South Africans will go to the polls on 22 April for the fourth elections since democracy in 1994. There is no doubt in my mind that the ruling party, the ANC, will be re-elected for the next term.
Our previous president, Mr Thabo Mbeki, was ousted during the second half of last year during the ruling party's National Convention and a new president, Mr Kgalema Matlanthe, was appointed in his place. At the same convention, Mr Jacob Zuma was elected as president of the ANC and it is a fact that he will become president of this country after the elections.
The reason why Jacob Zuma was not appointed as president of the country right away was that he did not hold a seat in parliament. He lost his seat in parliament as deputy president of the country, in June 2005 when the previous president relieved him of his duties when he was charged in court for fraud and corruption.
When the decision to charge him was made public, he said: "I welcome this decision as it affords me an opportunity to respond to, and clarify, the allegations that have been made against me over a period of time. Since then he, and his legal team,has done nothing but battle to keep him out of court. A battle they won yesterday afternoon.Yesterday morning he was a man awaiting trial for more than 700 charges. (Originally is was only two charges but during the ensuing investigations it grew to more than 700.) This morning he appeared in court to hear that all charges against him were dropped after the Acting National Director of the National Prosecuting Authority yesterday declared: "I have come to the difficult conclusion that it is neither possible nor desirable for the NPA to continue with the prosecution". ("Political interference" was cited but no concrete evidence to justify this allegation was presented in order to qualify this conclusion.)
Of course, Mr Zuma is not guilty of any crime - in our country you are innocent before the law until you are found guilty by a court of law. However, neither has a court of law found him to be innocent either... and this is where my problem with the whole issue lies. This country simply does not know if it's next president is a criminal or not!
How will we sleep peacefully and secure knowing that the president of our country could be a criminal? How will we continue trusting in the integrity of our judicial system when a possible criminal are allowed to just walk away free? How could anybody vote for a party whose elected leader could be a criminal? Yet the vast majority of black Africans are blindly loyal to this man's party and will vote for his party and indirectly for him, on 22 April in free and fair elections.
I wonder in how many other countries this would be possible...