compromised but still had the incredible gumption of waking up every morning to go to the office in the mistaken belief that he was running the country, whereas it was clear the country was being run from a mysterious place called the Saxonwold Shebeen.

Having said all that it would still be wrong to deny Zuma, and the general South African populace, the pleasure of the Sona.

The one-time member of the Beatles, singer John Lennon once imagined a world which was just perfect, where there was no hell nor heaven. Now I am trying to imagine the president getting up next Thursday, to tell us that all that we've been through since he ascended the seat of power was just an ugly dream.

That we imagined Nkandlagate. That Khwezi was still alive. That the Guptas were just a puppet show passing through town.

That the Esidimeni imbroglio is a fabrication of the media, clever blacks and white monopoly capital.

Please, allow the president his swansong - a pack of mendacity drizzled with lies, obfuscation, bluff and arrogance, stuff we will always remember him by.

He has to go out with a bang, not a silent fart. Come on, don't be spoilsports. We need Msholozi's Sona.