State security is being deployed through the intelligence services in particular, in order to ensure that the president is not booed at the celebration of the ANC’s anniversary and launch of its manifesto this weekend. Clearly the ANC of Jacob Zuma has no idea where state property and private property begins and ends. That much we have learnt to our cost as taxpayers. But what we are seeing now is the intelligence services of the state being deployed to ensure that a party political event is not disrupted.
Those who booed Zuma at the Mandela memorial event obviously created international and national embarrassment for the president and those whose fortunes are tied to him. To boo at a solemn event indicated a high level of dissatisfaction, although Mandela himself, not being a pompous person may well be chuckling wherever he is now.
Even ANC members who attend the rally are being screened in an unprecedented manner, each being registered and seated in a particular part of the stadium so that any who disrupt can easily be identified. ID cards must be produced.
But clearly where respect is not earned, decorum must be enforced ‘by any means necessary’. But it is our money that pays for the intelligence and security services to protect the state, not the political fortunes of an incumbent who by all accounts is engaged in a range of irregular activities, threats to constitutionalism and reversing many of the gains of 1994. If Zuma and his allies believe they deserve re-election, let them show that through political leadership, not through secret monitoring.