Even before Zuma's court appearance on the 6th April it was already clear that he was stalking Ramaphosa and imposing his corruption tainted persona on Ramaphosa’s election campaign.

Ramaphosa got the National Executive Council [NEC] to advise ANC members to support Zuma, in his court appearances, as individuals - if they must - and NOT in ANC colours or in the name of the ANC.

On the 6th Zuma supporters ignored this warning clearly with the encouragement of Zuma's organizers.

Now Zuma's current priority and what is going to occupy his mind for a long time, if not for the rest of his life, is court cases that are likely to arise from his extraordinarily busy life of crime.

So the questions are:

  1. Can Ramaphosa use his presidential powers to influence the criminal justice system in Zuma’s favour and if so
  2. How can Zuma exert pressure on Ramaphosa to use his presidential powers in Zuma’s favour.

The answer is that it would be unconstitutional for Ramaphosa to interfere with the criminal justice system for the benefit of Zuma.

However the Zuma camp is accustomed to running the country with no regard to the constraints imposed by our constitution.

So the Zuma camp is likely to disregard the constitutional limitations in their dealings with Ramaphosa.

By threatening to ensure that Ramaphosa loses the next election the Zuma camp can force Ramaphosa to, somehow, interfere with the criminal justice system in Zuma's favour.

Unfortunately for Ramaphosa, if there is any interference, sooner or later it will become public knowledge and Ramaphosa cannot afford that.

So, if any, Ramaphosa's interference will be very limited indeed which means that the Zuma camp is almost guaranteed to carry out its threat.

However the curse of our democracy has hitherto been the inordinate strength of ANC support which has bred incredible arrogance.

Zuma may yet do South Africa a favour by splitting ANC support and ensuring that the ANC does not win overall majority in the next elections.

Fortunately for South Africa, Zuma is only loyal to himself and has absolutely no time for the ANC except in so far as he can use the organization for his own personal gain.

So Zuma is likely to demand complete capitulation and unlikely to strike a compromise with Ramaphosa.

The battle for the future of the ANC will be fought in KZN.

This can only be good for South Africa.

If Zuma cannot have his way with Ramaphosa there is nothing he will want to see more than the downfall of Ramaphosa.

Zuma has the backing of very rich and influential people indeed who are still hoping they can salvage a form of the Zupta empire and continue looting.

Besides Zuma himself probably has a formidable war chest he can still use to buy influence.

Just below the surface South Africa is still a lot more unstable than most of us realise.

Ironically the salvation of South Africa from the ANC is contained in this instability.

Themba Mdlalose

9th April 2018