READERS of the weekend papers will have been astonished to learn that Jacob Zuma was given a derisory R300 fine for not declaring his income to Sars for nine years from 1995 to 2003. They will be even more astonished to learn that this was after a hearing that took place in secret at the Durban Magistrate’s Court last year. In addition to the fine, Zuma was instructed to submit his returns and he now claims that he subsequently regularised his tax affairs by making an unknown payment. That is an issue to be decided by the High Court. What is clear in the court of public opinion, however, is that there is something very wrong here and that Zuma has shown a cavalier disregard for democratic practice and procedure — and been allowed to get away with it so far.