As with Mugabe, so with Zuma – nations don’t forgive economically illiterate leaders

By Alec Hogg

SABC reporter Tshepo Ikaneng became an instant Twitter celebrity yesterday when reporting the national broadcaster had been told “authoritatively” that a deal had been struck and SA’s embattled president had agreed to be “recalled”. The rand gained 1%, but eased back when Zuma’s spokesman described it as fake news.

Ikaneng, who was reporting live, said the only thing holding up matters is disagreement over how the “recall” will be communicated. He spent the day outside the gates of a resort near Pretoria where the ANC’s top brass was negotiating Jacob Zuma’s exit with their party’s increasingly isolated former leader.

The extent of the isolation is evident in the 2018 edition of the authoritative Edelman’s Trust Barometer compiled after interviews with over 30,000 respondents in 28 countries. In the section on trust in government, China leads with a score of 84%. SA holds the wooden spoon: just 14% of South Africans trust Zuma’s lot.

While much emotional energy is being expended on Zexit, as it was with Mugabe, so it will be with Zuma. Once nations have tired of economically illiterate leaders, they don’t turn back.

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