Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Zuma case 'no longer in SA's interest'

Say it with a sting.....

September 03 2008 at 07:50AM

By Moshoeshoe Monare and Boyd Webb

With the crucial decision on the fate of ANC President Jacob Zuma's criminal case expected next week, the ANC has questioned whether prosecuting its leader is in the country's best interests.

"It is clear that the continuation of this case does not serve the interests of South Africa. It has long ceased to be a justifiable prosecution that can be said to be motivated by nothing more than the pursuit of justice," the ANC's national working committee (NWC) said on Tuesday.

Cosatu has, however, appealed to the ANC to be responsible and reassure "the minorities" that the judiciary was not under threat. Cosatu has agreed with ANC Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe's statement that the judiciary should not be threatened.

Zuma's fate is in the hands of Pietermaritzburg High Court Judge Chris Nicholson, who will hand down his judgment next week on Zuma's application to have his prosecution declared invalid.

Cosatu said its general-secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, "has been addressing a number of public forums... to reflect on the environment and allay minority fears".

Cosatu has appealed to the ANC to unite and reassure the nation on the independence of the judiciary.

In its "draft annotated agenda" for its central executive committee meeting Cosatu said: "There is a huge debate and media hysteria about the perceived threat to the independence of the judiciary, our constitutional democracy and basic freedoms.

"It is easy to dismiss this as the ranting of those who see the skies falling in with the changes in leadership, but a responsible movement that seeks to unite the country must be seen to be going out of its way to assure all that the threat does not exist. The ANC deputy president (Motlanthe) and others have begun to do that."

Motlanthe was attacked by the ANC Youth League on the issue, but the two parties have since agreed not to hang their dirty linen out in public.

Cosatu has begun to admit that "there is a growing uneasiness" by prominent individuals, the clergy, intellectuals and minorities, "even within the movement, voicing discontent about what they perceive to be a threat to our basic freedoms".

In its statement, the NWC said it was "clear that the continuation" of the Zuma case did not serve the interests of South Africa.

ANC leaders, who believe the situation on the ground is "volatile", ask if is it worth risking the country's stability to bring "spurious" charges against Zuma.

The ANC said on Tuesday the case against Zuma was "divisive".

"It has become deeply politicised, with South Africans being asked to take sides. It is the view of the NWC that it is time to address these divisions and to work towards a national consensus in dealing with this matter ... based on a shared commitment to the values, principles, rights and obligations contained in our country's Constitution,"it said.

"We should move beyond narrow political agendas towards a common national position in the interest of our country and our future in order to reinforce the integrity of the institutions of the state, and to safeguard the rights of all citizens. These should include the right of all citizens to equal treatment before the law, to a fair trail, to be presumed innocent until found otherwise, and to protect against unreasonable and malicious actions by state institutions."

This article was originally published on page 1 of Cape Times on September 03, 2008

Comments by Sonny

Why is Zuma and the ANC running scared?
He must have his day in court.
He is not above the law.
The ANC executive is not above the law.
Nobody is above the law.
Let Justice prevail!

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