Publication: The Star
In a matter of the law, Jacob Zuma's biggest problem, irrespective of which
way you cut it, is that a judge called Hilary Squires, in finding his erstwhile
financial adviser Schabir Shaik guilty of fraud and corruption, in essence found
Zuma had a case to answer.
This was preceded by the then head of the National Prosecuting Authority,
Bulelani Ngcuka, stating somewhat bizarrely at the
time that while there was a prima facie case against Zuma, the NPA would not
Subsequently, the NPA has painstakingly built a case
In the same time, Zuma has undergone a Lazarus-like resurrection to
become ANC president and effectively president-in-waiting of the country, after
having been fired by Thabo Mbeki as his deputy three years ago and supposedly
consigned to the political wilderness.
What we now have is a heady mixture of politics, crime and the law. And it is
critically important that when Zuma appears in the dock on Monday, this
distinction is made and observed.
The fact of Monday's court appearance is simple. Zuma is there to face a
criminal charge under South African law.
No matter how many supporters the ANC Youth League may bus in to
Pietermaritzburg tomorrow, irrespective of how many people Julius Malema wants
to ostensibly kill or maim in defence of his beloved
leader, and no matter how many plots, vendettas or intrigues Zwelinzima
Vavi might imagine, there is only one question that the court must test.
That question is whether Zuma is guilty of a crime.
If innocent, he must allow this process to happen; if guilty he must face the
consequences. It's that simple.
As our de facto future president and president of the party that launched
our much lauded constitution, he should know this
better and defend this harder than any other person in this country.
Our only question is whether he actually will *1.
With acknowledgements to Karyn Maughan and The Star.
*1 It is simple - he and his ilk have
shown on countless occasions that saving his skin from a minimum of 15 years
incarceration is the only real consideration.
Thereafter he will reward those who have saved him, including Thabo Mbeki, if
the means of saving is amnesty during the latter's term of office.
Any which way this is going to be a torrid time for most South Africans and an
even more torrid time for those who have taken their national duty seriously to
report, investigate and prosecute bribery and corruption in terms of the
Prevention of Corruption Act.
Hopefully the fiscus has budgeted adequately for bullet-proof court rooms,
bullet-proof vehicles, bullet-proof vests, the witness protection programme, as
well as fearless *2 judges, assessors and
*2 Actually fearless is less than optimal.
What one needs is controlled fear.
Like when one sees the tell-tale large round black eye and symmetrical tail of a
great white shark underwater, it helps little to panic and start wimpering for
one's mother. One needs to calmly fit one's powerhead to the tip of one's
speargun and extends gun, body and fins to create maximum appearance and maximum
distance between hunter and hunted.
[If one has just fired one's speargun and especially if there's a yellowtail
wriggling at the end of the spear, wimpering for one's mother is probably the
best and only option.]
In the court room when one sees a crazed Maleman draw his .38 Special from ankle
holster or shoulder holster (let's pray that court security won't let a Maleman
with an AK-47 or R4 onto the premises), one must duck neatly under the
bullet-proof partition and pray that the assigned security guards' first shots
are on target between the left shoulder and the right shoulder before Crazed
Maleman achieves same.
Alternatively one could pray that Crazed Maleman's accuracy is poor and misses
completely or is so accurate that he strikes the best part of the ceramic,
composite and steel body armour which one procured out of one's finite
disposable income because one had a premonition that the government-issued unit
might not be quite good enough.
If the government-issued security guard misses with his first round then
instruct him to hand over his firearm to self and then place own round on target
between left shoulder and right shoulder.
Unfortunately the use of a shotgun, while extremely effective especially when
aimed at the assailant's eyes, has to be discouraged due to risk of collateral
damage. Accordingly to the principle of deontology *3, it is apparently wrong to
fire a multi-projectile weapon at a Crazed Maleman trying to take refuge amongst
those in the public gallery, even if they are a horde of journalists who've
bribed their way past limited entry.
These are just the first rules of court room gun fighting.
It is a little rudimentary at this stage because it is a somewhat new phenomenon
and requires experience *4 and practice *5 before perfection.
*3 Let justice be done though the heavens fall!
*4 Hopefully not.
*5 I am only writing this nonsense in preparation for when
and if I must test my own resolve to be born and testify, but not to die, in
Off to the practice range we must now go.