Today is the 8th of the 8th: Lucky number, lucky day, for South Africa?

By Alec Hogg

Often quoted Peter Montalto of Nomura reckons there’s only a 30% chance today’s no confidence vote in president Jacob Zuma will succeed. Independent economist Chris Hart is equally confident Zuma will win. And after an initial jolt when the shock of a secret ballot was announced, forex dealers soon regained composure by tempering yesterday’s sudden Rand bounce.

Jacob Zuma

But “experts” have been making a habit of calling the big ones wrong. Witness Brexit, the recent UK election and, lest we forget, the election of Donald Trump, a 50/1 outsider little over a year before he moved into the White House.

Consider, too, that today is the eighth day of the eighth month in a year (’17) whose numbers add up to eight. And eight is a very lucky number. So lucky that when China hosted the Olympic Games, the opening ceremony began at precisely 8 minutes and 8 seconds after 8pm on 8/8/08.

In a statement yesterday where she called on fellow ANC MPs to “do the right thing” Dr Makhosi Khoza said in seven previous votes of no confidence she stood by Zuma. But that she won’t be doing so today. Maybe this time, the eighth, South Africa’s plunderer in chief will finally be dispatched. The beloved country is certainly overdue some luck.