Publication: Mail and Guardian Issued: Date: 2003-09-05 Reporter: Various

Let's Hear Zuma's Side of the Story



Mail and Guardian

Date 2003-09-05




Let's Hear Zuma's Side of the Story 1

By : Khumo Thetele

The statement by the National Director of Public Prosecutions, Bulelani Ngcuka, that there is a prima facie case against Deputy President Jacob Zuma and the charge sheet in the Schabir Shaik case are fertile ground for political opportunists to score cheap political points and present themselves as moral barometers.

If Zuma was at least charged as an accomplice, he could clear his name, if there is no wrongdoing. He has been rubbished in the media without being given a fair chance to present his side of the story.

Section 34 of the Constitution provides that "everyone has the right to have any dispute that can be resolved by the application of law decided in a fair public hearing before a court or, where appropriate, another independent and impartial tribunal or forum".

This is indeed a matter to be resolved by the application of law. Zuma's name has been implicated in a criminal case and we are told there is a prima facie case against him.

Is Ngcuka more concerned about his own reputation than that of the people implicated in this matter?

In the new South Africa there cannot be a barbaric, pseudo-political legal system for deputy presidents and a fair and reasonable legal system for others.

With acknowledgements to Khumo Thetele and the Mail and Guardian.

Let's Hear Zuma's Side of the Story 2

By : Bhan Mahabir

When one thinks of the high-profile protagonists of the apartheid era, like Magnus Malan and Wouter Basson, being absolved of serious human rights abuses, one wonders if our independence is a mirage where the old order still holds sway. The allegations against Zuma pale into insignificance by comparison, despite the gloating in the media.

Let justice be done - but let it be seen to be even-handed.

With acknowledgements to Bhan Mahabir and the Mail & Guardian.

Let's Hear Zuma's Side of the Story 3

By : Mbabazane Ntozabantu

I am concerned that the Mail and Guardian is taking sides in the Zuma affair, expressing certain views only when certain leaders are accused of wrongdoing.

Battles are being fought within the African National Congress that will redefine it. The M&G should play an important role in bringing these to light, rather than pursuing an agenda on behalf of others.

With acknowledgements to Mbabazane Ntozabantu and the Mail and Guardian.

Let's Hear Zuma's Side of the Story 4

By : Sabata-mpho Mokae

The popular perception is that government officials are very corrupt, and the decision not to prosecute Zuma worsens the damage to the government, the ANC and black leaders caused by these perceptions.

If Ngcuka and Penuell Maduna think this unpopular decision will not affect the ANC's prospects in next year's elections, they are naive.

One school of thought says Ngcuka bowed to the political pressure. He denies this, but we all know there was pressure - many in the ANC slammed Ngcuka for investigating Zuma.

Ngcuka has missed a golden opportunity to show the nation we are all equal before the law.

With acknowledgements to Sabata-mpho Mokae and the Mail and Guardian.

Let's Hear Zuma's Side of the Story 5

By : Charles Cele

It is amazing that Ngcuka should refuse to prosecute Zuma while pronouncing that there is a prima facie case against him and at the same time reserving his reasons for doing so. This suggests a cover-up and damages the judicial system.

With acknowledgements to Charles Cele and the Mail & Guardian.

Let's Hear Zuma's Side of the Story 6

By : Bhekizwe Sibiya

I am perturbed and frustrated by how the media and opposition parties have behaved over Zuma.

It is not my job to prove whether someone is guilty, or suggest it is time for him or her to step down. We have legitimate institutions to achieve this. By saying "justice must be seen to be done" we mean via a court of law, not the media.

Our legal system is clear that "one who alleges must prove" - and prove beyond reasonable doubt. While the due process is taking its course, a person subject to allegations remains innocent.

Another legal principle is audi alteram partem, which gives the accused a chance to state his side of the case. The courts are the proper platform for the exercise of this.

With acknowledgements to Bhekizwe Sibiya and the Mail and Guardian.