Mirror MOTW

Mirror MOTW

Is anybody but Trump, the Proud Boys and me following South African politics?

Reporting today from Pretoria, three years and one day since the former South African head-of-state left office: “Former president Jacob Zuma dodged his appearance on Monday before the State Capture inquiry, headed by Deputy Chief Justice Judge Raymond Zondo, and took refuge at his Nkandla homestead protected by the MK Military Veterans Association dressed in fake camo.”

Let me translate across the ocean into the future, January 21, 2024:

“Former president Donald Trump dodged his appearance on Monday before the January 6th Commission, headed by Former FBI Director Christopher Wray, and took refuge at his Mar A Lago homestead protected by the Proud Boys dressed in fake camo.”

The history, rise to power, corruption in office and forced departure of South African Jacob Zuma and American Donald Trump are freakily similar. This real-time history would be junked by any movie screenwriter for being too unclearly intentional fantasy or scifi physics.

But it’s true and it makes sense. As different as societies half-way around the world from one another are, they are actually more similar than different. Literally every aspect of daily life around the planet has been globalized, from education to economics to culture to cuisine. Cultural activists are frantically trying to preserve unique aspects of their own groups because the powers and necessities of conformity are so strong at the moment.

You have to search for a hostile member of the Lost Tribe of the Amazon to find someone without a smartphone.

What happens here, happens there. And the younger, newer places move a little bit more quickly in the social and political arenas because they have neither the entrenched social behaviors or political baggage of older systems.

“Zuma’s lawyers said he would not appear because the Constitutional Court is due to hear his application for Zondo’s recusal and that the summons issued for his appearance this week (February 15 to 19) was [therefore] illegal.” Translated into the future:

“Trump’s lawyers said he would not appear because the Supreme Court is due to hear his application for Wray’s recusal and that the summons issued for his appearance this week (February 15 to 19) was [therefore] illegal.”

Even the new South Africa has numerous legal loopholes that can delay justice. BTW the reason for this is that the new South African constitution, adopted in 1997, carried forward largely in tact the justice system given to early South Africans by the British in 18th Century.

Earlier this month, “Zuma said in a personal social media statement that he would not appear and that he regarded the Constitutional Court’s judgment as ‘their law‘ and not applicable to him.” Translation into our future:

“Trump said in a personal social media statement that he would not appear and that he regarded the Supreme Court’s judgment as “their law” and not applicable to him.”

Zuma commands an extremely loyal, violent group of crazies in South Africa who are mostly composed of middle-of-the-road Africans who suffered mightily under apartheid and now a quarter century after their successful revolution, do not feel they are getting a big enough piece of the pie.

Trump commands an extremely loyal, violent group of crazies in America who are largely composed of the white middle classes who suffered mightily under the Great Recession and now a half century after Reagan do not feel they are getting a big enough piece of the pie.

“Zondo can issue a warrant for Zuma’s arrest… The commission laid contempt of court charges against Zuma at the Hillbrow police station in December, and the Hawks specialist police unit took over that case.” And nothing happened. Translated into our future:

“Wray can issue a warrant for Trump’s arrest… The commission laid contempt of court charges against Trump at the West Palm Beach police station in December, and the FBI specialist police unit took over that case.” And nothing will happen.

And then, predictably, the folks in power back down for fear of provoking something uncontainable:

The head of the Commission’s legal team “said that as captain of the ship of state, Zuma’s evidence was necessary but not essential for Zondo to make a finding of State Capture as set out in the commission’s terms of the reference.” Into our future:

The head of the Commission’s legal team “said that as captain of the ship of state, Trump’s evidence was necessary but not essential for Wray to make a finding of culpability as set out in the commission’s terms of the reference.”

Any skeptics?