Dear readers,

“Water’s wet, the sky is blue. Zuma must go- what say you?” This popped in my mind as I sat down to write, and for sure the people who stood in front of Port Elizabeth’s City Hall answered in the affirmative, but with peaceful action. Yes, that was a pun on “Affirmative Action”…

I must say it was surprising, because if the average South African protest is anything to go by, then looting, bloodshed and mayhem come with the standard package. Still, it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. As a consequence, the ex-military and ex-security side of me demanded at least some basic prep work before exercising the right to assemble peacefully, so here comes the picture of a very, very, VERY basic South African riot survival kit…

What was missing? Frankly, a hell of a lot. I’m talking about a bulletproof vest with steel trauma plate, preferably Class III armor. Helmet, Kevlar-lined elbow and knee pads, gas mask, pistol, automatic rifle, lots of ammo, mil-spec binoculars, recon flights and data link, secure infil and exfil routes, chopper extraction on standby overhead, counter-sniper teams, securely encrypted dual side band radios, jamming equipment, at least two platoons of Special Forces, a few Casspir, Ratel and Nyala battalions, trust in the bunglement- er, government…

In the end, none of that was necessary because for the period I was there, the anti-Zuma protest in front of City Hall in Port Elizabeth was a peaceful exercise carried out in harmony under the paranoia-inducing eye of Big Brother. It wasn’t a matter of fear on the part of the demonstrators, but something which scares the hell out of the African National Congress, and that is people of all ages, genders and skin tones united against a president who ducked charges on 783 counts of corruption and racketeering then went on to go through three ministers of finance in a matter of months, an economy which has been growing by at best 0.3% per quarter and isn’t showing signs of recovery, and to top it all, a widely respected and trusted finance minister (Pravin Gordhan) who was recently fired along with his deputy Mcebisi Jonas- which led to S&P’s sovereign debt downgrade to junk and Fitch and Moody’s rating agencies expected to follow suit within a month or so.

In any country people will have differences of opinion over politics, but hurt them in their wallets and you’re going to unite them against you. “So how did you get here?”, people outside South Africa are bound to ask. The answer isn’t simple, but it can be simplified as follows…

Jacob G. Zuma is not a formally educated man, but that doesn’t mean he’s stupid.  A guy who only had three or four years of school isn’t going to become the ANC’s head of intelligence through stupidity or dumb luck, but cleverness, and that’s what he did along with spending nearly three decades as member of the SA Communist Party too. He used to run Mbokodo (the Grind Stone, similar to IRA’s The Sweenies), the ANC’s feared counterintelligence unit which tortured and killed a lot of people at the infamous Camp Quattro in Mozambique. Apparently former South African Arts and Culture minister Pallo Jordan numbers among the surviving victims (though he’s not talking), so if there’s one thing to say about JZ, it’s that he literally knows where bodies are buried but he ain’t sayin’ nuthin’ about that bit of history (along with years of violence in Kwazulu-Natal before the 1994 elections, when he was active in an intelligence leadership capacity) beyond that “it belongs to the ANC”.

Another thing we know is that his middle name, Gedeyihlekisa, means “one who smiles while he hurts you” in Zulu, so you can just imagine what the parents saw in JZ the baby when they named him, let alone what his largely covered up history implies. Our Father who art in heaven, unholy be Thy spooks’ Omerta, ‘cause it sure allowed a lot of evil to be swept under the carpet…

The third and most important thing (for it greatly bears on the current situation) we know is that Jacob G. Zuma just looooooves women. By Western standards, he’s a chronic philanderer and polygamist. He would’ve had 5 (five) wives and 22 (twenty-two) children if one of the (common or customary law) wives hadn’t committed suicide sometime in the 1990s and another hadn’t allegedly tried unsuccessfully to poison him about two or three years ago, when he went to Russia for medical treatment and possibly to negotiate some “back end” for the upcoming U.S. $100.000.000.000 South African nuclear reactor deal that’s expected to have cost overruns of as much as 300%. Pay attention folks, because that bit was really important…

The problem with having four wives and God knows how many kids around 1994, was that Jacob Zuma could not support his family financially. Coupled with Inkatha Freedom Party’s overwhelming win in Kwazulu-Natal province during South Africa’s first democratic election, it relegated ole JZ to the role of Ministerial Executive Committee member of Tourism for the province, and for all intents and purposes of the way his political career was looking in those days, a slow slide into oblivion. However, some South African political clouds do seem to have silver linings, and JZ’s potential for benefiting others via the M, C and E of M.I.C.E. (acronym for how spooks and traitors are turned- Money, Ideology, Compromise, Ego) drew the attention of two brothers, one of whom Zuma was quite well acquainted with due to his time in the ANC’s intelligence apparatus.

Enter the Shaik brothers, Mo and Schabir. The former was an ANC spook during “The Struggle”, while the latter became a “sharp” businessman in Durban, Kwazulu-Natal. Mo Shaik knew Jacob as well as his weaknesses. His brother Schabir had the money. It was a match made in a heaven found at the intersection of business interests and high-level government connections, for in short order “uncle Schabir” was soon a frequent visitor to the Zuma household and even more frequent helper in Jacob’s efforts to pay school fees and feed his family. The Viagra-ed Zuma finances led to confounding many analysts’ expectations, for a man bound for obscurity and history’s junk heap soon found himself Thabo Mbeki’s deputy president.

Widely called the worst job in government, seen as “the guy who’s there in case shit happens”, the post of deputy president nevertheless carries heavy prestige, access to top shelf intelligence, serious briefings and hobnobbing with top foreign dignitaries. What also comes with the job is opportunity, for it’s about taking the next step and sure as hell Zuma wasn’t gonna stop at Number 2. No way, this former shepherd and leader of torturers was going to the top…

Had he had Romanian or Soviet communists’ education and skills, Zuma would’ve been a sure bet. But he didn’t, and he wasn’t. You see, unlike the top tier guys and gals, second and third tier Romanian communist government apparatchiks had to be extremely smart in order to survive. In a regime where graft was not just a tool of survival but prosperity, one had to know what to steal, how to steal it undetected and spread the love upstairs in a plausibly deniable way, or torture and execution would’ve followed upon discovery by eager beaver subordinates looking for a step up or superiors who had to suck up to the Ceausescu dictator couple. As a result, theft and money laundering had to be done with style and finesse, something which is lacking in the South African (mis)ruling elite, because they get caught almost every week and exposed by the newspapers.

The problem with blatant theft is that it breeds complacency and incompetence, both very dangerous traits aspirants to political power may possess, and it can eventually lead to a somewhat coordinated nationwide uprising of the sort South Africa and the world witnessed today. It didn’t lead to revolution or Jacob Zuma’s impeachment just yet, but it gave the ANC yet another unwanted wake-up jolt along with mad scrambling for damage control, which due to its emergency nature will drain some of the precious little political capital the party still has.

Make no mistake, the current political order in South Africa is not going to change overnight. For better or worse, tensions in this country haven’t reached that point. However, the lines are being publicly drawn to a certain extent (larger than usual) and the threat posed by ANC and its silly support of Zuma is pushing the country towards a social, political and financial crisis, though civil war (especially a racially based one) is still between 2 (two) and 5 (five) years off.  The previous question hasn’t been answered yet, and I’ve just asked another. To go back to it, how did Zuma get here? The answer is fairly simple- he knew secrets, was given money by and rewarded those who helped him, all of which translated into ever-increasing power that led him to the country’s top chief executive post. It’s speculative, but it seems he had enough intel to compromise a lot of people who otherwise would’ve supported then-South African president Thabo Mbeki during the 2009 convention at which the decision to get rid of him was made. Furthermore, he had the financial support to lessen the burden on his shoulders which his family represented, and that led to a greatly rejuvenated Zuma who wielded the knives shielded in shadows that stabbed Mbeki in the back after presidential interference in the criminal corruption case against Zuma was revealed by national intelligence operatives who tapped the phones of Eugene McCarthy (then-head of Scorpions, a police unit which specialized in high level corruption and treason investigations) and Bulelani Ngcuka (then-head of the National Prosecution Authority) while they were discussing the timing of the public announcement of the 783 charges of racketeering, money laundering, fraud and corruption against Zuma. This was being influenced and stage-managed by Mbeki against laws and regulations governing not only the political independence of the NPA, but that of the South African Police Service (SAPS) in terms of arrest and the already long-compromised judiciary, in terms of procedure which stems from the Criminal Procedure Act of 1977 and its subsequent amendments.

Once Mbeki’s hand was shown to be behind the interference, it became clear to the ANC that it was time for change. The pipe-smoking, rumored alcoholic and touchy Afro-centric midget intellectual occupying the seat of chief executive power at what was then called Tuynhuis (and these days Mahamba Ndlopfu) had made enough enemies and he had to go. It happened much like Zuma’s latest Cabinet reshuffle, late at night and accompanied by the on-camera tears of the country’s longest serving minster of what little defense South Africa had left by then (Mosiuoa Patrick “Terror” Lekota) and many others, among them one of the current sort of contenders for the presidency in 2019, Jacob Zuma’s ex-wife and later (though as of 31 March 2017, former) head of the African Union, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Kgalema Motlanthe was immediately appointed interim president of South Africa and while people had high hopes for him, he turned out to be nothing but an ANC party drone who toed the line while he sought guidance from the majority consensus. Motlanthe may have been an alright interim president until the national elections of 2009, but he didn’t show the stones necessary for ultimate leadership or that he possessed the necessary charisma and political cachet to take the ANC’s nomination for the presidency from Jacob Zuma, who by then was already lobbying behind the scenes for at least 4 (four) years. And thus it came to be that a man who was compromised through the biological consequences which came out of his penis into at least four customarily married vaginas (and their bearers) became the president of the Republic of South Africa…

Widely reviled by the democratic-leaning liberal section of South Africa, once in the president’s office, Jacob Zuma proceeded to make more enemies and eliminate politically the top characters who threatened him through two cabinet reshuffles before this latest, all the while throwing before the inexorably unstoppable bus of South African public morality and probity his current and former allies. Guptagate? No problem- just make your spokesman an ambassador to Germany so that he wouldn’t testify in front of Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Defence (equivalent to the U.S. Congress’ Armed Services Committee) about how a glorified P.A. could arrange the landing of a civilian-chartered aircraft containing the friends of your political benefactors at Waterkloof Air Force base, one of South Africa’s premier and most strategic of airbases, all without proper clearance and in contradiction of direct orders expressly issued by the then-minister of defense along with clear protocols regarding landings there, which by the way did not allow flying over the Union Buildings like the Gupta-chartered jet did, let alone landing at the base without being met by lethal obstructions on the runways and armed troops with their rifles pointed at the plane if it ever managed to safely make it on the ground, as opposed to the damned red carpet and express kiosks managed by Home Affairs passport clearance staff, which were followed by specially hired private drivers of luxury vehicles and unlawfully requested and authorized traffic police escorts from Waterkloof AFB all the way to Sun City…

Oh, middle class urban black people are increasingly becoming disenchanted with your policies and public utterings? No problem. Just call them “clever blacks” and hope your rural support base will hold out because they’re dependent on welfare payments you get from a majority-white taxpayer base… While you’re at it, throw a few law amendments to the so-called “traditional chiefs” which not only make women property of men, but also deprive them of rights to inherit property on tribal lands, and you’re gonna have every lion or leopard skin G-string wearing old dude eating out of your palm. Promise a few more million for their upkeep (never met a tribal chief who didn’t like Mercedes Benz’s craftsmanship and cell phone chimes notifying tens of thousands of rand deposited in ye olde bank account) and they’ll push the peons living on tribal land to vote ANC en masse in spite of niggling democratic principles such as the sanctity of the individual vote.

Are you “Black Economically (and politically) Empowered crooked government apparatchiks having problems getting bribes from big companies which are owned or led by white people? No problem. All you’ve gotta do is flash around a news conference the term “white monopoly capital”, and Abracadabra, Shalakazam, bing-bam-boom, here comes the frightened bribe money!””

Um, hang on a sec! Are you having problems with journalists exposing your corruption? Really? No problem! We’ll just order Bheki Cele (then-SAPS national commissioner, aka South Africa’s top cop) to order Crime Intelligence to send a few heavies to unlawfully arrest Sunday Times journalist Mzilikazi wa Afrika right smack in the middle of Sunday Times’ lobby in broad daylight, then move him to an undisclosed location, deny him access to an attorney while we question him regarding his political views for 8 (eight) hours! Shit, while we’re at it, “let there be some guys armed with Mini-Uzis taking potshots at his partner, Stephan Hofstatter, just to cross some Ts and dot some scary Is, ya dig?”

Ooh, them whites be complaining about racism, marginalization and vilification by the country’s top leadership? So what? Them muthafuckahs is just “speaking while white” for the last 23 years, ya know? I mean, really, bhuti/sissie, (brotha/sistah) din’t ya know all them mlungus/mzungus (dirty white sea foam scum blown by the wind to the shore) supported the big bad apartheid regime? Nah man, don’t worry ‘bout it ‘cause we got our “bhuti” (brother) Julius Malema to say that whites spend more money on private medical insurance for their dogs than they pay in salaries to their domestic workers- er, maids. Never mind that many of them did none of that and a majority voted to not only end apartheid but also enter into negotiations with our so-called “liberation movements” (which set mines on farm roads, blew up farmers and families and also attacked unarmed -with the exception of one man carrying a piddly .38 cal revolver during St. James’ Church massacre in Kenilworth, Cape Town in 1993- Christians)…

Jacob “Jakop soos ‘n kak kop” (ask an Afrikaner what that means) Gedleyihlekisa Zuma became president of the Republic of South Africa in 2009. He is currently facing a nascent and poorly organized social rebellion led by liberal whites who are tired of the harm corruption has done to South Africa. He got here through some clever planning coupled with blackmail, anti-white, pro-Russian as well as pro-Chinese propaganda and unlawful suppression of dissent. He is currently presiding over the downfall of non-racial and democratic South Africa via the increasing politicization of national security services and ossification of their intelligence focus and analysis, destruction of dissenters in the top SA political circle and increasing undermining of government service delivery mechanisms along with departments responsible for it. He is presiding over the increasing use of government surveillance capabilities beginning with political informants through zetabytes of data collection and analysis capabilities in over 100 languages (among them Romanian), the deployment of surveillance drones and SAPS helicopters equipped with multi-spectrum cameras, interference with and undermining of duly registered and widely respected trade unions, squeezing for extortion of both private and public-owned South African businesses with national and international footprints, the destruction of the national public exchange of opinions forum and increasing black supremacist/ African nationalist (but without Afrikaners even though they ARE African!) rhetoric which constantly drives towards a civil war and WHITE GENOCIDE anytime between 2017 and 2024. This is a summary of how he got here and some of the things he did. Unfortunately, this is not the whole picture even while the nightmare is unfolding, though it’s good to be not only able to say but to also prove that he and his buddies have failed in some respects, for South Africa is not down the toilet yet, although the drones, spooks (as shown in attached pictures) and country are circling.

The anti-Zuma march in Port Elizabeth was peaceful and quiet while I observed it, unlike another somewhere in the interior (Lichtenburg or Rustenburg). There is a multi-racial liberal democratic element taking the forefront, but it is currently incoherent and those at the top (mostly black in Port Elizabeth’s case) seemingly so overtaken by the speed of events that they showed to have no strategy to drive the fight against Zuma presently.

It’s an exciting time on a lower level than watching the Romanian Revolution of 1989 or taking part in protests against the neo-communist regime in downtown Bucharest in May or June 1990, but make no mistake, the time of revolution, final solution or civil war, hasn’t come yet because the critical mass is just not available. Will it come within the next 7 (seven) years? I think so. After all, the most any African attempt at democracy managed to last was about 24 years, and hell followed like it did in Zimbabwe, but let’s be charitable and give it until 2024, which is South Africa’s 30th anniversary of democracy, for social inertia reasons if nothing else. I was there and saw what happened- it ain’t the time for anything no matter how you look at it. One thing’s for sure, though- it got a lot of people’s attention. Just please, for the love of God and your own lives, don’t jump on the bandwagon just yet. Wait a while, watch the events, for these marches and protests will do nothing more than fill column inches instead of leading to country-shaping events.

The Friday April 7th 2017 protest in Port Elizabeth was peaceful and multiracial, watched by a handful of police and private security along with an unidentified drone, a couple of guys with a video and telephoto-lensed camera atop City Hall and hundreds if not a couple of thousand ordinary citizens carrying cellphones. It led to no major changes and/or official overreactions. There was no bloodshed, only a few drops of rain along with the promise of more for yet another drought-stricken city in South Africa. The wind is blowing, but the direction is a bit confused. Jump to no conclusions and perform no heroics, for it’s not settled yet.

Mircea Negres

Port Elizabeth

South Africa

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