No doubt we need a new leader

President Jacob Zuma.
President Jacob Zuma.
Image: THULI DLAMINI

Yesterday's political developments should have ended any doubts that our country would be better off without Jacob Zuma as president.

Zuma has had many scandals during his controversial eight-year tenure as head of state and, were he president of a different country, he would have been fired long ago.

Yet by last night, his supporters in the ANC national executive committee were still fighting very hard to have him stay in office until, at least, the end of May.

Those pushing for this can be motivated only by personal fears that his removal from office would mean an end to their cushy jobs as cabinet ministers, premiers and other political executives.

They can't possibly be calling for an extension of his stay "for the good of the country".

For there has been nothing good for South Africa about the Zuma presidency.

His alliance with the Gupta family has not only broken once-respected state-owned enterprises such as Eskom and Denel, it is also causing foreign private businesses to close shop and turning cabinet ministers into liars.

The Indian-based Bank of Baroda yesterday announced that it plans to pull out of the South African market following the negative publicity it endured after it emerged that the Guptas used the institution to carry out some of their questionable business.

In a country where banking is still dominated by only a handful of financial institutions - making access to capital difficult especially for blacks and the poor - it is sad to see a bank close down.

The Bank of Baroda is not leaving because it found the market tough. It has been forced to quit because everything the Guptas touch gets ruined.

The second development yesterday confirming that Zuma is unfit to be president is the news that public protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane has found that one of the president's favourite ministers, local government's Des van Rooyen, misled parliament when he denied that he visited the Gupta homestead in December 2015.

A president worth his salt would not have kept a minister as compromised as Van Rooyen in his cabinet.

That Van Rooyen has lasted this long, in spite of his Gupta links, is further proof that we urgently need a new president.

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