Could Zuma flee to escape the orange onesie? – Chuck Stephens

Exile has been used in the past to ease international bad actors out of power. Examples of these are the husband of the shoe squirrel, Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines who was exiled to Hawaii; Uganda’s Idi Amin who landed up in Saudi Arabia and Liberia’s Charles Taylor who went to Nigeria. But these were due to deals made with former colonisers. It is unlikely that either South Africa or the United Kingdom will be prepared to make a deal for former President Jacob Zuma. Zuma was not a dictator and he is not in power, but what he has in common with the dictators who were allowed to retire overseas, is that he allegedly managed to use the state coffers or more accurately, state contracts to enrich himself and members of his family. The world is however now more hostile to the idea that a bad leader could have a safe landing elsewhere. The EFF warned a couple of years ago that Zuma was planning to seek asylum in Dubai and that Zuma had flown to Dubai on a trip to move R6bn using his diplomatic cover. There has also been several stories of a luxurious mansion in Dubai that the Guptas are alleged to have bought for Zuma. Chuck Stephens from the Desmond Tutu Centre for Leadership writes that South Africa should take Zuma’s passport away because he believes that as the net is closing in on the ex-president, Zuma might try to make a run for it. – Linda van Tilburg

Take away JZ’s passport, he is a flight risk

By Chuck Stephens*

Do you remember Mobutu running to France when his options were closing down?

Didn’t Idi Amin run to Saudi Arabia?

I think Mengistu spent his last years in Zimbabwe?

Do not think for a minute that a man who put his own personal well-being in front of his country’s – when he was an elected president, will not run for cover. Maybe he has already arranged for diplomatic immunity from Putin in Russia? Or a cushy hide-out in Dubai?

Here is the narrative:

  1. If the court denies him another appeal, it is checkmate. He must go to trial.
  2. A court date has already been sent for his Trial, in early 2020.
  3. The NPA says that it is already fully prepared to go to trial.
  4. Impunity has vaporised in the hype of the Zondo Commission.
  5. The poor are angry, and getting angrier. Corruption robs the poor.
  6. Government will no longer fund buses of supporters to support Zuma’s court appearances. (How do you explain that one to the Auditor General, who now has some teeth)
  7. Bongani Bongo and Goodman Vimba have already been indicted.
  8. Batohi and Cronje are under pressure to deliver some tangible results.
  9. In a press conference last week they say that one last letter is awaited from Arab Emirates, before they can lay charges related to the Estina Dairy project against eight others. Rumour has it that Ace Magashule may be one of the eight, but that is only conjecture.
  10. Three have now been indicted from Regiments capital.
  11. The Gupta brothers are holed up in Dubai.
  12. The Zondo Commission is sold out night after night. Frank Chikane says that State Capture was leading down a slippery slope to dictatorship. Mo Shaik says that it could have been nipped in the bud back in 2011.
  13. Imagine the State Spying Apparatus (SSA) being in the hands of Siyabonga Cwele, David Mahlobo and Bongani Bongo for the past decade. R4bn of spending unaccounted for, according to the Auditor General. It was open season on citizens.

So why would JZ stay? If his right to appeal is denied, he will become a flight risk. The High Court should demand his passports and impose a travel ban, or we could wait another 14 years before we see him have his day in court – which he always said that he wanted.

He will be a classic flight risk. Block his retreat. Head him off at the pass. Sending out a posse to fetch him in Dubai is not gonna work.

After all, if he stays, he could be out golfing like Schabir Shaik while he is serving his time?

  • Chuck Stephens, Executive Director of the Desmond Tutu Centre for Leadership.