Zuma the Houdini: No smoking gun, no fingerprints

Friday 4th October, 2013 on Daily Maverick

Ranjeni Smokinggun SubbedM There was a bout of excitement on social media and news bulletins on Thursday morning after Beeld newspaper revealed that a senior air force official had implicated President Jacob Zuma in the landing of a jet carrying guests of the Gupta family at the Waterkloof Air Force Base. The Democratic Alliance reacted promptly to call for a fresh round of investigations to probe whether Zuma had a direct hand in the scandal. But like so many times before, it is difficult to pin Zuma down with incriminating evidence.

Many have tried, no one has succeeded so far. During the 1990s, there were legendary stories about the returning ANC exiles and their heroic encounters to outsmart the Apartheid government.

Some of these stories were about Jacob Zuma, who at various stages was involved in the ANC’s underground machinery in Swaziland, then Mozambique and later as chief of intelligence at the ANC head office in Lusaka. At an ANC social gathering in Durban, the host of the party was telling a story about how Zuma once sneaked into South Africa and casually sat down next to a security branch policeman who was had been looking for him.

Because Zuma was so brazen, the policeman did not notice that it was him. The host of the party was telling the story in order to introduce Zuma, who was to speak next.

Zuma chuckled along with the crowd, but when his turn came to speak, he changed the subject. This was a story he could have dined out on for years to come, but he chose not to.

In fact, Zuma rarely, if ever, talks about his own deeds and operations in the ANC.

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