Only two reasons why Zuma didn’t take the logical option Friday night

To understand a man, first walk a mile in his moccasins. That advice, originating on the plains of North America, has travelled well.

After watching my country’s President addressing an expectant nation Friday night, I tried to imagine being in his shoes. And after another unconvincing performance, wondered why Jacob Zuma chose to rebuff the anger of a distrustful nation, a blistering judgement from the highest court in the land, and well intentioned advice from many who surround him.

Especially as he turns 74 next week. That’s not an age when one wants to strap on your amaShoba and iBeshu and pick up a fresh knobkerrie. This is the time to relax among loved ones – in Zuma’s case, four adoring wives, two dozen or so children, and many more acolytes.

Using that perspective there are only two reasons the President didn’t opt for a dignified exit. Either he was encouraged by the ANC brains trust to hang around until a politically more opportune time. Or, he is so deeply compromised by “business partners” that leaving centre stage is impossible. The answer will show itself soon enough. The truth will emerge. Eventually. It always does.

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