Economics, Literature and Scepticism

Powered by Blogger.

About Me

My photo
I am a PhD student in Economics. I am originally from South Africa and plan to return there after my PhD. I completed my M. Comm in Economics and my MA In Creative Writing (Poetry) at the University of Cape Town, where I worked as a lecturer before starting my PhD.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Most coherent thought on Zuma

Posted by Simon Halliday | Friday, August 01, 2008 | Category: |

I have just read this article from the M&G on the lead-up to the Jacob Zuma trial. In it Kgalema Motlanthe, deputy president of the ANC, said:
If, as a society, we are serious about what we have enshrined in our Bill of Rights, we are bound to accept that the presumption of innocence is not partial or discretionary... Until such time as a court tells us otherwise, Jacob Zuma is an innocent person. That is why the ANC has supported him until now, and will continue to support him.
This is a good and coherent statement. He continues:
It is about the principles and practices upon which we intend to build a new society, one that is democratic, just and equitable... It is also about the assertion of the right of any group of people to freely choose whom they wish to lead them. The members of the ANC have unequivocally said that they want Jacob Zuma to be their president. They have further said that they will be putting him forward as the ANC's candidate for president of South Africa in the 2009 elections. The ANC will therefore vigorously resist any attempts to undermine the collective will of its membership or the freely expressed will of the South African people. As the ANC has repeatedly said, we seek no special treatment for our president. We simply ask that he be treated fairly and justly.
Now this is where things get more contentious. He is probably correct in saying that most of the people in the ANC simply want him to be treated fairly and justly, but the problem is that interference with the judiciary by ANC members (Hlophe), comments about killing in the name of Zuma (COSATU - Vavi and ANCYL - Malema), arguments that he is being attacked politically by being accused of corruption (CYL, SACP, ANCYL, COSATU) and assertions that 'we will never see him in orange (prison) overalls' (MK Veterans). These are not the kinds of comments that legitimize a person's position. Yes, he may be innocent. Maintain, therefore, that the courts should have access to all the available evidence and, consequently, establish whether the individual is guilty or not. If he is, he cannot be president. If, on the contrary, he is innocent then the elections will see that he is South Africa's next president. But don't obscure justice on the behalf of populist justifications that 'the people have made their choice'. That is simply 'big man politics', something that South Africa, and Africa in general, could do without.

Nevertheless, these are the most coherent thoughts from a party politico on the Jacob Zuma trial that I have heard in some time.

Currently have 0 comments: