– In typical chauvinist mind he reduces NDZ to an extension of Zuma-
Another book, another publication, one has long concluded Jacob Zuma is an economy for those who seek both political and economic relevance, some of whom, whose personal careers are long history. It appears these derive a sense of relevance and being in a South African political life from attacking him. One after the other they in contest of who can say the worst, making the most startling revelations and justify that with shameless comfort of telling it as the uncontested truth. Yes, this ‘truth’ is to be swallowed supposedly by an angry South Africa. Those who claim to know daily insult our collective intelligence; since they convinced themselves we will uncritically swallow and not see them for who they are.
In the aftermath of Jacques Pauw’s book on Zuma entitled the President’s Keepers, that we learn now may have possibly breached national security prescribes, South Africans hear of another book. This time by Ronnie Kasrils the former SACP and ANC leader Cabinet minister and later dissident of the ANC. Kasrils the ever self righteous, perfect in his own eyes, former ANC member’s book is entitled “A Simple Man – Kasrils and the Zuma ENIGMA”.
He will forgive some us for seeing the cover and title of his book as saying more of his own ego-tripping when he places himself right next to the president in a life of exile and elsewhere. A man by now we know for whom he has scant regard. With his book he continues embroidering the developed narrative of natural angels and demons as perpetuated by an uncritical crowd of South Africans for their own vested reasons. We are treated to the choreographed ‘angel’ and ‘demon’ comparisons, in which the self appointed angel tells the story.
Firstly, Kasrils has today nothing meaningful to contribute in assisting the overall progress in SA; his singular hollow theme is Jacob Zuma. His personal hate has left him blinded in believing an utterance of his on Zuma will shift the masses from what they believe to what he wants them to believe. He is also very frustrated that until now his efforts have failed attain his goal, so he will continue with his strategy laced with claims of I warned you about Zuma, always the hero always the voice of reason at least in his own world.
It is vintage Kasrils, with a smile that barely hides the eternal attention seeker personality behind the avuncular presence. A smile that really hides a heart ravaged with hate and bitterness, who has a score to settle and hell-bent on destroying the ‘demon’. In 2014 Kasrils told South Africa he couldn’t tell people anymore to vote for the ANC. He would later lead a failed attempt to being a political force in individual claim when the masses showed him they simply don’t trust him, regardless of struggle credentials or role.
Kasrils tells us Zuma is a tribalist because he since exile always surrounded himself with people from his tribe. It is a known fact Kwa-Zulu Natal back then Natal is the birthplace of Zuma; it then cannot be a surprise if his constituency no different to all others confirms the same. It was from this province that he left for exile and operated at first. He served in that province for the ANC government as MEC of Economic Affairs and Tourism and did tremendous work in quelling the political violence of that era. According to Kasrils’ logic having the backing of your provincial constituency makes you a tribalist. In the logic of Kasrils we may accept that when Mandela and Mbeki had more Xhosas in their respective governments they too were tribalists captured in their Xhosa tribal identities? If the case cannot be made for the latter it certainly is vacuous in the case of Zuma.
He reminds us how he raised issues of morality, security, and of conspiracy around Zuma. He tells us Mantashe objected when he raised the issue of morality calling it a fuss made in mainstream media. Perhaps Kasrils must share with us his prism of such morality because he certainly pretends to be the guru in claim of a morality he is yet to explain.
In this Kasrils street-fight where scientific and normal rules for engagement and difference are abandoned, anything goes. This fight consists of strewn together claims of tribalist, power hungry, morality questions, and security questions. If that was not enough Kasrils could not resist the temptation to go as low as blaming the death of Kate Montsho, on Zuma. With this his crafted monster picture is complete, Zuma is really a murderer, you don’t get it worse than that. As the saying go in a street-fight anything goes, Kasrils is that street fighter, he will use any and everything because the demon he is dealing with is not worth of any human agency after all he lusts for power and wealth and seeks means through Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to continue beyond his term of office.
It is Kasrils who personally resuscitates a failed rape trial as another weapon in his concoction of artillery, to deal with the created monster. He still tells us the verdict was wrong, he vehemently remonstrates Judge Van Der Merwe did not address at all the many contesting impulses evident in Fezeka Khuzwayo’s case. He therefore tells us today in his book the Judge was incompetent, because the finding did not go his desired way.
This is interesting since, we may comfortably deduce had the judge ruled as he Kasrils had wished, he would have sung a different tune. This questionable ethic of practice of holding the judiciary up as the last resort, and an intermittent castigation of the judiciary as functionary in our democracy is noteworthy. We must ask why Kasrils didn’t find it right to have the case appealed?
Kasrils bitterness has as vortex the democratic and legitimate defeat of his faction. He is one of the many who simply cannot get over themselves because the ego is often bigger than the truth and does not afford them to move on. Stuck in the loss of Polokwane he will always moan and his moaning is aimed at one man, the man he we may assume he in exile questioned, disliked, and distrusted in democracy has come to be that one he hates.
He however also extracts a personal political relevance from the same one he hates, in a spent career that after the ANC plunged into an abyss of irrelevance. Perhaps Kasrils blames Zuma or his own clearly less thought through political choices that sees him a vagabond in the political context of his previous celebrated past.
As a means to lend credence to his claims he invokes Mandela asking him about Zuma, we know the dead don’t speak, so we are entertained to Mandela’s solitary enquiry on Zuma at the hands of Kasrils. Mandela was in jail for 27 years and it is likely he enquired about Hani, Mbeki, or anyone else including Kasrils. There are many claims of mistrust that existed among cadres for a variety of reasons. Yet he makes he attempts to give his mistrust a hallowed spot.
Kasrils when asked about Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma responds by saying he respected her and had known her since their exile days. Then he dovetails that with. “But I am unsettled since she came back from the AU, about her associations”. He later reveals NDZ as an extension of Zuma. It is right here that some pertinent observations becomes tangible:
- Kasrils in typical male chauvinism denies NDZ her rightful identity but reduces her to a mere extension of Zuma. It is that age old dominant male that has little regard for women in the equation of equality that shows in glaring sense. With this Kasrils deem it his right to categorize NDZ in the same frame as he does of Jacob Zuma whom we know he hates.
- Kasrils despite knowing the illustrious track record of NDZ since her youth as an individual having served along with her in the Mbeki government, accords himself the liberty to question her for what he deems ‘her new associations’. This thinking is so aligned with the recent Peter Hain criminal network claims that categorically labelled her as guilty of a crime for which she nowhere was charged and no court has yet entertained.
- For Kasrils like for so many of this chauvinist minds NDZ is ignorant and cannot make her own choices as an individual despite her proven track record and confirmed qualifications.
- Kasrils attests a self-absorbed mind that assumes himself more significant to adjudicate, as entitled to venture the views on NDZ who has done him nothing.
What is indisputable today as previously observed is behind the deceiving smile of a Kasrils is a dangerous factionalist ego, oblivious to his own role to divide the ANC and its alliance not from 2017.
This behaviour makes it challenging to see how this former ANC leader could in times past have worked for unity from exile days when he shows such suspicion, disdain of others and their human agency simply reducing them to the adjectives he uses to describe them in totality of their existence, when he upholds himself a moral authority.
In all honesty he must pay Zuma royalties like so many who sell their newspapers, and publish their stories daily.
We may accept that Kasrils teeters on political irrelevance in a shifted political landscape. It appears his only means of being relevant is to periodically to regurgitate his recycled thoughts this time draped in exile legitimacy. It is the same story that the masses rejected. Kasrils thus cuds on his own old food and want to prepare us a dish from such when we know the cook.