Monday, April 06, 2009

Jacob Zuma not to be prosecuted

Zuma: will he take South Africa to hell? South Africa's constitutional rule of law was thwarted today.

In a press conference the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said it was "neither possible nor desirable for the NPA to continue with the prosecution of Mr Zuma." The full statement by the NPA can be read here.

I am of the opinion that the phrase, "neither possible nor desirable," most probably has nothing to do with the actual facts of the case. There are over 300 charges against Zuma in his charge sheet.  Could they not find one serious enough to stick?

There are some questions. Have the NPA been having us on? Was this 8 year saga merely sabre rattling by the NPA? What pressure was exerted on the NPA for them to drop it? What was so undesirable about prosecuting Zuma? I am sure you have many more questions!

The dropping of the case creates more questions than it provides solutions. The NPA's backward manoeuvre on this case is a political solution and not one of justice. The fact that the NPA declared this case "undesirable" points to a political solution. It is obvious that it has become undesirable to prosecute Zuma for some political reason! The fact is that it has become undesirable for Zuma to be prosecuted because it would have brought great shame to South Africa if a sitting president came up for corruption charges.

If that were the case, it is way too late now! The opposite of the desired effect will be accomplished by the NPA's decision. South Africa has now clearly become a state in which the constitution and rule of law have no meaning. If it were any lesser person than Zuma who had the exact charges brought against him, he probably would have been in jail by now!

After 8 years of investigation, justice is the only route to follow, even if Zuma is innocent. The solution as it stands now, has created scepticism and suspicion.

The ANC and Zuma must not think that we think he is innocent. Far from it! Just because the NPA is not prosecuting in no way declares Zuma innocent!

The injustice in this decision by the NPA, adds to the downfall of this once great country. "By justice a [president] builds up the land, but he who exacts gifts tears it down." (Prov 29:4) Corruption in government, especially by the incumbent president, will further sully the image of South Africa. But, I suppose "evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand it completely." (Prov 28:5) The fact that justice is not understood in this country, is a clear indication how far this nation has fallen from the grace of God.

Further, the NPA also puts blame at the feet of the news media. How quaint! In the report, the NPA says: "Although I can understand that the matter at hand is an issue which is of great public importance, I wish to say that much of the speculation verged on the irresponsible and has had the effect of placing the NPA under a great deal of pressure." Pressure from the media? Whatever the media had to say about the saga, the NPA still had to make a decision based on the facts of the case at hand. Has the NPA become so weak that the media can put pressure on it?

Lastly, for now at least, it seems that the NPA admits to the fact that it does not have enough independence from governmental influences, as acting NPA head Mokotedi Mpshe said:

"It was then and it still is difficult for me to comprehend that which is set out below could have happened. The painful facts that I am about to put before you have serious implications for the integrity and independence of the NPA especially regarding the prosecution of Mr Zuma.

"We believe that it is vital that the NPA must expose this conduct and deal with the consequences as honestly and constructively as possible if it is to have any chance of rebuilding its credibility and integrity. Our democracy will have to find ways to learn from this bitter experience and to build a stronger and more independent NPA."

By making such a statement it has become clear that the NPA, which should not be influenced by government, has experienced its own share of abuse of process. This, perhaps, is the clearest indication that the NPA was pressured, not by the media (an excuse), but by the ANC to let go of the Zuma case!

The question, then, remains: Will we ever get to know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

You better keep on breathing!

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