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Disturbing political interference in the NPA continues unabated

Judge Nicholson in his judgment correctly indicated that politicians should not interfere with the functions of the NPA nor impede or influence the manner in which they discharge these functions. President Mbeki has been ridiculed by those less informed of the judgment by Nicholson; and accused of being the chief conspirator against Jacob Zuma.

If indeed evidence existed that the NPA had been taking orders from the Union Buildings, it would be honourable for the president to step down for bringing the justice system into disrepute and acting unconstitutionally. At the moment, it is all hearsay and we should not be hypocrites by refusing to also afford the president his right of presumption of innocence until proven otherwise.

Since Judge Nicholson threw out the charges against Jacob Zuma, there has been a determined effort to prevent the NPA to exercise its legal rights. The decision by the NPA to lodge an application to appeal against the judgment by Nicholson has been met with expected hostility from the ANC and its alliance partners. The mindless intimidation and blackmail by the ANC, SACP, Cosatu and ANCYL are continuing.

The conduct of the ANC and its alliance partners goes against the judgment, which they lauded as good for democracy and the best thing since sliced bread. There is persistent political pressure from the ANC to intimidate the NPA in abandoning the pursuit of justice and bringing those who have found themselves on the wrong side of the law to justice. Judge Nicholson ruled that when there is a prima facie case, it is incumbent upon the NPA to proceed with charges, and this is what the NPA intend doing.

The ANC in its emotional reaction to the decision by the NPA said: “By not accepting the court’s ruling, the NPA has lost a valuable opportunity to bring the relentless pursuit of Jacob Zuma to an end.”

It is rather alarming that the ruling party would promote the subversion of justice and offending the sacred principle that we are all equal before the law. No court has pronounced on the serious allegations of corruption against Jacob Zuma and it is in his interest and the country that these allegations be tested before a court of law to avoid us having a president inaugurated with a cloud over his (shower) head.

The SACP’s statements that the latest development to lodge an application to appeal was further proof there was a “political force driving the NPA to make comrade Zuma’s ascendancy to the Union Buildings as difficult and unpleasant as possible”, is a nonsensical incitement of the masses that there is a sinister vendetta against Jacob Zuma.

Cosatu’s KwaZulu-Natal secretary Zet Luzipho said: “The fact that NPA wants to continue this case … is a declaration of war on our people … the NPA is using taxpayers’ money and 32% of that is from the workers. This is a matter of economic interest … it’s a matter of the state versus the masses.”

It is time that the authorities act against these imbeciles who are threatening the country with violence and anarchy if Jacob Zuma is brought before the courts. The rule of law must be respected and enforced without fear and favour.

Following a decision by the NPA to lodge its application to appeal, President Mbeki convened an emergency cabinet meeting to deal with thoughtless calls by the ANCYL, SACP and Cosatu for him to resign given Judge Nicholson’s insinuations that he may have interfered in the case against Jacob Zuma. Cabinet has come out disputing untested inference that there was political interference with the NPA’s decisions in the Zuma case, or any other matter.

The ANC national executive committee when meeting this coming weekend may be tempted to act in accordance with the untested inferences contained in the Nicholson judgment, drawing misguided parallels with the judgment by Hillary Squires, which led to the dismissal of Jacob Zuma, and pander to the hostile clamours of the ANCYL and ANC alliance partners. The ANC should practice what it preaches and resist the temptation to be driven by “personal pride, rather than reason”.

The unwavering determination by Jacob Zuma’ loyal supporters to install him as president of the Republic, by any means necessary, raises pointed questions about the promises that he brings. Does he promise anything far removed from what any other leader within the ANC is competent for? Given the senseless rantings of Jacob Zuma supporters, it would not be unreasonable to anticipate some pardon for thinking that the ANC is deficient of mature and competent leadership. Why Zuma at all costs?

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9 Comments

  1. Lyndall Beddy Lyndall Beddy 18 September 2008

    There is no reason why Zuma should be allowed appeal after appeal (most of which he lost) and the NPA not be allowed one.

    Besides this judgement is not just about Zuma’s case, it is also about interpretation of the law in all future cases, so it must be appealed – so the law can be clarified by more than one judge.

  2. Madoda Madoda 19 September 2008

    By your logic, Helen Zille as a politician is also politically interfering with the prosecutorial decision by calling for the recharging of Zuma or a private prosecution because that decision can only be made by the NPA. You are not respecting the court judgement that set aside the charges and requested the NPA to cure its defects before charging Zuma.

    Saying that Zuma cannot become state president unless he goes to court to be found not guilty is unlawful. It says that he is guilty until he should clear himself in court. If someone says that you need to present yourself in court to clear your name of sodomising seven-year olds because they don’t want you to become a “thought leader”, would that be fair?

    There is no legal or constitutional requirement for people to present themselves to court before they become president of the republic. Unless, it a political intention.

    I have also witnessed a plethora of abuse and insults levelled at Zuma (idiot, buffooon, rapist, polygamist, etc) since the court’s judgement from “thought leaders” and some bloggers. Can’t we have a debate without name calling and trading insults. I have never had as vernomous hate speech.

  3. Lebo Lebo 19 September 2008

    @ Sentletse

    The so called anti-Mbeki group have been complaining about the political interference in this case and abuse of power by Mbeki for years now and JUDGE Nicholson’s ruling only served to proof them right. On the contrary the NPA has had their charges struck of the roll twice and the once minister of justice MR Maduna and the former director of NPA Mr Ngcuka (the original instigator of this conundrum) were forced to apologise by the public protector for the same offense of abuse power.

    The sad thing is that unlike the judge Mbeki approved NPA’s wish to appeal last week’s ruling and the cabinet has also decided to follow suit, which shows how strategy is not one of Mbeki’s polished talents as this only served to agitate the very people who are schedule to decide on his fate this weekend.

    The judge’s ruling was meant to clear everyone involved by showing that none of the parties involved was free of any wrong doing as far as SA’s constituion is concerned and he even highlighted the shocking costs of this persistant pursuit of alleged 1/2 million rands bribery by spending R80 million in a country where the majority who are now openly sympathising with Zuma are choking in poverty.

    LOGIC, LOGIC, LOGIC,
    LOGIC……..say it a hundred times!

    Oh by the way the count down has drastically dropped from nine months to a few days by the look of things.

  4. Franz Franz 19 September 2008

    Wow. Very insightful article. Maybe we should start giving guys like you more voice, and not give the malemas all the “top stories”.

  5. CG CG 19 September 2008

    Mbeki should resign over firing Vuso Pikoli before he could charge Selebi. That was an even bigger abuse of the NPA by the executive branch than the whole Zuma affair.

  6. Sipho Sipho 19 September 2008

    Unfortunately for you Sentletse, the presidency and the cabinet cannot absolve themselves from one Penuel Maduna. I observe everyone whose coming to the defence of the president is avoiding the Penuel Maduna saga. I know (don’t interrupt me) it’s called cognitive dissonance. forget everything that would put your argument into a sticky situation, just remember what strengthens your argument. Maduna travelled the world at times with his wife, courtesy of one of the accused. Surely he was doing it for the state otherwise the president would have called him to account just like Madlala Routledge. If the president didn’t know what Maduna was doing, he should be charged for derelection of duty.

    Honestly Sentletse you’re stunting the speed of the debate “cheeter” with your emotional postings. Please raise your game to help us engage at a higher level. Don’t be surprised when South African perform badly at international debate forum. I may feel good to expose your shallowness but it stunts my mental development when I engage at this level. One thing you need to learn is to concede certain points that your were not aware of when your were writing, otherwise you’ll never develop as an individual, you’ll always play to the gallery for approval.

  7. Paul Whelan Paul Whelan 19 September 2008

    The Zuma ‘case’ is comprehensively and for many inextricably politicised.

    But any member of the public who wishes to think straight on the issue knows – and indeed can read in his opening sentences – that Nicholson’s opinion did not ‘find Zuma innocent’, ’support’ such an absurd idea or ‘further his interest’ against that of justice in any way – except that his supporters of course immediately claimed it did. Hardly surprising.

    Du Plooy’s affidavit argued that ‘the most pressing interest .. is to have the guilt or innocence of [Zuma] .. determined in a court of law.’

    Nothing in Nicholson’s opinion prevents that. The NPA is doing the right thing in appealing.

  8. Paul Whelan Paul Whelan 19 September 2008

    The Zuma ‘case’ is comprehensively and for many inextricably politicised.

    But any member of the public who wishes to think straight on this issue knows – and indeed can read in his opening sentences – that Nicholson’s opinion did not ‘find Zuma innocent’, ’support’ such an absurd idea or ‘further his interest’ against that of justice in any way – except that his supporters of course immediately claimed it did. Hardly surprising.

    Du Plooy’s affidavit argued that ‘the most pressing interest .. is to have the guilt or innocence of [Zuma] .. determined in a court of law.’

    Nothing in Nicholson’s opinion prevents that. The NPA is doing the right thing in appealing.

  9. Lyndall Beddy Lyndall Beddy 23 September 2008

    According to Judge Nicolson if the NPA has a prima facie case it HAS TO take it to court – and not doing that against Zuma at the same time as Shaik was the technical infringement. But there still is a case against Zuma, and they therefore still have to proceed.

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