Berning Ntlemeza has finally crashed out of the Hawks under the sting of a court order. One crony down. Another victory for the rule of law. But lest we forget, he joins a long list of cronies who together epitomise a symptom of Zuma's misrule.
President Jacob Zuma is proof of many stereotypes about African leaders. From the moment of his spear-wielding supporters baying for the blood of his rape accuser, to his swearing-in as president, it was always clear that a fox has been put in charge of a hen-house. From those tumultuous years, it has been a long trail of carnage, mishaps and warfare against constitutionalism and the rule of law. I get the sense that he is genuinely surprised at public outcries about corruption and maladministration. It seems that in his world, this is how a government is run and the law is just an obstacle –- part of a "funny democracy" he has complained about.
The record of his presidency shines with many examples of him directly or indirectly appointing crooked individuals whose primary qualifications are their willingness to bend over backwards for him. His method can be understood by how he came into the presidency himself, freshly untangled from corruption charges like a Houdini he crash-landed at the Union buildings. He has, throughout his presidency, been preoccupied with building himself into an impregnable position from prosecution during or after his presidency by putting zombies with zero integrity in the right places so they can do his bidding when his day of reckoning approaches.
Menzi Simelane is the earliest of his zombies. He was put there as the head of the beleaguered National Prosecuting Authority with the apparent purpose of shielding him from prosecution over his corruption charges. As we all learnt, Simelane was a brazen liar in the service of his naked emperor. He was caught out and eventually forced out in a stinging indictment by the Supreme Court of Appeal. But President Zuma could not be deterred by that setback in his quest to build himself into an unassailable position from ever facing his day in court for his corruption charges.
After the brief reign of Mxolisi Nxasana who he forced out himself, he duly put Nomgcobo Jiba in an acting capacity. As it turned out, Jiba was just another zombie with a big moral deficit. In the spy tapes case, she did everything, twisted facts and concocted lies in court documents to make sure that as a prosecutor she never had to prosecute President Zuma for his corruption charges. She was censored by the justices in Bloemfontein for her treachery. Her day of reckoning came in September 2016 in a stinging 111-page rebuke in which judge Legodi found she is not a fit and proper person to be an advocate and he struck her off the roll of advocates. Another crony down. A victory for the rule of law. And then there was also General Mdluli, a Zuma man against whom charges of fraud and corruption were mysteriously withdrawn. It is revealed in court judgments that he had even vowed to "help the president win" in his desperation to cling to his job.
Ntlemeza has finally found himself up the creek without a paddle. The court has found that he was not only missing a few teeth, but misses a lot more in the integrity stakes as well. To President Zuma, He has now reached his "sell-by" date like many others and he must be left out to dry as the president searches for another willing zombie. The problems in our law enforcement and crime-fighting agencies owe their lineage to President Zuma and his quest for self-preservation above everything else. He has wrecked them so they never have to call him to account for his corruption charges when he no longer wields executive power. Thanks to the laws his own government has had a hand in making sure his reign of carnage is not the ride into the sunset he wishes it was.