Imraan Buccus | The Mercury | 13 February 2018 | Imagine if Jacob Zuma had offered to resign as president in December? He might not have received a ticker tape parade but he could have avoided the gory reality show of his last days in office. He’s gone into many battles in a lifetime in politics. He’s come out trumps in many of them, no doubt.
Yet, significantly, Zuma has also had to concede in a good many. “Pay back the money” was a defining moment.
The house of cards then came tumbling down. Far from a comfy retirement couch in Nklandla, he is more likely to be occupying a hard bench in court rooms in his remaining years. Those courtrooms must be a terrifying sight even for the most powerful.
Mike Mabuyakhulu has been feeling its bite, as has the seemingly untouchable Khomotso Phahlane. With the courts now firmly established as the proxy battleground,we will see many more headline-grabbing politicians and their acolytes rush after high-priced attorneys.
Protestations of innocence will be the norm but there is a lot of baying for blood. Files will tumble out of all kinds of hidden places. There will be civil servants and suppliers pulling out slips of paper and text messages they have filed as insurance policies.
There will be comrades reconstructing paper trails both to protect themselves and to bring others down. The canary-like singing of the greasy arms deal fixer Ajay Sooklal before of People’s Tribunal on Constitution Hill last week is a reliable foretaste of the tale-telling that’s coming.