Is this possible?

I am not very interested in politics but something happened in my country this week that is impossible to ignore... even for me! I have always believed in our judicial system and once a political party was elected, I was happy to accept their authority and even support them (within limits). I guess that many years in the civil service, where we are expected and subtly brainwashed to be apolitical, has had that effect on me.

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...


leilani said...

I think its possible and probable in any country! As humans we seem to have chosen greed and hatred as a means to live by. I truly feel that if we are to save our planet and ultimately the human race we MUST start to care, to use common sense and to strive for what is good. If there is any wrong here that is being covered shame on these humans for they truly polute our world !

Arley said...

Unfortunately, in the United States, things aren't much different. Here we are guilty until proven innocent. (Though any court would argue against that statement, but I know it to be true) What I don't understand is how or why the charges were dropped. If they had 700 counts against him, where did they all go? I don't understand your countries judicial laws. Could you perhaps explain it in a little more detail?

I do see your point and agree with you. If he did in fact commit a crime/crimes, why should he be allowed to even run for the presidency, and who in their right mind would vote for such a person? Very interesting!

A human kind of human said...

Leilani I agree with you that they are a kind of pollution - not only for the planet, but more so for the human spirit.

Argent, You only have to look at the history of many African countries to realise who sould vote for such a person. It is sad but true that the African people vote with their hearts and not their heads - "blind loyalty".

A human kind of human said...

I am so sorry Arley, I don't know where my thoughts were but I called you Argetn by accident (it is a compliment in disguise because I like Argent). More info regarding our judicial system can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judiciary_of_South_Africa, if you are interested.

Argent said...

This really is Argent :-). In our country, England, it is not so diffeent either. Our current minister for business is a man who, not once, but twice, had to resign from government becuase of corruption. Was he rewarded with a prison cell? No, he had been made a Lord. Don't vote, the government gets in every time!

Arley said...

I feel the same way with our current president. I believe the counrty made a huge mistake electing Obama. So far he has made it legal to murder an unborn child, he has put this counrty in the biggest debt it has even seen and now he wants to tax healthcare to pay for his outstanding debt. What's next, taking away our right to be called a "free" country? People can be so blind.