South Africa’s ruling African National Congress party’s demand that President Jacob Zuma resigns as head of state brings to the close a chaotic political week in South Africa, in which frantic closed-door talks sought to negotiate the terms of the departure of Zuma, whose name has become synonymous with the use of the public office for personal gain. It is Africa’s hope that the rainbow nation will navigate this tumultuous challenge soberly.
The turn of events has brought to the fore the fact that in some parts of Africa, citizens are gaining more say in governance affairs and holding their leaders to account. It has also highlighted the fact that what goes round comes around. In 2005, Mbeki relieved Zuma of his post as deputy president after Zuma was implicated in corruption allegations. Zuma within two years maneuvered his way back to power and was elected ANC president. Mbeki was recalled as president by the Zuma-led party in 2008 on allegations of interfering with government prosecutors. Zuma now finds himself in a similar predicament.
Most ruling elite in Africa make short term focused legislations that favour them. They use these to harass groups with contrary opinions without considering that tables may turn and the hunter become the hunted. It is important that leadership in Africa becomes accountable, thinks long term, crafts legislations that are just and works toward the welfare of the entire citizenry as opposed to a narrow few.