Sony Digital Rapids Pixel Power calrec Sony

Against deflections: Is Jacob Zuma really a victim of political warfare?

22/05/2019

Former president Jacob Zuma is back in court. The former president and his team of lawyers are arguing for a stay of persecution following years of delay in court proceedings.

The former president is facing ongoing charges of 783 counts of corruption, racketeering, money laundering and fraud. These are all related to the Strategic Defence Package (infamously known as the Arms Deal), a multi-billion rand acquisition of military equipment, supplied by the French defence company Thales in 19999.

Jacob Zuma: The corruption saga continuesOn Monday, Zuma's legal team submitted 164 pages worth of arguments, outlining the defence's appeal for a permanent stay of persecution.

The case has a long and tumultuous history; charges were dismissed in 2009 but reinstated in March last year after the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) upheld a ruling that said the initial decision to drop the case was irrational and unfounded.

This was the fifth time that the former president appeared in court since the charges against him were reinstated in March last year. He denied that he was guilty of wrong-doing, and put forward the claim that he was the victim of a devious and politically motivated character assassination ploy.

The Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN) High Court in Pietermaritzburg heard the opening statements from the former president's legal team. Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane had initially applied to present his opening argument in his home language of IsiZulu. He was, however, not permitted to do so, as per Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng's 2017 declaration of English being the language record, to maintain some form of commonality between presiding officers.

Legal defence hinges on diversion tacticsWhile, Sikhakhane might have presented this for the sake of convenience given that Zulu is the most prominently spoken language in Pietermaritzburg is isiZulu one cannot take this decision at face-value.

It is undoubtedly a decision permeated with political meaning. It is similar to when Zuma opted to deliver his testimony in Zulu during his rape trial in 2007, despite the fact that the court proceedings had occurred in English and that he is fluent in the language.

While this, again, might have been done for purposes of convenience, it shifted the tone of the trial and made it seem as if he was being put on trial for his tradition, instead of the crime he was accused of.

The president and his supporters mobilised support using his ethnic appeal as a traditional and proud member of the Zulu tribe. The president has long projected himself as someone who cares about the poor and about traditional values, in ways that many African National Congress (ANC) leaders, namely Thabo Mbeki, have not formally done.

Indeed, in the lead-up to the 2009 elections, Zuma was portrayed as a victim, using his humble roots to project himself as a man of the people. His ascent to power was heralded as a sign of a shift towards sympathetic and pro-poor governance. This is despite the damning corruption allegations levelled against the president.

Likewise, this is what is happening now. His team are making another deliberate and strategic choice. One that is embedded with heavy political connotations and implications that are designed to project Zuma as a victim of an ethnic and politically motivated ploy.

This is compounded by the Sikhakhane maintaining that he was refused the right to speak my language .

It is not just a matter of convenience but a strategy that says something to those who hear it: Zuma once, again, is a victim of a great political conspiracy.

This time, it is rooted in revelations unmasked in the spy-tapes .

However, if one is interpreting this from an angle of identity politics, he is saying that Zuma is a victim of a conspiracy spearheaded by Cyril Ramaphosa using Apartheid institutions, designed to dehumanise and stigmatise him as a proud Zulu man among a largely Xhosa dominated political elite.

Jacob The Vulnerable' ZumaIn doing this, the defence is trying to reverse the role of Zuma the accused, to Zuma the vulnerable, and thereby remove the focus of the case from the man to the shortcomings of the NPA. In fact, outside the court Zuma took the time to address his supporters, maintaining that his civil rights were being violated and that the case must be thrown out, before belting out his signature anthem, Umshini Wam.

His lawyer, Sikhakhane, went further, arguing that the treatment of the former president under the hands of the NPA was classifiable as an act of mob justice and, that the accusations levelled against Zuma, were motivated by his resounding unpopularity with the South African populous.

He went further, accusing the elusive Shaun Abrahams of being biased. He even added that the public's hatred of the man made us all blind to the nefarious ways in which the NPA treated him, and thereby violated his rights.

While it shows that the former president might be hurt by the reinstating of the case, this is not a legally cogent argument. It is incoherent, performative and yet another example of Zuma and his defence trying to manipulate the public and court into thinking that he is being penalised for his identity, rather than his accusations.

He is not being bullied; exercising the integrity of state institutions is not a form of bullying.

So far, this is nothing more than political theatrics, designed to mobilise those who support uMsholozi, but do not hold water in court. Trying to shift the blame to the inadequate handling of the case by the NPA also does not hold water in a court of law.

In conclusionZuma is not back in court because the South African public hates him, rather he is there because the court believes that there are significant grounds for his involvement, in what is the biggest corruption scandal in the country to date, to stand trial. Moreover, it is
LINK: https://www.thesouthafrican.com/opinion/jacob-zuma-corruption-charges-...
See more stories from thesouthafrican

Africa Stories

17/06/2019

HBO's sister network Cinemax picks up M-Net's new local drama series

17 June, 2019 - 06:04 M-Net has partnered with global broadcasters to bring the television adaptation of Deon Meyers crime novel, Trackers, to the world. M-...

14/06/2019

French and South African partners collaborate to support South African animation industry

French and South African partners collaborate to support South African animation...

14/06/2019

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) call for funding applications is open

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) call for funding applications is o...

14/06/2019

SA's 'Canary' spreads its wings to the USA

14 June, 2019 - 08:02 Christiaan Olwagens 80s musical drama, Canary (Kanarie), starring comedian Schalk Bezuidenhout, will be celebrating its theatrical rel...

13/06/2019

TAC Studios Co-Produces Four New Series across Africa

13 June, 2019 - 08:02 TAC Studios, the production arm of US-based The Africa Channel, announced four new series being produced in Africa for the global mark...

12/06/2019

NFVF cycle 1 FY 2019/20 Funding Approvals.

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) releases cycle 1 funding approvals. The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), is pleased to announce the fo...

12/06/2019

Call for Submission Knysna Film Festival

12 June, 2019 - 08:03 An Independant International Film Festival offering quality films across a number of genres offering pure entertainment for filmgoers,...

12/06/2019

Motshekga appeals to protesters not to disrupt schooling

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has appealed to communities to make sure that protests do not disrupt the education and by extension, the future of the...

12/06/2019

Study shows young South Africans have no faith in democracy and politicians

Leila Patel, University of Johannesburg and Lauren Graham, University of Johannesburg On the eve of South Africa's sixth democratic elections on 8 May, tho...

12/06/2019

Soapie teasers: What's happening in Uzalo in June?

Soapie Teasers provided by TVSA. This article was first published by them. Monday 3 June 2019 MaMlambo is left out as Nkunzi bonds with Sibonelo and Gabisile ...

11/06/2019

Partnerships strengthen the growth of South African animation industry at Annecy

Partnerships strengthen the growth of South African animation industry at Annecy 10 June 2019, Johannesburg: The NFVF in partnership with Animation South Afric...

11/06/2019

Caster Semenya called up to SA World Championship squad

Middle distance champion Caster Semenya has been included in the team set to represent South African at the athletics World Championship but her participation i...

11/06/2019

Bathabile Dlamini may have committed a crime with her resignation letter

Tuesday proved to be the final day of reckoning for Bathabile Dlamini, whose controversial stay in government came to a crashing halt. The outgoing MP resigned ...

11/06/2019

Greenpeace recommends Eskom gets rid of coal power stations

A study commissioned by Greenpeace Africa titled Eskom: A roadmap to powering the future has recommended that the struggling power utility get rid of its coal...

11/06/2019

Alexandra mob justice: Murder case opened in torched man's death [video]

Warning: This article features a video that contains very graphic material. The raw footage of the torching was captured by Alexandra community members who watc...

11/06/2019

Barry Gilder's novel The List' optioned by Known Associates Entertainment

11 June, 2019 - 08:03 Author Barry Gilders novel The List has been optioned ...

11/06/2019

PSL drops unnecessary' arbitration against Sundowns

PSL Chairman Irvin Khoza says the League drop their arbitration appeal to the South African Football Association (Safa) against Mamelodi Sundowns. Sundowns wer...

11/06/2019

Weather forecast, alerts and UVB index for all South African provinces, 11 June 2019

Weather data provided by the South African Weather Service. For a detailed forec...

10/06/2019

Who are Tongaat Hulett? All you need to know about the next Steinhoff

One of the largest sugar producers in the world and a multi-billion rand South African business is facing the consequences of its own suspicious practices this ...

10/06/2019

Global trade tensions: South Africa concerned about economic impact

Trade and Industry (dti) Minister Ebrahim Patel has expressed concern at growing trade tensions in the global economy. Heightened uncertainty from growing tra...

10/06/2019

Cape Town dam levels: Locals rejoice following significant increases

What a difference a few downpours can make. After weeks of marginal increases, the Cape Town dam levels took a giant leap forward over the past seven days, incr...

10/06/2019

Pilchards n Pap: How Tito Mboweni became the Minister of Lucky Star'

Tito Mboweni is more than just South Africa's eccentric Minister of Finance, he's also an acclaimed foodie, famous for his signature dish of Lucky Star ...

10/06/2019

Soapie teasers: What's happening in Skeem Saam in June?

Soapie Teasers provided by TVSA. This article was first published by them. Monday 3 June 2019 Lehasa pushes Lelo too far. Kwaito is caught in a web of his own...

10/06/2019

Tayler Scott becomes the second South African to play Major League Baseball

Johannesburg-born Tayler Scott has become just the second South African to play Major League Baseball (MLB) in the United States. Scott was promoted from minor...

10/06/2019

Weather forecast, alerts and UVB index for all South African provinces, 10 June 2019

Weather data provided by the South African Weather Service. For a detailed forec...

09/06/2019

Cricket World Cup: Dhawan ton powers India to 352/5 against Aussies

Shikhar Dhawan hit a sparkling century to help India post 352 for five against Australia in a key World Cup clash at the Oval on Sunday. The opening batsman le...

09/06/2019

Pirates defender Marshall Munetsi linked with Belgian move

Orlando Pirates defender Marshall Munetsi is currently being scouted by a Belgian top division outfit, according to reports. The 22-year-old featured frequietl...

09/06/2019

Apple WWDC 2019: The four most impactful announcements this year

Apple's World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) began on 3 June and closed on 7 June in San Jose California. During the conference, Apple unveiled new high...

09/06/2019

Super Rugby result: Jaguares 34-7 Sharks as it happened

Super Rugby result: Jaguares 34-7 SharksOur live updates will appear below. They might take a little while to load on slower connections. Please be patient, we ...

09/06/2019

Comrades Marathon 2019: Weather report for race day

A chilly and possibly wet start awaits runners in the 94th Comrades Marathon in Durban early on Sunday morning according to the weather forecast. Comrades weat...

09/06/2019

World Oceans Day 2019 - What you need to know

Across the world, people celebrate World Oceans Day to honour our oceans and to create a better future. As a society, we've pretty much done an excellent jo...

09/06/2019

Soapie teasers: What's happening in 7de Laan in June?

Soapie Teasers provided by TVSA. This article was first published by them. Monday 3 June 2019 Mariaan makes amends with her family; the Hillsiders chip in to ...

08/06/2019

Super Rugby LIVE: Lions vs Hurricanes get scores and updates here!

Additional reporting by TSA Staff / Agencies. Continuity was key when coach Swys de Bruyn and his management picked the his team to face the Hurricanes at Elli...

08/06/2019

Young whale freed from fishing ropes off Cape Point [video]

A joint operation between the South African Whale Disentanglement Network (SAWDN) and the NSRI has seen a seven-metre juvenile humpback whale freed from entangl...

08/06/2019

Weather forecast, alerts and UVB index for all South African provinces, 8 June 2019

Weather data provided by the South African Weather Service. For a detailed forec...

08/06/2019

Free daily horoscope, celeb gossip and lucky numbers for 8 June, 2019

CELEBRITIES BORN ON THIS DAY: Keenen Ivory Wayans, Boz Scaggs, Joan Rivers, Nancy Sinatra, Barbara Bush, Jerry Stiller. ARIES (March 21-April 19): There's ...

07/06/2019

Trade war intensifies: China to publish its own US ban list

China said Thursday that it would soon release detailed information about a planned blacklist of unreliable companies and individuals as Beijing hits back in ...

07/06/2019

Google Maps will now help South African drivers to avoid speed traps

Google Maps will be rolling out speed limit and speed camera data to their maps app in 40 countries. Happily, South Africa is one of those 40 countries. It wil...

07/06/2019

e.tv commissions new supernatural drama 'Isipho'

7 June, 2019 - 08:02 Production has started on a Gauteng farm of a new e.tv local drama series, Isipho, filmed on location in Muldersdrift, which will begin...

07/06/2019

Everything you need to know about the Jaguares vs Sharks

The Sharks will take on the Jaguares in a second round, return leg Super Rugby derby clash at the Jose Amalfitani Stadium in Buenos Aires on Saturday evening. ...

07/06/2019

Orlando Pirates news: Khoza assures Micho of Bucs future

Orlando Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza has given coach Milutin Sredojevic his stamp of approval, despite another trophyless season at the club. The Buccaneers ha...

07/06/2019

Free daily horoscope, celeb gossip and lucky numbers for 7 June, 2019

CELEBRITIES BORN ON THIS DAY: Jenny Jones, Anna Kournikova, Allen Iverson, Larisa Oleynik, Jessica Tandy, Prince, Tom Jones, Rocky Graziano, Liam Neeson, Karl U...

07/06/2019

China: Ramaphosa is the right president at the right time

Beijing's top envoy in South Africa, Ambassador Lin Songtian on Thursday praised South Africa's developmental ambitions, adding that with China's su...

06/06/2019

Ekurhuleni mayor vows to scrap work experience for government jobs

The mayor of Ekurhuleni, Mzwandile Masina, vowed to make his metro, the first regional district in government to scrap work experience as a prerequisite for emp...

06/06/2019

Moody's predicts the South African economy will enter another recession

Following reports the South African economy had contracted by 3.2% in the first three months of 2019, global credit ratings agency Moody's is expecting yet ...

06/06/2019

BRICS Film Festival Call for Submissions

6 June, 2019 - 08:01 The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) and the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) invites South African filmmakers to submit t...

06/06/2019

Baxter wary of new potential threat to Afcon preparations

As Stuart Baxter rallies his troops for Afcon 2019 preparations, he may have to contend with a few distracted members of his squad as the tournament coincides w...

06/06/2019

Sibanye-Stillwater reduce intended job cuts by almost half

There is a sliver of good news for employees of Sibaye-Stillwater's gold mining operation after the company revealed it was reducing the number of job cuts ...

06/06/2019

Weather forecast, alerts and UVB index for all South African provinces, 6 June 2019

Weather data provided by the South African Weather Service. For a detailed forec...

06/06/2019

Free daily horoscope, celeb gossip and lucky numbers for 6 June, 2019

CELEBRITIES BORN ON THIS DAY: James Munky Shaffer, Sandra Bernhard, Bjorn Borg, Roy Innis, Staci Keanan, Max Casella. ARIES (March 21-April 19): Thanks to a ...