As South Africans brace up for a close and personal encounter with the family of former President Jacob Zuma through a television reality show, political analysts have said the show could expose the former head of state to further scrutiny by his enemies.
Television producer Legend Manqele recently revealed that he was shooting “a season of something” on the Zuma family in Nkandla.
He went on to make several posts on twitter showing himself and his production team at Zuma’s large Nkandla homestead.
Some other shots by Manqele were with the mother of Zuma’s youngest child Nonkanyiso Conco.
But, political analyst Thabani Khumalo said that if he was Zuma’s advisor, he would have advised the former president to shy away from the spotlight and just retreat into a private life.
“Even on Twitter, lately, since the judgment in his court case with Derek Hanekom, he has been inactive. I think it’s time for him to enjoy a private life because the more he puts himself on this public platform, the more he exposes himself to criticism from his enemies and the people in general,” Khumalo said.
He added that Zuma who already has a lot of issues to deal with should rather lie low, than attract unnecessary attention to himself.
Zuma is currently under investigation for corruption, faces a defamation lawsuit, and his alleged state capture is also under scrutiny. The Zondo Commission of Inquiry is currently looking into the allegations.
“Even his tweets were making headlines, each time he posted something it made headlines and it’s the same case this time around. This thing will draw a lot of attention to him. He should instead be relaxing at home enjoying a private life and addressing the controversies he’s facing from his time in office,” said Khumalo.
The analyst added that those issues should be enough to keep him busy.
Another political analyst Ashwin Desai agreed saying for a former president to be a part of a reality show, it belittles the office of the President
“Usually when people leave office, whether they are Thabo Mbeki, Nelson Mandela, or Barack Obama they tend to be quite cautious in the way they conduct their public affairs.
“A reality show is a complete antithesis of that and one wonders also whether it will really be a reality show or an artificial show … will it be a fake show, will it be a show of pretense? They call it reality show but once there are cameras in a place, there’s immediately a lack of reality that takes place.
“It almost feels like an Alice in Wonderland scenario … down the rabbit hole into a world of make believe,” Desai said. He said that South Africans already know enough of Jacob Zuma's world, from his visits to the Guptas Saxonwold compound etc, and that this reality TV show talk is just another bad episode in the country’s history.