FRIDAY BRIEFING | Jacob Zuma's war against South Africa, the truth and the law

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Zuma's war against democracy and his painful attempt to rewrite history

The liberation struggle was not just the preserve of the ANC. There were other movements too - such as AZAPO and the Pan African Congress - who barely feature in the discourse. 

But, with the ANC coming to power in the country's first democratic elections, parts of our country's liberation history disappeared. 

The PAC has long decried that 21 March is not commemorated as the day the Sharpeville massacre happened, where 69 people were shot dead after they had gathered at Sharpeville police station following a call by the PAC to demonstrate against carrying passbooks.

Instead, it is known as Human Rights Day and events around the day are more geared towards the ANC. 

Even Robert Sobukwe, the PAC's leader and a Robben Island prisoner, has largely been forgotten in the rewrite of our country's history. 

That was until Jacob Zuma decided to resurrect him, in yet another attempt to play victim, after the Constitutional Court ruled he should testify at the Zondo Commission. 

During an address at the naming of the Robert Sobukwe building at Wits in 2017, Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Ernest Moseneke, who was then the Wits chancellor, said it well: "First, they are beacons and signposts of public history. Great lives light up the collective path we have travelled. They locate us within our past and shared experiences.

"From their lives, we hope to learn how to live our own lives. We call to memory their visionary and selfless actions to gird our loins for the difficult task of creating and reimagining our world."

On this count, Zuma has failed at every turn.

He may be charismatic, but he has no accountability nor is he the leader we deserve. 

In this week's Friday Briefing, News24's legal writer Karyn Maughan outlines why Zuma's steadfast determination not to tell us what happened under his watch is a threat to our democracy.

Assistant editor Pieter du Toit has laid the blame at the ANC's door, questioning why the party remains quiet as Zuma wages war against South Africa. 

Analyst Mpumelelo Mkhabela analyses Zuma's statement, finding him relentlessly defiant and certainly no Sobukwe - and, finally, analyst Ongama Mtimka explains why he is tired of the former president's psycho-political gambit. 

Vanessa Banton 

Opinions Editor


Sobukwe or PW Botha? Zuma's unseemly efforts to defend his attack on rule of law

Jacob Zuma has demonstrated, by trying to argue that the Constitutional Court order to appear before the State Capture Inquiry is an anti-democratic ruling, that he either doesn't understand the rule of law, or chooses not to, writes Karyn Maughan.

Zuma's war: The ANC's complicity in the assault on South Africa, its people and the rule of law

Jacob Zuma is no longer in the party's leadership, but the ANC remains comfortably numb and pitifully docile when Zuma wages war against South Africa, its institutions and its people, writes Pieter du Toit.

A breakdown of Zuma's statement: Relentlessly stubborn, defiant - but no Sobukwe

In a statement issued on Monday morning, former president Jacob Zuma was adamant that he would defy a Constitutional Court judgment compelling him to appear before the Zondo Commission. Mpumelelo Mkhabela analyses the main points Zuma made.

Ongama Mtimka | Zuma's psycho-political gambit a step too far to tolerate

Jacob Zuma's latest gambit shows he clearly believes he will shake not only the custodians of the South African legal and political order, but also force his "enemies" to capitulate, writes Ongama Mtimka.

ANALYSIS | Presidents who subvert democracies they vowed to protect can hit a brick wall: ask Jacob Zuma

There are clear analogies between Donald Trump and Jacob Zuma, writes Roger Southall. Both men stand accused of subverting democratic processes and institutions they were duly elected to protect. 

To receive the Friday Briefing, sign up for the newsletter hereNow available to all News24 readers.

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