Those of you who understood #ZumasResigned (which he has, in every way that counts) will understand when I say Jacob Zuma has been recalled by the ANC’s NEC.
I know, I know. They couldn’t actually recall him themselves. He knows about too many of their smallanyana skeletons.
But reports on intended actions tend to leak. They intended to recall him; they didn’t intend for the country to find out at this time. But there never could be a right time. So let’s make this the right time and call it ourselves: “Jacob Zuma has been recalled by the ANC.”
#ZumasBeenRecalled. At this moment, this has zero Twitter and Facebook search results. It is a blank canvas, a tabula rasa. The NEC must recall Zuma is an old idea that dies upon suggestion; the NEC has recalled Zuma, however, is a thought that has not crossed any mind. Because it has never happened; it never could happen, except by extraordinary means.
So say it. Trend it. Breathe it into being. Be one of the extraordinary means. Retweet. Post. Tell everyone who will listen. And those who won’t. For once this thought becomes part of the national psyche (even a resisted thought), those fighting it will be demoralised by one unexpected disadvantage: we are not waiting to hear whether Zuma is still on the throne or not. As far as we know, his closest buddies, whom he’s been throwing under the bus, have finally returned the favour and done away with him. And they are not denying the idea as vehemently as we would expect.
Anyone fighting this rumour will slump into resignation because the death of that cause need only happen by word of mouth. As more and more people take this opportunity to say, “Zuma’s been recalled,” contesting this narrative will make less sense and take more energy.
“Jacob Zuma has been recalled by the ANC, and the ANC has forced him to resign.” Look at what a magnificent chain reaction it is! If the ANC recalls Zuma and the NEC demands his resignation, he has to hand it in. Likewise, if we make it clear to the ANC NEC that their doom is fait accompli unless they’ve passed this grenade to Zuma, they, too, will have no choice but to accept it.
Recalling him was their only choice already from months ago. If they choose to remain in power without acting on this only choice, it won’t be too long before the power is shown to be illegitimate and more wheels fall off the wagon. And just as they won’t care how long Zuma will take to hand over his resignation once they publicly announce his recall, so, too, won’t we care how long the fact of his recall takes to materialise in their world before we accept it as truth in ours. We’ve made up their minds.
“Jacob Zuma has been recalled by the ANC.” Any engagement with this proclamation will only serve to give it oxygen. One person after another asking, “Is it true that he’s been recalled?” will force out one seemingly surprised denial after another, one arrogant laugh after another, and then, as the inevitability of it dawns on them, one angry and defensive statement after another. We can push them through Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s stages of grief on what has happened, affirming Otto von Bismarck’s words: “Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.” John Pilger stated the same thing. “If it’s been officially denied, then it’s probably true.” Get the ANC to deny this, and the seed would have been planted in its listeners’ minds.
Even if they do not deny it, their silence on it will be deafening. No response serves to do anything but create another headline. ANC Mum on Growing Rumours of Zuma’s Recall. Zuma Still Out And About Despite Collapsing Country That Has Recalled Him. His presidency stands delegitimised whatever he does. Zuma’s friends won’t finish this round of crisis-management without succumbing to what’s already true about his rule.
“Jacob Zuma has been recalled by the ANC” and a dignified exit has been arranged for him can be the default belief of the nation until it is true. Anyone who wishes to plant a contrary idea in the national psyche first has to disabuse the public of any contrary thought. But we won’t be disabused. We already know how this ends. He’s dug the grave, and he’ll fall into it; he’s erected the tombstone, and shall trip on it. We’re just using our voices to startle him into doing so.
Say the words syllable by syllable. Out loud. Hear how they already ring with truth. Look at how they’ve already set a celebration from the start of this week to the end of this month. Because it is true, even if the ANC says it isn’t. They don’t have any credibility anymore. In their hands, the country disappears. So we force their hand to make Zuma disappear instead. Jacob Zuma was recalled by the ANC because the ANC has no existence from which to deny doing this, unless it does recall him.
#ZumasBeenRecalled is the ANC’s only remaining lifeline, and if they don’t take it from us they’ll continue flying to the brick wall they’ve been racing to all along. If they do take it, they may just have a chance to rescue their party and with their party, the country.
We will tell stories that begin with the words, “Remember when Jacob Zuma was President…” whatever stage his recall and subsequent resignation is at. We’re not waiting for him or the ANC to agree. The events of the last few weeks have been their agreement. Zuma owes us R6 billion rand — and R50b for the latest Gordhan crisis, and half a trillion for #Nenegate, and so on. Which of your creditors will wait this long for their money back from you? Will they wait until you give them the go-ahead to hand you over to lawyers? Never! Their letters say, You have been handed over, not You must be handed over. You are a passive recipient. Likewise do we consign Zuma and his cronies to the archives of history whether they are ready to be consigned or not. We do not say, “The ANC must recall Zuma” but “The ANC has already recalled Zuma” because it cannot have done but otherwise if it still exists. And if it does not exist, it cannot deny.
Reader, don’t investigate into the matter: simply push it as news no matter the response and no matter the source of the response. We are now in charge of the transmission; we control the leaks and the denials; we make the decisions. Because ultimately, it is our fate, our money and our futures that are tied into the decisions. This isn’t sedition; it’s survival.
And one by one, as more and more people choose to survive, they, too, will echo the event: Jacob Zuma has been recalled by the ANC, and the ANC has forced him to resign.
Please follow and retweet: @SKhumalo1987