What is Zuma waiting for?

2011-06-04 08:51

While the ANC in Parliament was pushing through a deeply flawed secrecy bill this week, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) affirmed the rights of journalists in a ­constitutional democracy to investigate, criticise and question.

In a great triumph for the media and supporters of press freedom, the SCA set aside a report by former Public Protector Lawrence Mushwana into the Oilgate affair.

In what must be one of the ­biggest post-1994 party funding scandals, the Mail & Guardian revealed in 2005 how R11 million of public money was channelled from PetroSA to the ANC ahead of the 2004 general elections.

Six years later, nobody has been arrested or prosecuted.

The ruling is important as it acknowledges the media’s right to investigate the spending of public money and to expose wrongdoing. Secondly, it confirms the pivotal role of the Public ­Protector in safeguarding our democracy.

President Jacob Zuma should take note.

It’s now more than three months since the current Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, released her report into police commissioner Bheki Cele’s dodgy lease agreement.

No action has been taken against Cele or Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde. The courts have done their job, now the president must do his.

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