When Zuma goes
Authors on their new books: Ralph Mathekga discusses his book When Zuma goes with Naomi Meyer in LitNet's ongoing "Just before midnight" seminar.
Ralph, you recently wrote a book called When Zuma goes. The primary focus of your book is on Jacob Zuma. When do you think he will go, and also: what about the rest of the system which kept him in place?
I think Zuma is likely to leave in the first quarter of 2018, if the ANC conference is concluded successfully. What matters is how he will leave office. He will leave comfortably if he leaves behind allies. If his detractors win the conference, he will leave hastily; or, he will be forced out of office. Zuma 's legacy will take more time to undo, because it is already a structural issue.
The country is at a crossroads, would you agree? What critical questions need to be addressed, apart from the presidency?
Indeed, the country is at a crossroads; however, the solution might not lie within the ANC. South Africans need to get more involved in their public affairs and need to evaluate leaders more robustly. It is important for the broader electorate in South Africa to evaluate their relationship with political leaders. Also, ordinary people need to take a strong stance against corruption, which undermines the state's capacity.
In your opinion, what can ordinary citizens do to make this country work?
People need to get involved in public life, and they need to start taking their responsibilities as citizens more seriously. This begins at local government level.