Jacob Zuma was sometimes referred to as the 'Teflon President' has resigned. He had managed to outmanoeuvre all of his opponents in the past. That is until his opponent became the ANC itself.
Some people can't wait to forget about the last nine years but there are valuable lessons hidden in the story of Zuma's rise and fall that South Africa must learn from.
Briefly.co.za put together this list with the help of news24.com of 12 important lessons we can learn from Jacob Zuma's time in office.
1. Don't try and pick your new boss
Jacob Zuma tried to interfere with the succession politics of the ANC. He wanted his ex-wife to succeed him and actively lobbied for him. It almost worked but when Cyril Ramaphosa won the ANC presidency its spelt disaster for Zuma.
Thabo Mbeki has also tried to influence who his successor would be with disastrous results. A mistake that Zuma failed to learn from.
The lesson we can learn is that while you have the power to change the country for the better use it and leave behind a legacy that South Africa would be proud of. Don't end up on the wrong side of history.
2. Don't blindly follow your boss
ANC MPs cheered and defended Zuma at every turn and at some times became quite hostile when it was insinuated that Zuma was corrupt.
When the ANC had enough of Zuma suddenly the ANC MPs were baying for his blood. The lesson here is, live up the title of 'honourable member of Parliament' and don't bring dishonour to yourself or your party.
3. Opposition parties will always be relevant
Without a robust opposition in Parliament, a country may slip into a form of democratic dictatorship and morph into a one-party state. Opposition parties play a vital role in keeping the ruling party on its toes and wide awake.
Their continued and tireless efforts to unseat Zuma have been rewarded and that must not give up. They will always have relevance in a healthy democracy.
The lesson we can learn is that opposition parties are valuable and will always have work to do.
4. Honesty is the best policy
Sometimes keeping quiet is easier than standing up and speaking out against corruption and wrongdoing. Blowing a whistle might even be life-threatening. The temptation of get rich schemes can also result in public servants going astray themselves.
Just because corruption seemed to go unpunished is not a reason to keep quiet or join in. Once the political will had been restored to fight graft the court benches are being filled with civil servants being charged with misdemeanour crimes and charges of corruption.
5. Cabinet ministers blinded by bling
The motivation for some in Cabinet is to get rich and live a life of luxury. This becomes a problem when there is a Cabinet reshuffle and the former Cabinet members no longer enjoy their lives of luxury.
Being in Cabinet is an honour and an opportunity to serve your country at its highest levels. Don't be lured by promises of wealth but do your best for those who are most vulnerable in our country.
6. Politicians and family
Politicians should never allow their families to become involved in government or public office. In the case of Zuma, his family members publicly attacked elected members of Parliament which is unacceptable.
As a politician, your party or country have elected you and not your family.
7. Public leaders are not entitled to anything
As a public leader you hold a privileged position in society and should never feel entitled to anything, especially if it is not available to the poor and vulnerable.
Zuma should have been grateful for the opportunity to serve and the perks and benefits that were available to him and simply feel he was entitled to whatever his heart desired.
8. Civil action
To those who marched against Zuma, unemployment, crime and apartheid. No amount of civil action is insignificant. Even though at times, it did not achieve the desired result it was the culmination of all those marches that helped to sway public opinion.
Civil action is vital to a healthy democracy, its your right to protest.
9. To all academics, lawyers and accountants
Never allow your skills or positions to help others to commit crimes. Those lawyers who provide legal opinions that enable the looting of state coffers have disgraced themselves and their professions.
10. Multinational companies
Directors and CEO of multinational companies must always be aware of the social and political situation of a country before doing business. Do not allow yourselves to be fooled by politicians who ask for kickbacks for political protection.
Companies such as SAP, China South Rail, McKinsey, KPMG, Bell Pottinger and the Bank of Baroda were fooled into thinking that they could profit from a corrupt leader. These companies have had their reputations damaged, in some cases permanently.
It might seem like a way to make some money fast but it might cost you more than you can pay.
11. To journalists and honest citizens
Never give up, keep digging and asking questions, history will judge you. Without you, our chances of fighting corruption are much poorer.
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