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A cloud over Zuma?

April 6, 2009

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 The ANC leader will have to go back to court for the charges to be formally withdrawn.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?


Its unfortunate african leaders are not accountable, both mphse and Zuma and all the others should dragged to court. Shame on you Zuma , I dread to imagine what shall become of SA. A leader who is unstable is dangerous

Posted by mpho | Report as abusive

One of the Seven was wont to say: ‘That laws were like cobwebs; wher the small flies were caughtand the great brake through’
Francis Bacon. Attributed to Queen Elizabeth I

Posted by Lin Brocklehurst | Report as abusive

I’m sure the future will reveal that indeed, the price was too high…where politics usurps justice only bad things can emanate!

Posted by Jos | Report as abusive

I doubt that if one goes into the backgrounds of almost any major politician anywhere one will not find some accusations of corruption and manipulation. I doubt that Jacob Zuma is much worse than many, or most, of his colleagues – and he’s one of the few South African politicians to make sensible statements on the appalling situation in Zimbabwe. I suspect he’ll be a pragmatic, forthright leader who will, in effect, help South Africa progress if he wins the elections – at least I very much hope so.

Posted by graycarl | Report as abusive

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