Cancel Zuma Trial and Save SA from Anarchy, says SACP
Call for political solution to end legal woes
A political solution to ANC president Jacob Zuma's legal woes must be found urgently to avoid taking the country to the brink of disaster, the SA Communist Party has said following this weekend's meeting of the central committee.
"(Zuma's trial) has got all the potential of taking our country to the brink and we do not need that," SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande said yesterday, calling for a public debate on how best to resolve the situation.
He said a political solution must be found, even if it meant instigating a judicial commission of inquiry to reopen government's investigation of alleged irregularities *4 committed by senior ANC members, including President Thabo Mbeki, during the multibillion-rand arms deal in the early 1990s.
Nzimande said his party would even support a general amnesty for those found guilty, but argued that continuation of Zuma's corruption trial was not in the interests of the country or justice.
He said a huge cloud still hung over the arms-procurement package, but that an amnesty could only be decided once an investigation had been launched to get "to the bottom of what really happened" during the arms deal.
Mbeki's alleged involvement has again been brought into question after new reports claimed he facilitated a R30-million payment from a German consortium in exchange for the R6-billion contract to supply three submarines to the SA Navy.
He is alleged to have given Zuma R2-million and handed the remaining amount over to the ANC to fund its election campaign.
Nzimande said he was glad that people were again calling for the investigations to be reopened.
"The key stakeholders who are part of this issue of the trial of JZ, including those who are behind it and know themselves, we are also calling on them to say that if it was fashionable at some stage to continue with this thing, it has run out of fashion now.
"Instead, they are placing our country under undue stress and pressure."
Nzimande said Zuma's case and its handling had ceased being a legal matter but a political challenge that faced democracy in the country going forward.
He said it would be impossible for Zuma to be given a fair trial given the "campaign" that had been launched against him over the past seven years by certain groups within government and justice.
Without setting any legal or political precedent *5, it was time for the case to be reviewed by the National Prosecuting Authority with a view to dropping all the charges against Zuma *6, he said.
The SACP view echoed those of fellow alliance member Cosatu and the ANC Youth League, who have persistently argued that Zuma was not being "prosecuted" but "persecuted" by the criminal justice system.
The SACP has fully supported the abolition of the Scorpions, who are viewed by many people to be Zuma's nemesis.
As such, the system which now hounded Zuma must be restructured so that it protected the weak and not only the wealthy, Nzimande said, reflecting on Deputy Justice Minister Johnny de Lange's admission two weeks ago that the country's criminal justice system was in a state of disarray.
"We need to revamp the entire system and we need to empower ordinary citizens to work with the police to restore safety and security to their lives *1," he said.
The ANC could not be reached for comment.
With acknowledgements to Boyd Webb and The Star.