NEWS & ANALYSIS

'Learn from my mistakes'

Jacob Zuma's letter to Donald J Trump and Bibi Netanyahu, as blind copied to Jeremy Gordin

Email.

eGoli, Mzansi.

19 November 2020.

Private and Confidential.

To: Donald J Trump, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Fr: Gedleyihlekisa Zuma.

Bcc: JF Gordin.

Dear Donny and Bibi:

“Lovely party, super people, must fly, toodles.”

That is what I would have written on my Twitter thing if I were allowed access to my phone. But eish, my lawyers, they boss me around all the time, unlike yours, and they won’t allow me to keep the umshini iPhone.

They say this funny umlungu, the one who keeps following us around, Carl Niehaus, must keep the phone. The police would never accost a white man, they say, especially one wearing camouflage. Only Julius Malema, the cheeky little scoundrel, would do that.

This morning I went to the Zondo Commission into state capture to hear what Judge Raymond Zondo had to say about my friendly application to have him recuse himself. My first reason for why he should go is that he is a friend. Why else would I have appointed him in the first place?

But Zondo claimed he wasn’t my friend. What kind of a friend is that? What sort of ubuntu is that? Ubuntu, Donny, is the compassion, humanity, and fellow feeling that we need here to make South Africa great again. But you both know how untrustworthy former friends can suddenly become.

My second reason for why Zondo should go was that he made it obvious from the start that he was biased against me. This he actually denied today, can you believe it? You know, I went to the commission before and explained in detail that the cause of everything that has gone wrong was not this state capture nonsense but was due to the impimpis found throughout our country.

They are the snakes, informers and bad people – like the Democrats, Hillary Clinton, and so on that you have in your country, Donny. A somebody can even find sometimes they are one of his own wives. I know, Bibi, that you have experienced this.

But Zondo obviously wasn’t listening properly to me – and, behaving as though it was the biggest thing he’d ever done in his life, like it was the first time he’d lain down with a woman, he refused to recuse himself.

Then my advocate Muzi Sikhakhane said we would take Zondo on review and also report him to something we have here called the JSC (Judicial Service Commission).

Thixo wase George Goch!” I said to myself, “another commission, good luck with that, Muzi. It’s even slower than this one. They’ve been going nowhere slowly with my good friend, Judge Yahya John Hlophe, for years now.” But I didn’t say anything to SikhakhaneHe is a sensitive somebody. I pretended, as usual, to be snoozing.

Then the “evidence leader” Paul Pretorius SC got up to talk. My learned friend this, my learned friend that, blah blah blah. By the way, I must tell you that the police from the previous regime – some still remain good friends – they banned this Pretorius in 1973.

I don’t wish anyone any harm, I am truly a man of ubuntu, but I wish those boere had taken care of Pretorius properly – we knew how to do such things when I was head of Mbokodo, our internal ANC security force, in the good old days. Banning blah blah, banning blah blah, what use was that?

This Pretorius – how he can walk around with the same name as the Boer leader who massacred our people in their thousands and stole their land, I don’t know – this man said that now the recusal matter was over and a summons against me was still in force, I should get on with answering questions. Sikhakhane went to talk to Zondo and Pretorius at the tea break but they were carrying on with their foolishness.

So, I decided – how do you say it in your country, Donny? – I decided “Let’s blow this popsicle stand”. It was almost lunch time, I had a nice friend waiting where I was staying to give me a massage, and I wasn’t going to wait around for further nonsense.

Afterwards I was told that, having heard I’d left, my friend Zondo came back into the commission looking as though the commander-in-chief of all tokoloshes had sidled up to him in the loo. He looked completely spooked.

Zondo said he hadn’t given me permission to be absent (does he think he’s Angie Motshekga, our head schoolteacher?) and that it was a very “serious” matter that I had left for lunch.

He should have issued a warrant for my arrest. But of course, he said he’d rather “reflect” on matters. These book-learners, you know, who never served in MK, they’re not very brave or decisive.

But, yes, I know what you’re both thinking – and what you’re thinking is why you two are in my thoughts. If only I’d told that wheedling public protector to get lost in 2016 (but she was a woman with a nice voice, you see), if only I had taken care of business myself at Nasrec in 2017 (not left things to an ex-wife, what was I thinking?), and if only I had not allowed my political party – another bunch of fair-weather friends – to dump me in 2018, I wouldn’t be in this pickle. 

Well, it’s true. This is why I want to say to you both, but particularly you, Donny, please don’t make the same mistakes I have made.

Carry on – as you are – there in the White House. Kick and scream. Launch court cases, bomb Iran if you have to (or get Bibi to do so), but don’t let them remove you. Once you leave, there’s no going back – and your friends miraculously disappear into thin air.

Same goes for you, Bibi. Never mind their indictments and that stuff, you hang in. Your people need both of you – and, as I said, I made a massive mistake by simply wanting to get back to my cattle and wives at Nkandla.

Do not allow yourselves to become “former”. Once you are a “former” president, “former” prime minister, “former” SOE boss, “former” commando, “former” pussy grabber, “former” husband, “former” editor – it’s the beginning of the end. I became a “former” – and look at me now.

But all this does not mean that I have lost my joie de vivre. There was a gullible white journalist who some years ago wrote a so-called biography of me, I used to call him “the fat, jolly one” – he taught me that French phrase.

I still wake with a chuckle and a spring in my step and my, etc. What amuses me most, I have to say, is the complicated, long-winded dance that goes with what they call “the law”. Sometimes I skip the good TV shows like Uzalo and Generations and watch the news (if it has to do with me).

Such warra-warra (which means talk-talk-talk) you have never heard!

Will Zondo recuse himself? Won’t Zondo recuse himself? Why is Zuma doing this? Why did Zuma walk out of the commission? Why won’t he talk to the commission? Must Zuma answer the questions at the commission?

Some evenings I want to step into the TV and help everyone, I really do, and sort them out, then we can all go back to our favourite TV shows and so on.

Because it’s all so simple. I applied for Zondo’s recusal because I can’t sit there and answer a bunch of impimpi questions that they’ll use against me, my family, and (true) friends.

Of course, when I was the president, I did everything I could do business-wise for the Gupta brothers, my family, and friends. Why else be a president? Everyone must eat (as we say in Africa), not just the lawyers and the white monopoly capitalists.

Do they think I went through what I went through in life – jumping back and forth over border fences with Ronnie Kasrils, like some Shepherd Bushiri – just to be poor?

Stay well – and, whatever you do, do not become “formers”. A luta continuaMatla!

Your true friend,

JGM Zuma.