AFTER keeping millions of landless and dispossessed citizens in abject poverty for decades, by stealing money meant for poverty relief, it appears Jacob Zuma may be having the last laugh from jail. The sizeable ranks of unemployed are now his willing foot-soldiers in a political game many refer to as the ‘Stalingrad Strategy’.
In other words a ‘scorched earth’ policy in which large swathes of the country may end up being sacrificed to mob justice, in order to affect regime change within the ruling party, to promote partisan leadership, or to secure a presidential pardon.
The State Security Agency confirmed it has received intelligence some of its former senior members within the agency, who were supporters of former president Jacob Zuma, were key in orchestrating the violent unrests in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
Zuma was sentenced to prison last month for contempt of a constitutional court ruling granting the Zondo Commission extraordinary powers to subpoena witnesses in a long-running corruption investigation that has implicated many of the ANC top brass.
The former president openly promised to unleash insurrection of a kind ‘never experienced under a democratically-elected government’, and has certainly delivered on his threats to render the country ungovernable to some degree from jail.
As we write this, the SANDF has been deployed to Kwazulu-Natal and Gauteng, both provinces wracked by looting and mob violence. The military is itself facing budget constraints.
Meanwhile citizens and business-owners affected by Zuma’s mobs in and around Pietermaritzburg and Durban have bandied together to deliver a modicum of ‘civilian-based defence‘, protecting their neighbourhoods from the gangs lead by Zuma’ cronies outside of jail. (Civilian patrols are being implemented).
The hard left continues to label those defending their homes and possessions as ‘vigilantes’ whilst excusing the behaviour of people whom they idealistically term ‘the masses’. Until law and order is restored, one could only suggest that citizens are well within their rights to defend the Republic by any means at their disposal.
The leader of the third major opposition party EFF on the other hand, has come out in opposition to the deployment, and has gone further, in promising ‘ to defend citizens against the military’, a largely unpopular and wholly unnecessary move which resulted in the suspension of Julius Malema’s twitter account. In short, this event is looking a lot like a Trumpist-style act of treason against the Republic instead of a democratic ‘revolutionary moment’.
The country has a history of resolving conflict peacefully and ‘ballots not bullets’ has often been the rallying cry, but in the current atmosphere, and following an extraordinary lock down period, anything is possible.