Publication: Cape Times
Zuma may no longer be the country's second-in-command, but as the deputy
president of the ruling ANC he still has a responsibility to show leadership.
In the same way that he said "I'm sorry" to South Africa's gay community
and for having unprotected sex with an HIV-positive woman, Zuma must do the
right thing and acknowledge that he and his supporters also
owe Judge Hilary Squires an apology.
Squires was lambasted and
insulted by Zuma's supporters as an apartheid judge and as an ex-Rhodesian
cabinet minister who was part of the alleged political conspiracy against their
Zuma himself was quoted by the Mail & Guardian as saying: "In
1963, I was sentenced to 10 years in prison by Justice Steyn. It was a political
trial. I listened to Judge Squires and there was nothing different to what I
heard 42 years ago in terms of the political judgment."
A full court of
the Supreme Court of Appeal, including judges appointed under the country's
democratic dispensation, this week upheld Judge Squires's verdict, including
that there was a "generally corrupt relationship" between Zuma and his former
financial adviser, Schabir Shaik.
Moreover, it was also a vindication of
the very National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and members of the Scorpions unit
whom Zuma accused of being part of the alleged plot against him.
was quick to praise judges Willie van der Merwe and Herbert
Msimang when they ruled in his favour. However, he also needs to respect
the judiciary when things go against him and admit where he has erred.
Perhaps in the same way that he found it in himself to pay tribute to PW
Botha when the former state president died last week, Zuma
could apologise to Squires.
Moreover, justice must also be
allowed to run its course. NPA boss Vusi Pikoli needs to decide whether to
prosecute Zuma, free of intimidation or pressure. Given that the
search-and-seizure appeal, the outcome of which could influence any prosecution,
is only scheduled for the second quarter of next year, a decision to prosecute
would fall slap bang in the ANC succession race.
Zuma and his supporters
should guard against crying wolf again.
With acknowledgement to the Cape Times.