The Natal Witness
Afer his very public standoff with Deputy President Jacob Zuma, there was always a question mark over the long-term future of Director of Public Prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka. After telling the Johannesburg Press Club in January that he would not resign, he has now done just that. He says he did so voluntarily; in other words, he jumped. But given the political pressures upon him, the suspicion that he was pushed won't go away. The frigid silence of the ANC on the matter can only strengthen that suspicion.
Nor will the unresolved suspicions around Zuma and the arms deal go away. The prosecution of his financial adviser, Schabir Shaik, on corruption charges is due to proceed in October. Who knows what further cans of worms might be opened in court?
It is vital that the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions be occupied by a credible, vigorous and brave incumbent. It is essential that the independence of the prosecuting services - of which the Scorpions are an important part - should be in no way compromised. Many regard the growth of centralised power in South Africa with misgiving. Thus a lot hangs on who replaces Ngcuka. If the person appointed is a lapdog, the forebodings of the pessimists will receive discouraging support.
With acknowledgement to The Natal Witness.