Adding to the national depression is the news that the president of the ANC and the putative next president of our country, Jacob Zuma, has approached the courts of a fellow SADC member, Mauritius, slagging off President Thabo Mbeki and our institutions, accusing him of using the National Prosecuting Authority to engineer a political conspiracy against him!
While the ANC president’s purpose in this is clear — a further desperate attempt to suppress evidence in his upcoming corruption trial, sensibly rejected by the Mauritian court as it was by our own — he seems to have completely disregarded the negative effect of such actions on his own country’s interests. This is surely a first for our country and the stuff of which bananas republics’ reputations are made.
If it had been a white political leader, such actions would probably have been regarded by the ruling party as treasonous, but since it all has to do with the internecine warfare in the ANC, there has been virtually no comment.
That the South African courts have dismissed any attempt to advance this argument with the contempt it deserves does not seem to have deterred Zuma and his lawyers from trying it out in a fellow SADC country, presumably on the basis that the Mauritian courts might buy this spurious argument.
Two equally depressing conclusions arise.
Firstly, our putative future president is prepared to go to any lengths to suppress evidence that might support the state’s case against him, even if it means undermining his country’s reputation in terms of our standards of governance. Secondly, he demonstrates scant respect for his own country’s courts and the rule of law.