African business, politics and lifestyle
A cloud over Zuma?
Corruption charges against Jacob Zuma have been dropped, as expected. It’s not an acquittal, the prosecutors said. The ANC leader will have to go back to court for the charges to be formally withdrawn.
Even when they are, critics make the point that a cloud will still hang over the man expected to become South Africa’s next president.
The former head of the Scorpions manipulated the case to cause political damage to Zuma, according to the prosecutors, but some mud may still stick to the Zulu politician.
“The withdrawal of these charges has got absolutely nothing to do with the merits of the case against Jacob Zuma, which have never been seriously challenged. So that cloud will continue to hang over Zuma,” said Alistair Sparks, political analyst at
Standard Bank Securities.
Not everyone agrees, of course. The ANC said the decision to end the 8-year-old case was a victory for the rule of law.
“Never again should we allow persecution of one individual for such a long period of time,” said ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe.
So, is this good for South Africa, in that its next leader will be free to govern without the worry of facing these charges? Or is South Africa paying too heavy a price for this exoneration?