Raymond Zondo versus Jacob Zuma and what's at stake for South Africa
Earlier this week, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo finally moved on Jacob Zuma, the evasive and decidedly devious former head of state, and announced he will pursue criminal charges against the ANC's ex-president and ask the Constitutional Court to order him to appear in front of the state capture commission.
It was a significant moment in the life of the commission, and in post-state capture South Africa, weekly reeling from even more revelations of gratuitous corruption and blatant looting almost always executed by leading members of the ANC.
Zondo's commission is nearing its end, but South Africans still has long to go before the country is able to exorcise the demon of entrenched corruption.
Zuma has for many years believed himself to be above the law, to be immune to prosecution and able to bend rules and regulations to suit him. But the deputy chief justice, a man Zuma has now targeted in a smear campaign, signalled no more. If the commission did not act against Zuma, who, as is his wont, resolutely refuses to take responsibility and engages in dishonest and dirty tactics to protect himself, it would have a damaging effect on the rule of law and equality.
Zuma, who oversaw corruption on an industrial scale as leader of a party that continues to plumb new depths every week, cannot and must not be allowed to ride quietly into the night. He simply must be called to order. And Zondo must use the full might of the law and his powers under the Commissions Act to ensure this.
In this week's Friday Briefing, Freedom under Law CEO Nicole Fritz examines how baggage from the Constitution's enactment may have played a role in the current situation we recently encountered, involving Zuma absconding from the state capture inquiry.
The Council for the Advancement of the South Constitution's Lawson Naidoo writes that even if Zuma does not appear before the Zondo commission, adverse findings can still be made against him. Then human rights lawyer Yasmin Sooka reflects on when former president FW de Klerk defied the TRC and looks at the parallels between Zuma's behaviour at the state capture inquiry. Last, News24's political editor Qaanitah Hunter writes that the Zondo commission will be a true test for President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Pieter du Toit
Assistant Editor: In-depth news.
There are political circumstances surrounding the enactment of our Constitution which have, in part, led us to the situation we now face in the matter between Jacob Zuma and Raymond Zondo, writes Nicole Fritz.
Lawson Naidoo argues that current standoff between Jacob Zuma and Raymond Zondo may have been avoided had the former president been called earlier to testify at the state capture commission.
Yasmin Sooka writes that Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo must not make the mistake the TRC made when it let FW de Klerk off the hook.
The Zondo Commission is probably the last chance for the ANC-led government to fix what it broke, and the ANC should compel former president Jacob Zuma to testify, writes Qaanitah Hunter.
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