A Simple Man: Kasrils and the Zuma Enigma
Yes, comrade President, I think Russia will stand by Iran, I was mouthing, though my thoughts were mesmerised by the swinging pendulum. The fifteen-minute chime. The clock needed oiling. A big gulp of the amber fluid. Aziz was rattling on. Mbeki was thoughtful. The man was oblivious to the passing of time -- nine interminable minutes more and his presidency would be over.
"Uncle Ronnie, Jacob Zuma has raped me," was the call I received on my mobile phone. The woman added, "This is Fezeka." My body geared to the shock as though someone was pointing a gun at me: blood ran cold, neck hairs prickled, throat turned dry, mind strove to focus.
Ronnie Kasrils's insights in̴ A Simple Man into Jacob Zuma, both shocking and revelatory, are vividly illuminated through this story, from their shared history in the underground to Kasrils's time as minister of intelligence and his views on South Africa now. Our understanding of Zuma, the struggle hero, now perceived as having sold his soul to the devil, becomes clearer through this narrative.
This fast-paced, thriller-style memoir outlines the tumultuous years that saw Mbeki's overthrow and replacement by Zuma, Nkandlagate, the growing militarisation of the police and the Marikana Massacre, the outrageous appointment of flunkies to high office, the "state capture" report and his relationship with the Guptas. We relive the Schabir Shaik corruption trial, Kasrils's relationship with Fezeka Kuzwayo (Khwezi), Zuma's rape trial accuser, the email and spy tapes saga, conspiracy and betrayal.
While Kasrils explains the enigmatic contradictions of Jacob Zuma, he also explains that corruption and the abuse of power does not begin with Zuma. His story points to the compromised negotiations of the 1990s, which he refers to as a "Faustian Pact". This is a story told from the inside, and after reading it, you will understand not only the many machinations of power, but also how one man's struggle for the truth can have such an impact on the political outcomes of the nation.
Title: A Simple Man -- Kasrils and the Zuma Enigma
Author: Ronnie Kasrils
Publisher: Jacana Media
Paperback, 283 pages
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