Let go thy hold when a great wheel, runs down a hill, lest it break thy neck with

following it: but the great one that goes up the hill, let him draw thee after.

The Fool in Shakespeare’s King Lear

Is this the moment the senior ranks of the ANC decide that the time has come to let President Zuma go, before he breaks their necks?


The signs for the president are not good.

  • The ANC Secretary General said that the party was unable to recall President Zuma, but if the people were calling on him to step down, it was “an appeal to his [Zuma’s] conscience”.
  • The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU), the largest public sector union in South Africa with a membership of 235,000, has become for the first Cosatu union to call for Zuma to step down for the good of the country.
  • The Nelson Mandela Foundation, keeper of Madiba’s flame, has declared that “the wheels are coming off the vehicle of our state.”
  • The South African Communist Party, an ANC ally, of which Zuma was (is?) a member has called for the president to resign.

It is hard to disagree with Susan Booysen, politics professor at Johannesburg’s University of Witwatersrand when she says: “The SACP is joining this growing group of people — it’s not a tsunami but a growing group of insiders — joined by outsiders, who are realising that if they don’t step in now, there won’t be an ANC to rescue.”

Today the High Court will consider whether Thuli Madonsela’s ‘state capture’ report should be released.

If the Court decides it should be made public it will provide Zuma’s enemies inside the ANC with the ammunition they need to attack him.

UPDATE: President Jacob Zuma’s legal team has withdrawn his bid to halt the release of the Public Protector’s report.

As the columnist Marianne Thamm put it: “amid growing calls for President Zuma to step down, it appears the country is nearing a tipping point.”

The only caveat: Jacob Zuma has been in deep trouble before. He has always managed to survive.

Will South Africa’s Houdini do it again?