Success of Zuma administration questioned.
Jan 31, 2010 11:51 PM | By Justice Malala
Justice Malala: President Jacob Zuma's young administration and the post-Polokwane ANC coalition that it represents is unravelling.
President has been reduced to a polygamous curiosity
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Eight months into its existence, it is becoming impossible to work out what the Zuma administration's real purpose is, except for its penchant for grandiose and empty promises about nationalising the mines and bringing about a more representative state.
The Zuma administration is mired in scandal and persistent reports of corruption. Zuma himself is emerging as nothing but a priapic nonentity, a man laughed at behind his back by his Cabinet ministers as he fumbles from one disaster to another.
He is useful to all those around him for one reason only: every faction in the warring tripartite alliance wants him to stay in office until they have finalised who should replace him.
This week's Cabinet meeting - if it takes place - will be interesting not for what Zuma's Cabinet will be able to grapple with and resolve, but for just how much stink of scandal will permeate the room.
Zuma, who never tires of telling the youth just how rampant HIV is and how they need to use condoms, will walk into the room with the stench of yet another child out of wedlock scandal engulfing him.
It is now clear why Mbeki's two Cabinets were so silent when the man said HIV does not cause Aids. They were not afraid of him, as they like to claim nowadays. They fully agreed with him, as Zuma is demonstrating.
Zuma's Intelligence Minister Siyabonga Cwele will walk in with the weight of his wife's alleged drug dealing hanging over him. Now, Cwele might not have known about his wife's double life, but surely the Cabinet needs to ask itself and answer to the nation whether the man in charge of intelligence for the 2010 Soccer World Cup has in any way been compromised.
Do not expect any response to such a pressing matter from the Zuma administration.
The newspapers have been full of stories of Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda and his numerous and lucrative contracts with state entities. These contracts seem to be a subtext in the ongoing battles at Transnet engulfing Minister of Public Enterprises Barbara Hogan.
While these stories are being openly discussed in newspapers, bars and shebeens, do not expect our Cabinet to respond in any detail to any of these damaging allegations.
To be truthful, the Cabinet cannot respond simply because while these fights between ministers continue, Zuma is absolutely powerless to intervene. He has other personal problems on his mind. Over and above that, ministers such as Nyanda are now seemingly more powerful than Zuma in the Cabinet.
Back at Luthuli House, ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema continues to make a mockery of Zuma's injunctions to tone down his attacks on colleagues and to not disrupt schooling. While Malema travels around Gauteng visiting schools during school hours and enjoining children to sing songs praising him, Zuma keeps a silence that clearly demonstrates he is not the man in charge.
When Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe admonished Malema for his outrageous antics, Zuma was conspicuous by his silence.
All these things would be counted as insignificant if the Zuma administration was big on action. But what exactly has this administration done in eight months?
Except for the increase in the number of Cabinet portfolios, we are surrounded by an incredible amount of verbiage, lekgotlas, alliance summits and other talk shops.
A new document is unveiled every week to much fanfare, only to be consigned to the paper recycling bin the next.
All these documents illustrate just how confused the ANC is on policy. Every Tom, Julius and Blade now makes grandiose and useless policy pronouncements, leading to immense confusion among foreign and domestic investors.
Last week nearly every member of the ANC's top six rattled off a new policy proposal on parastatals, nationalisation and other aspects of policy. Yet there is no action.
At the same time Jimmy Manyi, the department of labour's director-general, revealed that so far only R10-million of the R2.4-billion earmarked for training for retrenched workers had been spent on training programmes. The R2.4-billion is supposed to be spent by April to alleviate the plight of these jobless people.
The incident displays perfectly what's wrong with the Zuma administration: long on promises, extremely short on delivery.
While world leaders were being asked about the state of the world economy and other important issues at Davos last week, the most reported-upon issue involving Zuma was his three current wives.
Like Mbeki being asked about his Aids denial, this is what Zuma has swiftly been reduced to: a polygamous curiosity on the world stage.
Zuma needs to pull himself together and start concentrating on the real reason he was elected. He must start governing.