Op-edUncategorized

SA Constitution: Not Holy Grail, But Beachhead for Change

By Ivor Chipkin

Zuma’s 10 years of anti-constitutional governance

Now that Jacob Zuma has stepped down as president, the past decade emerges in sharp relief. We have discovered that the Constitution has many enemies. State capture was born out of questioning its value and legitimacy, and the political transition that preceded it. We also learnt that there is a fire in the belly of civil society and dignity in the higher courts.

Early Tuesday morning, the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) realised that Jacob Zuma would not resign voluntarily. All his laughing condescension about being a disciplined cadre and deployee of the party was apparently forgotten.

Mark Swilling, one of the authors of “Betrayal Of The Promise“, speculated darkly that his reticence was linked to the nuclear deal and his need to rush it through before #Zexit. Apparently, you don’t stand Putin’s government up without serious consequences. There were rumours of a Russian hit squad stationed in Bedfordview on the eastern edge of Johannesburg. Even if ridiculous, it suggests the levels of paranoia and fear in parts of government and the ANC.

In the “Betrayal“report, my colleagues and I discussed the “shadow state” that had prosecuted a “silent coup”. We argued that political decision making had shifted away from Constitutional bodies, from Parliament and even Cabinet, to informal networks comprising the president, the Guptas and key political allies — frequently drawn from the “premier league”, as the clandestine grouping of provincial leaders is known.

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