Ruling ‘won’t sway ANC’s resolve’

2009-01-12 00:00

The ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeal will have no bearing on the ANC’s decision to have party president Jacob Zuma as its presidential candidate the party said yesterday.

“It is important to note that this judgment has nothing to do with the guilt or otherwise of the ANC president. Nor does it make any pronouncements on the merits of the charges previously brought by the NPA. The ANC will not accept that a decision democratically taken by the ANC membership at its national conference be reversed on the basis of untested allegations,” the ANC said in a statement.

Protas Madlala, an independent political analyst said that while he believes the pending corruption case is a nuisance to Zuma, he believe nothing will ever stop the ANC president ascending to the Union Buildings after this year’s general elections.

“Of course it would be preferable for any candidate to go to the elections without any cloud hanging over them, because the opposition parties are bound to capitalise on this. However, I do not believe that this [ruling] will harm Zuma or the ANC’s campaign in any way. In fact, it might serve to strengthen his campaign as his supporters see this as a political persecution of Zuma,” Madlala said.

Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven said the labour union federation is convinced that charges against Zuma are politically motivated and that it will campaign for all the charges to be dropped.

“We are mobilising our members behind the ANC under the leadership of Jacob Zuma to ensure another landslide election victory,” he said.

Opposition parties welcomed the judgment, with the DA even going as far as calling for Zuma to step down as the ANC’s presidential candidate.

“The onus is now on the [NPA] to resume its prosecution of Zuma. The NPA must immediately dismiss speculation that it is willing to drop the charges against Zuma and broker a special deal for him … [Zuma] must answer these charges in court and, if he is to honour the undertaking in the ANC’s manifesto to step up the fight against corruption in its ranks, he should renounce his candidature for the presidency,” said DA leader Helen Zille.

The Independent Democrats’ Patricia De Lille called for charges against Zuma to be reinstated immediately.

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi also called for the matter to go to court. “Unless Mr Zuma has an opportunity to clear his name … this matter will hang over him like the Sword of Damocles reinforcing the impression that he is politically damaged goods,” he said.

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