New Chapter In Rainbow Country
A post-apartheid story is being played out in South Africa as Jacob Zuma bows out under duress. With an impeachment staring him in the face he did not have a choice although he parried this possibility as having a hand in his final Wednesday night decision and announcement.
The world, especially his compatriots, waited in a disturbing anxiety as he meandered in his speech. What if he went the way of Robert Mugabe and eventually avoiding the key expressions 'I am resigning with immediate effect'. Thankfully he did and what a relief it was.
It is unsurprising that the bottom-line of the troubles of the man who inherited the big shoes of the political legend Nelson Mandela is corruption.
Jacob Zuma was knee-deep in corruption in a mineral and human resource rich country which could have been spared the challenges of unemployment and homelessness of her citizens. Perhaps he underestimated the extent to which an agitation can cause his exit from the seat of power.
Many Ghanaians would recall the dramatic narration of a female South African legislator in the House of Parliament in the rainbow country. She continued to describe Jacob Zuma as a thief and would not stop even after many warnings from the Speaker.
For those who favoured apartheid, because in their estimation the blacks are incapable of managing effectively a country like South Africa, the Jacob Zuma story is just an apt premise for their conclusion. We disagree with this school of thought though but lament that the post-apartheid story is an unpalatable one which has the potential to knock off our confidence in the African's sincerity with the public purse.
Indeed the exit of Jacob Zuma is the beginning of another bad story in South African politics. The investigation of the Gupta family vis a vis alleged corruption originating from Jacob Zuma is sure going to polarize the African National Congress (ANC) even further and the whole country. Beneficiaries of the corruption-riddled ANC would sympathise with Jacob Zuma and sneer at any action aimed at recovering the country's monies stashed in the accounts of a few individuals.
In the face of the unfolding rigmarole, the opposition parties are plotting their next moves ready to spill more beans that would shake seismically the foundation of the party which dismantled apartheid.
It is unfortunate that Jacob Zuma, a man who fought in the South African trenches to attain an independence which looked too distant to become a reality, would lose so much integrity in the twilight of his life.
African politics needs total overhaul. The continent needs leadership which would consider service to their people paramount and not self aggrandizement. The stereotyping of the African greed in politics cannot be dismissed outright as something without sound premises. The empirical evidence of the aberration cuts across the continent and to consider it as non-existent is to play the ostrich.
Those who fought to get South Africa where it is today and live no more should be squirming in their graves when they see what has become of the rainbow nation at the hands of the indigenous people who said they could govern better. Perhaps Robert Mugabe went away with the shine. What can Cyril Ramaphosa the new President do? Time will tell and it will be long.