The problem is bigger than Zuma — it is about all of us


The Constitutional Court finding against President Jacob Zuma on the Nkandla matter is generating a lot of talk and will no doubt continue to do so for some time to come. The judgment was clear and unequivocal regarding Zuma’s failure to fully uphold the country’s constitution and it comes on the heels of the controversy surrounding accusations of state capture by the politically connected Gupta family.

As to be expected the ANC has rallied around Zuma but they are now getting increasingly isolated with even some party veterans calling for the president to step down. Zuma has survived many scandals and seems to be the proverbial cat with many lives. But I don’t see him surviving or giggling himself through this current one. Following the defeat of their motion of no confidence opposition parties are upping their game against Zuma.

On top of this civil society groups and churches are weighing in on the matter by also calling for Zuma’s resignation. The apology offered by the president last week clearly is not having the desired effect and I think the issue is his integrity. Remember Zuma once claimed to have a bond on Nkandla and this was proven to be false. He, like King Saul of old, does not take responsibility for his actions and neither is he known for genuine contrition.

Warts have grown
But the issue is not just about Zuma but about all of us. We have a propensity to elect bad leaders because Zuma had glaring signs of weakness from the onset. Again, like King Saul, there were clear signs that our political incumbent has weak moral judgment and is self-serving but many South Africans, including some now calling for Zuma to resign, said they wanted him – warts and all. Well his warts have grown since being sworn into office and we are worse off as a result.

The rand has weakened against major currencies, the cost of living is increasing, our education is underperforming and on top of that we have the threat of an investment downgrade hanging over us. We are basically a ship sailing through treacherous conditions with a captain who has lost his compass. He takes arbitrary decisions that are detrimental to the country’s interests while his own family continues to accumulate wealth through dubious means.

What can we do about this? Well, constitutional law expert Professor Pierre De Vos, in last week’s Sunday Times says that it is ultimately citizens who “use their vote either to censure or reward political behaviour.” The first thing we must do is to stop rewarding bad political behaviour by restoring sense to our selection of leaders. Sense must triumph over sentiment if South Africa is to move forward.

Secondly we must do away with a false dichotomy between the political parties we choose and the decisions taken by those parties. We empower parties to act on our behalf and therefore if their actions betray our values we should act against the political parties. During the upcoming local government elections on August 3rd we will have an opportunity to censure or reward the behaviour of our parties.

Wisdom needed at ballot box
Thirdly we must stop giving allegiance to a leader and instead give it to good leadership. Our obsession should not be the man but his manners. It should not be his charisma but his character. We must be relentless in our desire for good leadership, regardless of which side of the political or even racial divide it comes from. Proverbs 28:12 says, “When good people are promoted, everything is great, but when the bad are in charge, watch out” (The Message).

Ultimately the ructions we are experiencing are not about the man Jacob Zuma but about the country and its future. De Vos says that citizens sometimes use “their immense power wisely. Sometimes they do not.” May we be wise this time by putting good leaders into power.


  1. Spot on Afrika, I have been saying to people that the problem really its not the DA or the ANC its the South African church.
    It has forgotten the law of GOD.
    See Proverbs 28:4

  2. Very good contribution – so spot on ! Thank you Ps Afrika ! The church dare not be silent – God is watching us

  3. Where will the good leaders come from? They can only come from the churches.
    SA is as it is bacause of the churches’failure up to now.
    If just ONE godly man from each congregation can be found to stand for Biblical Values in the coming elections, SA can be changed. SA is rotten and will stay so if no godly people can be found for this – and the church will remain accomplices.
    See facebook Biblical Values SA for the proposed solution.

  4. Yes, I agree,evil flourishes where the church is silent, or even unwittingly condones it. The vast majority of Christians have no idea of the particular values of the political parties, so they vote for parties that approve laws in support of abortion, pornography, gambling, same sex marriages, and other evil practices. And then they are surprised that the country is in the state it is in. The church must wake up, repent, and turn back to God.

    • Mark it has always shocked me how people vote for evil and then turn around and complain about it. Many people vote for leaders who have obvious character flaws and then complain when those flaws show. This is like schizophrenia

  5. Excellent article bro Afrika. Good comment bro. Faan, agree totally. South Africans condemn corruption in the president and others, and next thing even ‘Christians’ pay bribes to traffic officers. C’mon Church, cleanse yourself under God!

  6. The test question that the ‘Body of Christ’ needs to address is, ” Do you and your fellowship protect the value of God-given life?” Christians need to discern the question of abortion. Please go to and in particular, down load and read open letter’The truth will convict a silent church” The right to life is what all other rights rest on.
    God Bless. Peter ( Value Life)

    • As someone who does not condone abortion, let me say that it is far more than ‘the right to life’ that is at stake here (we could argue the case as to whether Christians have ‘rights’ as understood today), it is the very GOSPEL of Jesus Christ that has gone missing in the Church at large. I mean ‘gospel’ as in 1 Cor. 15. Everything stands or falls by Jesus Christ.

      • My dear friends in Christ the silence of the body of Christ started some 20 years ago and we are now seeing the full rot due to that silence. Last year I attended a prayer meeting by pastors to repent for our nations ills. The R.C cathedral in Roland st Cape town was made available as the venue. Evangelical pastors prayed and preached for almost 3 hours on the wrongs of our country and there was not one mention made of the sin of the rejection of GODS gift of life. This in spite of my friends and I handing out pro life tracts to all who attended and entered that venue. As Michael Cassidy said after we came to our peaceful God given democracy we then told God we did not need Him. My brothers and sisters we must shoulder some guilt. we let the ANC rule against our KING without saying what was His will and thus we have the state of our nation and leadership. When we try to justify our not defending life to our King He will most likely reply and who asked you to play God? God bless Peter. Value life… ALL life.

  7. indeed.i fully agree.a better and economically stable s.a is what we want to see

  8. We fail because we don’t wants to vote for Godly people who have compasssion for people and care for one another

  9. Afrika says it all in his choice phrase “charisma over character”. We MUST become ‘obsessed’ with CHARACTER over charisma. Even pre-2009, in the Schabir Shaik matter, we could see that Zuma had a corrupt character. He has demonstrated this by his adultery and choosing his pal al-Shabir over the Rule of Law, and by benefitting from Nkandla amd Gupta-style sponsorships. Replace him with someone like Madonsela, who has character and courage to go with it. On August 3rd, let’s support a Party that is obsessed with character over charisma!

  10. Our nation is sick….we have not yet healed and are traumatised after years of violence and anger…there is no politician on earth who can heal us no matter how good their intentions may be…as a nation we must first return to God…we must turn to Him in repentance and acknowledge that He is Lord of our land…unless we do that we cannot claim to be a Christian nation and neither can we expect healing as a nation…my prayer for our country is not for a replacement of Zuma…but for healing and revival…Always good writing Afrika…thank you..

  11. What Africa said was spot on and very important, not only for believers but for the whole S.A. population. I also agree with the comments that have been added.
    For Christians there is still another more important factor.
    “And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,” Ephesians 1:22
    While God is working in every Nation throughout history, His focus is not on the Nations of the world but on the true Israel and on His people out of every tribe and nation and people. Rev 7:1-10
    We are the Bride of Christ but we are not ready for the Bridegroom’s return.
    “For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” 2Cor 11:2-3
    If God used Pharaoh of Egypt and Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to discipline and refine His People in the past and since Christ promised persecution to His disciples, then we should understand the times and know what the Bride of Christ should be doing.(Romans 9:17, Habakuk1-3, Matt 24:9-11, 1 Chron 12:32)
    Mt 28:19 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
    Jesus told us to make disciples of all nations. We are making converts who might know a lot of scripture but live defeated lives and need some good Bible promises each Sunday to get through the week. These promises might sound like promises of politicians because they might be seeking the gift rather than the Giver.
    Jesus said, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Matt 24:12-13.
    A godly intercessor and Pastor who I respect told of how he had been asked to pray for Jacob Zuma while his appointment as president was still in question. This pastor felt led of God to prophecy over him that he would become president of S.A.
    While this caused much rejoicing among those who were present, I believe we now have a clearer picture of God’s purpose. By installing President Zuma, our Lord was sending a wake-up call to His Church in S. A..
    Politicians have an important task, but it is God’s people who are the answer; passionately seeking God for revival in our lives and becoming true disciples of Christ.
    I believe that the South African electorate will then be able to understand which politician is truthful and who is not. Parliament also needs to truly become “the voice of the people”, rather than the voice of a political party. Parliamentarians should speak for their constituency. If this was the case we would never have had abortion on demand.

  12. Please check the nuclear deal with Russia and the Gupta deal with uranium. Nkandla is a red herring.

  13. The solution for SA is simple and easy- as God said to Abraham regarding Sodom and Gomorrah.
    But because there has not been even been ONE righteous man per congregation, SA is as it is. SA is as it is because of your / our failure in our churches!
    The church failed to do this regarding apartheid and we now bear the curse. The church has failed even worse regarding abortion, and we will bear and are bearing a worse curse – if we do not repent, confess our failure and stand up for GOD’S WILL and for the LEAST. What we have allowed to be done to the LEAST / unborn & poor, we have allowed to be done to GOD ALMIGHTY.
    CONFESS your guilt with deep remorse and sorrow and REPENT to do right now! All your calls for prayers will help nothing without this. Passivity is complicity!
    Please see more on BIBLICAL VALUES SA.