State Capture very real when we listen to Madonsela interviewing Zuma

By Alec Hogg

The noise around State Capture can be very confusing, especially when vested interests do their utmost to make it so. But it becomes very real when listening to the recording of former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela interviewing President Jacob Zuma. It is a reminder that behind the headlines, actual people are involved.

That’s brought home when we hear a humble, softly spoken but extremely firm public servant telling her head of State he is implicated in criminal behaviour. We can also sense from the discussion that everyone in the room pretty much knows what has happened. But still they play legal charades.

Perhaps that’s because implications of admitting what has gone down is too painful for everyone. Especially Jacob Zuma, who sounds every day of his 74 years, as you might expect of someone sold down the river by fair weather friends. Eavesdropping on their discussion, I keep hoping Zuma will fess up and spill the beans on the Guptas. Instead, he blunders on, blindly loyal, all the time knowing he is simply postponing the inevitable.

Zuma has obviously reflected on the end game. Surrounded by supporters in his home province on Saturday, he told them he was “not afraid of going to jail” because he’d spent a decade on Robben Island for fighting the Apartheid regime. What makes this all so sad is that there has been no honour in his actions this time around.

Jacob Zuma, South Africa's president. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg
Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s president. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg