Editorial

Hit one snake and another slithers out

17 November 2017 - 07:04 By TimesLIVE
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his wife, Grace.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his wife, Grace.
Image: REUTERS

Grace Mugabe, the wife of Zimbabwe's long-time ruler Robert Mugabe, is said to have told supporters: "No one will remove the president, except God."

Sound familiar? Last time we checked, the ANC was going to rule "until Jesus comes", if our own Jacob Zuma is to be believed.

Nigerian prophet TB Joshua recently said: "Pray for Southern Africa. A president will be kidnapped by army force or might be killed."

Many would have sniggered at his prediction. It did seem unbelievable after so many Mugabe years - a power grab in Zimbabwe.

The mere thought of Mugabe being outwitted, outsmarted and outplayed is delightful, until reality hits home. Even if the head is removed from the body of corruption that now governs Zimbabwe, a new head will simply pop out of the old body. Ousted vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, believed to be the mastermind behind the power grab, is nicknamed "The Crocodile" for his fearsome power and ruthlessness. This Crocodile seems capable of devouring even further a country once known as the bread basket of Southern Africa.

If it seemed unthinkable for Mugabe to be removed, the same could be said of Zuma. Rumours persist he may delay or collapse the ANC's elective conference in December if he sees his preferred candidate Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's chances fading. And even when Zuma is finally removed, South Africa will sit with a similar problem to Zimbabwe. Too many greedy politicians have built their careers on Zuma's ticket. Their sticky tentacles of corruption will continue to cling tightly on to the structures of power.

Grace Mugabe reportedly said of Mnangagwa: "Hit that snake on the head," but it would have been a solution only for herself and her own career ambitions. Here in South Africa, we should not live under the illusion either that the removal of one man will kill the slithering strings of darkness enfolding us.


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