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Maudi Obed Maphutha

The Week Ahead For ANC

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The weekend of the 10th January 2009 has been a very busy weekend for African National Congress, with events starting from East London where the party was launching its election manifesto. according to their manifesto, there are areas which the party believes that they need an attention in order to have a smooth transition once it takes over the governance, if that will be possible, hence the allegation that ANC will rule until Jesus Christ comes. Most of the promises made, many of us will partly agree with, although there was not enough nor sufficient improvement of the economy since it (ANC) took over governance in 1994. Like the areas of Education infrastructure, one may not be wrong to implicate that, not much has been done to ensure that majority of people gets an access to a higher education, considering the shortage of resources, and this is mostly happening to the majority based in urban areas. So this is one of the things that ANC must work very hard on to ensure that the correct message reaches all its followers across the board, more especially with regards to assistances that is available for people who are unable to further their studies because of finances.

The fight against crime and corruption, now this gospel has been sang for many years ever since the issue of Black Economic Empowerment was introduced in the economy. ANC says that it plans to mainly review the functioning of police, judiciary and correctional services to achieve integration and co-ordination, but a clear solution is not there as to how they are going to combat this activities. You look at the issue of organized crimes, not many cases of people who were caught engaging themselves in this were prosecuted and penalized for their wrong doings. To me, this is just an ambiguous ambition which will never be achieved for as long as there are no clear methods of how corruptions and fight against crime will be combated. To expand the definition of corruption further, this terminology covers many aspects of our daily live hood. A special inference can be placed against the Department of Correctional Services’ administration. There was a certain white farmer who at one stage a year or two ago, assassinated a farm worker wherein he was later thrown in the lion cage somewhere in or around Kruger National Park, and was eaten to bones by lions. Now given this example, the farmer was later arrested and put in the custody, upon the finalization of his trial; he was sentenced to a life sentence and some years beyond the sentence.

Having had been imprisoned, it was only somewhere last year that the same farmer, considering the sentence pronounced against him, he was released on a parole, with Correctional Services citing that, his conduct was good so they had to release him. I disagree fully with that sentiment, more especially considering the fact that “Right to life” is a Constitutional matter, so if one compromises a life of one another, then surely the perpetrator must dance to the music. Why Mark Scottcrossley was was released without even spending a 2 years in the prison? Is Correctional Service sure he is not going to compromise yet another life? To me there was lack of fairness to this whole issues, judiciary was compromise to please minority. The story that really caught my attention the most is the Monday 12th January 2009 happenings. It was in the Supreme Court of Appeal where in a panel of judges, led by Mr. Luis Harms sat in, in the quite room of the court to decide the fate of this country’s number one to be politician.

Not so surprised about that ruling of the review, although many of you will finger point me to say I am anti-ANC. Accordingly, as I have said this in my previous articles, Judge Chris Nocolson was merely appointed to make a judgment as to whether there was the so called “political meddling against me”, which will subsequently obstruct Zuma to become the president. Now when reviewing his judgment, it was said that he became “incomprehensible” in his own capacity as a judge when pronouncing his ruling. Maybe what needs to be understood in this premise of the story is the fact that, in 2006 when Shabir Schaik was charged with acts of corruption and fraud, it was said that there is a “prima facie” case against Zuma, of which if he to be charged at the same time then, the prospect of success was minute in that there was no sufficient evidence against him, though he was directly linked to the allegations. The re-investigation was ordered, which led to the attempt to confiscate the documents in Mauritius that they were believed to be carrying evidence so that his level of involvement in the Arms deal could be verified. Probably, the NPA at this moment in time, its timing was not correct hence the approach of the general election, and that might be the basis of emanation of “political meddling against me statement”, because my understanding tells me that, Zuma wants to become the president of the State.

But beyond reasonable doubts and on balance of probabilities, there was no way in which NPA could lay allegations of fraud and corruption against Mr. Zuma if they did not have concrete evidence in their hands, so the delay in charging him was due to a prolonged investigation that is assumed to have only concluded not long before 2008, and if that is the case, then there is no political plot, the rule of natural justice should undertake place. Many political analysts have suggested options that are available to Zuma, one of them being “application for a permanent stay of prosecution”. Legally this means that one makes an application to the court of law presenting facts on why he should not be charged. But to face facts, if this was to take place, what Zuma will be doing in this regard, means that he is indirectly accepting wrong doing and if prospect of success was to be considered by the court and granted thereof, that in itself compromises justice system because no one is above the law. Secondly, the plea bargaining with NPA, should this take place, it is unlikely that the NPA will consider giving Zuma any lighter sentence considering the conviction of Mr. Shaik and his sentencing thereof. Beyond that, the so called alleged generally corrupt relationship between him and Shabir, would have been proven beyond reasonable doubts that, it indeed existed, so it will be very difficult to sentence him to anything below imprisonment. Because if that will not be done, the same NPA will be compromising judicial system.

Lastly, the issue of adoption of French administration, see, and South African politics are surrounded by big fishes that are eagerly waiting to for a crown more especially in this era of contest. I don’t think that the opposition parties will agree to that sentiment to say, if there are allegations of misconduct against a presidential candidate, if that person wins the elections, the trial will be suspended until he finish his term and then the trial will be reinstated once his term is over. Opposition parties will never agree to that, because what will be happening in this regard, it will be the amendment of the Bill of Rights, which is still going to be debated in parliament, conduct public hearings on the bill, and that can even take a period of more than 6 to 8 months to be passed. So at this moment in time, what the ANC must do: they must agree to say, Zuma must step aside and forward a replacement candidate in his position, then Msholozi deal with his fraud and corruption allegations, then the matter be taken from there once the trial is over. By so doing they will be protecting the image of the party and avoid future misconceptions, because I don’t believe that mass majority of South African people, more especially the working class will allow a situation wherein they will be led by someone who preaches the gospel that he does not practice. I.e. fight against crime and corruption, if the allegations indeed materialize. Have you asked yourself a question to say, why big fishes like Nelson Mandela are quite about this issue? This is for the next assignment.

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