The blog post about Former President Jacob Zuma’s resignation is probably at 100 000 reads thanks to everyone who agrees that #ZumasResigned. Mmusi Maimane also posted about Zuma’s sudden absence from the public eye. This is further proof that #ZumasResigned.
Every time this statement is repeated, resistance against it is weakened. Every time people hear the words, “FORMER President Jacob Zuma”, they taste what it’s like to have him as former president. What has been experienced cannot be denied, whether it’s evoked hope, joy, fear, disgust, confusion, anger or a mix of these. The feelings themselves are an emotional admission that the reality they respond to is there. Though the “head” or rational part of the responder isn’t certain about what’s happening, the “heart” or intuitive part knows, panics about and immediately responds to what it’s heard. #ZumasResigned is so explosive, so dangerous, because the head’s instinctive scramble to get the “facts” is definite proof that the heart has realized that it’s true. Because it bypasses the rational response, #ZumasResigned is immediately self-attesting and self-fulfilling. All it takes is for people to hear the words – then Boom! – the poison is flowing. Schrodinger’s cat is dead.
The very act of resisting, of responding, shows that it’s too late. It’s irreversible. “So-and-so passed away,” we’re told, and the dread – that ghastly, terrible void as the bottom falls out with our insides attached to it – is the hearer’s soul sinking into what it cannot help, affect or undo. It’s pure, chilling, nauseating helplessness. We may desperately wish to unhear the words or walk back to an instant before we knew. Because hearing and knowing just make it so real. “Zuma must resign” means he’s still president. #ZumasResigned, however, is a stunning affront to hopes otherwise. #ZumasResigned because the last thread of the rope is either too frayed to hold or it has snapped. The dye is set. The blood is showing – no, flowing – through the bandage gauze and the ball is rolling.
This is how President Thabo Mbeki’s recall came about. Some people were referring to him as “Former President” before it became “official”. In a year, nobody will remember #ZumasResigned. As with Mbeki, we will remember the recall as a single event rather than something that was “acknowledged into actuality” by a gathering number of people.
History books will discuss nuclear power plans and the load shedding as the decisive factors behind Zuma’s downfall. Unless someone mixes chaos theory into school history syllabi, nobody will remember #ZumasResigned. At best, the “campaign” will earn a brief footnote in the archives.
One of the tweet responses was that if Jacob Zuma has resigned, the tweeter would throw the mother of all parties. Well, why should anyone wait? I’m buying wine on my way home. We can shape history by creating a world, right now, in which Jacob Zuma has resigned, and we can suffocate the oxygen or “experiential capital” out of any competing narratives. A word of extra caution – there are many who are in denial that #ZumasResigned and will lash out, sometimes violently, against those who’ve realized that he has. While I advise those who will be partying over Zuma’s resignation to take precaution concerning their safety, I’d also like to point out that the threat of violence is a response that reveals that the aggressor knows it’s true. If #ZumasResigned was a harmless hoax or a wish, nobody would pay it any attention. It is because the idea is so outrageously self-attesting and self-fulfilling that they try very hard to suppress it. The cat’s out of the bag. Zuma’s resigned. 100 000 people know it. It’s growing faster than I can keep up. Reality is perception.
I’d also like to address some frequently asked questions and frequently shared comments about #ZumaResigned. “You did this so you can get people to look at your blog.” Then don’t go online. Everyone who posts someone does it so you’ll see it. “Look, I’m not a fan of Zuma or the ANC, but…” Lies. People critique #ZumasResigned not because they don’t believe it (they wouldn’t pay attention if they didn’t believe it) but because they’re threatened by what has been named.
In the PowerFM radio interview with Lee du Preez, Iman Rappetti and many of the callers spoke about the processes that go into changing presidency. Because she is a professional in the media space, her perception must be faced only in one direction – the mechanics of reality – even if she’s aware of the other dimensions at work. She has to be cautious when she comments about what’s going on “behind the scenes” lest she is seen as a “mystic”. But the mechanics of politics are the boring bits. The real action is psychological, “behind the scenes”.
It’s been said that if you wink at a girl in the dark, nobody knows except you. Mechanically, the action has been performed but the background darkness has defeated the technical ends of the procedure. People in New Zealand, Canada, the UK and South Africa agree that #ZumasResigned even if Zuma goes through the motions of being president a little while longer. He will see it in their eyes that people see him as Former President Jacob Zuma. You think he has stage fright now? Even he will see that his performance is a charade. He
is not was not President material. He was a figurehead all along. No amount of the government’s winking will cause us to see in the darkness of load-shedding. #ZumasResigned is a voice of no-confidence that rings with irreversibility.