The Big Read: Fear is keeping Zuma in power
President Jacob Zuma and his corrupt cronies inside and outside the government are now desperate.
The decision to lay criminal charges against the former public protector, Thuli Madonsela, is just the latest in a litany of attempts to intimidate those who stand against the president's lying and the lining of his pockets with our cash.
It won't save him. Nothing can save him now. It is merely a matter of time before the whole Zuma edifice comes crushing down.
As I write, the country waits to find out whether Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom's courageous and admirable motion of no confidence in Zuma, tabled at the ANC national executive committee meeting on Saturday, will bear fruit. If it doesn't, more will be made until Zuma goes.
The truth is that our country is in a state of paralysis. Even the most optimistic among us, those who see our glass as not only half full but as brimming, have a furrowed brow. Things are just not getting better under Zuma. They are getting worse.
Last week the latest unemployment figures showed that joblessness is rampant and on the rise. It is now above 27%. It was at less than 21% when Zuma and his merry men jubilantly kicked their comrade Thabo Mbeki out of power in 2008.
The ANC's own veterans are muttering darkly about how their movement has lost its way.
In the midst of all this, the party sees fit to call for the setting up of a media appeals tribunal to cow and regulate the media. Zuma himself, after lying and dissembling to the public protector, is contemplating having her charged and thrown in jail. He is shameless.
Let us not fool ourselves. We all know that we are in trouble. While Zuma and his friends the Guptas dip into the public purse, the real South Africa is fraying.
Zuma's administration is the worst we have had in 22 years. By 2019, every positive gift inherited from the Mandela and Mbeki administrations will have been destroyed.
Education is atrocious unless you can send your children to a private school. The universities are in the grip of violence and fear but the president of the country is missing in action.
The economy is shot to hell. Businesses are sitting on their cash. Banks are rattled. The ratings agencies are worried about how we run our state-owned enterprises. They see them as looting machines for an elite built around Zuma. They are not wrong. Look at Eskom and the saga of Optimum Coal that encompasses Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane and his handlers, the Guptas. This was theft on a grand scale.
The rot and its depth are breathtaking. I need not go into it here. There was a time when only a handful of us would say these things. Nowadays every second ANC member sees it, and sometimes - like Hanekom - even says it.
Zuma's performance last week in parliament was utterly depressing. If there is anything to be taken out of it then at least we know that Zuma has come out clearly: he works not for the people who elected the ANC into power. He works for the Gupta family.
Why else would the man so enthusiastically and shamelessly stand up for those lying leeches in parliament?
After it has been comprehensively proved that Des van Rooyen, the weekend-special finance minister, visited the Gupta compound on seven consecutive days before he was appointed, videos have emerged in which Ajay Gupta says the man never visited the family compound. These people must think we are stupid.
Maybe they are right. Maybe we are stupid. How else does one explain the ANC's continued support of this emperor with no clothes when the country has been burning for years on his watch?
Our situation is like an episode from a Franz Kafka story. We all know Zuma must go. The ANC knows Zuma must go. Yet he appears before parliament and shows us the finger.
Last week, ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa told journalists that Zuma will not be "appearing" before the party's integrity committee on December 3 but will have a meeting with it. It is the truest thing I have ever heard him say.
Zuma's greatest achievement was stealing the ANC from its own members, uprooting it from its traditions and turning it into his own personal army to ensure that he is protected while he and his friends steal from the state.
If, by the time you read this, Zuma is still in office, here is why: it is fear among ANC leaders that lies at the heart of the failure to fire Zuma.
ANC leaders fear that if Zuma is defeated he will take the KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga ANC with him and lead a split. They are afraid this will cleave the ANC straight down the middle.
And so they keep avoiding this simple truth: Zuma will destroy the ANC anyway.