The Politics of Snakes and Ladders: The Political Situation in South Africa Took Another Ominous Turn on 11 January with a Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) Ruling That Put the ANC President, Jacob Zuma, Back in Harm's Way and His Ascent to the State Presidency in Jeopardy. Pusch Commey Reports

By Commey, Pusch | New African, February 2009 | Go to article overview

The Politics of Snakes and Ladders: The Political Situation in South Africa Took Another Ominous Turn on 11 January with a Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) Ruling That Put the ANC President, Jacob Zuma, Back in Harm's Way and His Ascent to the State Presidency in Jeopardy. Pusch Commey Reports


Commey, Pusch, New African


Five eminent judges of South Africa's highest appeal court, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), have resoundingly overturned a high court decision handed down on 12 September last year by Judge Chris Nicholson that was seen as a major victory for the ANC president, Jacob Zuma, and in the process thrown all the political permutations overboard.

Nicholson's judgement cost ex-President Thabo Mbeki his job, precipitated the mass exodus of ministers loyal to him, and led to the formation of the Congress of the People (COPE), a breakaway faction of the ruling African National Congress. Nicholson agreed with Zuma that a decision by the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) to re-charge him on 18 counts of corruption, racketeering and money laundering was flawed because he was not given the opportunity to make a representation to the national director of public prosecutions.

Nicholson's judgement went on to castigate the then Mbeki administration for political meddling in the functions of the independent NPA, and also backed Zuma's view that charges brought against him were politically motivated.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

It was the kind of weapon that Zuma's supporters had been waiting for. Based on that view, the ANC and its president, Jacob Zuma, relieved Mbeki of his post as the leader of the party in government and consequently as state president.

He was replaced by the deputy president of the ANC, Kgalema Montlanthe, until elections in April this year when Zuma would be the ANC's candidate and almost inevitably the state president. In the last elections in 2004, the ANC got 70% of the vote.

Now Zuma is back in harm's way and his ascent to the state presidency has once again taken a heavy blow.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

On appeal by the NPA, the five judges unanimously agreed that Nicholson erred. In a rare assault on a fellow judge, Nicholson was slated for having strayed uninvited into a political stadium and red-carded players and spectators alike.

Delivering the judgement, the deputy president of the court, Justice Louis Harms, disagreed that Zuma was entitled to a representation before charges could be brought against him. He also disagreed that there was any evidence of political meddling by Thabo Mbeki and his men in Zuma's prosecution, and eked past judgements to illustrate that the motives behind charges are irrelevant to determining whether a person should face trial or not.

That person, Judge Harms said, must confront the veracity of the charges and subsequently address the motives in another court after the trial. At issue would be the substance of the allegations, not the motives behind it.

Where does that leave Zuma and his backers who have already anointed him as their candidate for the presidential elections in April? The ANC insists that Zuma is still their man and that the SCA judgement changes nothing.

The NPA has also been quick off the mark, declaring that the import of the SCA judgement means that Zuma remains charged. They are busy arranging a new court date. The war goes on with no letup. The spectre of a major presidential candidate going in and out of court in an election year is politically disconcerting, not to mention there being the prospect of some uninformed supporters resorting to violence. Besides, what happens if Zuma wins the presidential election while he stands accused of such serious charges?

Firstly, he will have the power to appoint a new national director of public prosecutions. That is if the current president, Kgalema Montlanthe, does not appoint one. Vusi Pikoli, the suspended NPA director who re-charged Zuma in 2005, was relieved of his post by Montlanthe even though a commission of enquiry set up by ex-President Mbeki to examine his fitness for office found that he was fit.

The ANC is moving fast to convene both Houses of Parliament according to the constitution to make sure that Pikoli is safely despatched. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Politics of Snakes and Ladders: The Political Situation in South Africa Took Another Ominous Turn on 11 January with a Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) Ruling That Put the ANC President, Jacob Zuma, Back in Harm's Way and His Ascent to the State Presidency in Jeopardy. Pusch Commey Reports
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.