Publication: News24 Issued: Date: 2006-05-08 Reporter: Jon Qwelane Reporter: Reporter:

The Plot to Get Zuma







Jon Qwelane

Web Link


By the time you read this piece, you no doubt will perhaps have read or heard, or even seen, the desperate acts of at least four members of the ruling party's national executive committee.

The four - three current cabinet ministers and a former minister - called hand-picked media representatives to an "off-the-record" meeting at a Johannesburg hotel this week, where the item of discussion was stated as local government.

But the entire discussion was on Jacob Zuma.

The pig-headedness of some people will never cease to amaze me. I mean these people ought to have known that the present messy and calamitous situation in the ANC was precipitated by another "off-the-record" briefing by Bulelani Ngcuka, who smeared Zuma to the extent where Ngcuka's friend, one Thabo Mbeki, clearly playing to script, eventually fired Zuma and replaced him with Ngcuka's wife.

One would have thought that by now, they would have wisened a little bit, but they went ahead and proved that history does repeat itself.

One would also have thought that cabinet ministers, at the very least, would have had the decorum and decency to allow judge Willie van der Merwe to conclude the case, before rushing ahead with the next phase of their grand conspiracy.

Indeed, one of the conspirators, referring to Zuma and the case he is facing, stated that "there is no smoke without fire".

But this most hopeless of ministers should surely have know that his statement is exactly what judge Van der Merwe is trying to establish.

In their panic the conspirators have decided that, in the event Zuma is convicted, they would move that he must be called before a party disciplinary committee and be expelled from the ruling crowd. And they claimed there was no Mbeki camp!

Who sanctioned this?

Question is: Who sanctioned this "off-the-record" briefing, considering it was not the national executive committee? Who did, and why?

It was interesting that the chief propagandist of the SABC was present at the Sunnyside meeting, where he was among the most vocal. He spoke about isolating and neutralising Cosatu's Zweli Vavi.

The Star and Business Day newspapers have so far remained mum on what they were told "off-the record", and I suspect that everyone is waiting to see who will bell the cat. They are all probably waiting for the BBC to "break the story" before they climb in boots and all.

A local Sunday paper may very well take the lead, leaving one to wonder what happened to its former belief that "no one gives you a scoop without expecting anything in return".

But with immoral cabinet ministers and unprincipled journalists, anything is possible. Who authorised the secret "off-the-record" briefing?

Jon Qwelane's column is published each week on News24, courtesy of Jon Qwelane and the editor of Sunday Sun, which originally carried the article.

Send your comments to Jon.

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.

With acknowledgement to Jon Qwelane and News