This afternoon I watched the best episode of The Fixer ever made. Except it wasn’t produced by Shonda Rhimes and it didn’t star Kerry Washington.
As @samcowen tweeted, “Pravin Gordhan is human Gaviscon.” In his first address in his new-but-he-had-it-before gig as the new new Finance Minister, Gordhan made all the right noises, growled at a few journalists over the KPMG draft report, cracked a few jokes and overall played the role of the reassuring voice of reason in our government. Everything’s gonna be fine, he said. The Titanic isn’t sinking. Can’t you hear the violins and see the fireworks?
Among none of his generalities is there anything solid anyone can quote back at him if and when things go pear-shaped. Which they will because Jacob Zuma still wields considerable power in South Africa.
So even as the dust appears to settle around the finance minister swap, Twitter users nevertheless are carrying #ZumaMustSTILLGo as a hashtag. Gaviscon relieves symptoms. It doesn’t effect cures. We desperately need a cure. Jacob Zuma and the network of patronage that’s formed around him is the disease – not necessarily any particular finance minister.
For this reason, I believe the best thing we could do at this moment is occupy Union Buildings and Parliament, soon, with the following list of demands:
- Jacob Zuma must be recalled as President of RSA with immediate effect. (He was not democratically elected: his party [as awful as it is] is what was elected by the voting majority. Possible replacement options, if they must be from within the party, may include Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Thabo Mbeki or even that Kgalema Motlanthe guy. Cyril Ramaphosa is a no-go because he’s the fall-guy for Marikana. They cannot throw out someone they know that we know is corrupt or incompetent or both. Whoever the heck the new president is, we must be trading up.)
- Dudu Myeni must be removed from the SAA Board. She’s on her third term as Chairperson and apparently that’s not allowed. SAA needs to become profitable, soon. Speaking of political femme fatales, Baleka Mbete needs to baleka from Parliament. Now that her only job (shielding Zuma from National Assembly) is gone, she must go with it.
- The nuclear deal must fall or government must propose a sensible means of funding it.
We cannot be placated by crumbs. We must say #EnoughIsEnough to being taken past the limit, then drawn in with gentle reassurances so we feel like it is all better again. Enough to the political roller-coaster rides. Enough with the manipulation and the complacency.
Siya Khumalo blogs about religion, politics and sex
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