Ajay and Atul Gupta File picture: Independent Media
In normal times, it wouldn't even feature as a subject for debate - the president of the country delivers the State of the Nation Address. Period.

Trouble is, we're not living in normal times and South Africans are still not certain who the president on the country will be on February 8. What if Jacob Zuma gets recalled or is pushed to resign even before he steps on to the hallowed red carpet at the House of Assembly?

What if there's a last-minute motion of no confidence in him by the opposition parties and he is ousted? Would that open the door for his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa or (heaven forbid), a wild card like Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to do the honours?

I would have suggested an ideal candidate for the job - someone who happens to be the most talked-about man in the country (not necessarily for the right reasons, of course) - Atul Gupta.

Whatever you may think of the guy in private, it's hard to ignore the formidable power and influence he wields in government.

I can't tell for certain whether he can walk on water but it's whispered in the corridors of power that if you harbour ambitions of being appointed a government minister or a board member on Eskom or SAA, don't bother sending your CV to the Presidency. Instead, address it to the Saxonwold compound.

Besides, who else but Atul has the chutzpah to click his little finger and get permission to land a private jet carrying a full load of wedding guests from India to land on a high-security air force base like Waterkloof?

To his credit, the man is also boundlessly generous. When he discovered his buddies President Zuma and Free State Premier Ace Magashule had sons looking for jobs, he graciously took them under his wing and turned them into instant multimillionaires.

And unlike some politicians who struggle with numbers above 10, Atul learned to count in billions ever since he was in nappies.

But perhaps the most impressive attribute of all is that Atul is very effective at unifying people. Have you ever seen South Africans so galvanised against corruption before Atul arrived on the scene?

Yes, Atul deserves the honour of the State of the Nation address because he's succeeded in capturing South Africans like no other foreign coloniser has in our history.

Now please can I have your permission to remove my tongue from my cheek?

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