The ruling party’s national executive council (NEC) in Pretoria have the unenviable option to either deliver the coup de grace or send this country reeling into a foetid swamp of corrupt autocracy.
The shock release of an explosive report compiled by academics at a number of top South African universities entitled “Betrayal of the Promise: How South Africa is Being Stolen” affords the NEC little wiggle room.
It also vindicates in its entirety the contention outlined by former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report that detailed a systematic looting of state resources under President Jacob Zuma.
The report by the academics paints a picture of what it terms a “shadow state” which has negated the promise made by then president Nelson Mandela during his inauguration address in 1994 on what all South Africans aspire to.
We have been “betrayed by the Zuma-centred power elite”, the report states.
The painful truth for the ANC is that they have to choose between the democracy they fought long and hard for or a man who has seldom, if ever, hidden his intentions despite the warnings that have resounded across the country.
“When there is no trust in public institutions, there is little goodwill to express solidarity through tax; large companies are predisposed to sit on cash rather than reinvest profits towards productive use; criminality proliferates, exploiting weaknesses in intelligence and crime enforcement authorities; and both capital and skills flee the country,” the report said.
We have reached the critical tipping point. Zuma must go.
The alternatives are we start the tortuous climb back to where we should have been, or the country risks being consumed in the inevitable flames.