A matter of the law

2008-06-25 00:00

In papers filed in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Monday, and in yet another attempt to evade the “day in court” he once said he wanted, Jacob Zuma accused the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) of having a “grim resolve” to prosecute him “irrespective of the facts and circumstances” and so prevent him from becoming president. Zuma was applying to have the NPA’s decisions to prosecute him in 2005 and 2007 declared invalid and unconstitutional, with the application to be heard on August 4, the designated starting date for his trial (with Thint) on charges of fraud, corruption, racketeering, tax evasion and money laundering. If the application fails, Zuma, who insists that his prosecution is driven by political motives, intends to make a second application for a permanent stay of prosecution.

Finally, for Zuma to decry or feel aggrieved about the “grim resolve” of the NPA is a serious mistake. That grim resolve is what democrats require of their judicial system — a vigorous determination to seek the full facts of any case and to be seen publicly to have passed fair judgment on the basis of those facts. And one fact Zuma cannot argue away is that his former business partner, Schabir Shaik, was found guilty of corrupt activity involving him —an impeccable legal judgment later endorsed by the Constitutional Court.

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