Zuma waves his middle finger, plus five highlights from 'Vrye Weekblad'

Here's what's hot in the latest edition of the Afrikaans digital weekly

20 November 2020 - 07:44
Former president Jacob Zuma at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry, before he left the building.
Former president Jacob Zuma at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry, before he left the building.

The architect of SA's Nine Lost Years sat in front of Judge Raymond Zondo on Thursday like a male lion pushed out by his tribe and waved an unsteady middle finger to the law.

This will be his legacy: he ruined the country and allowed it to be bankrupted by thieves, and refused to take responsibility for any of it.

But he is mistaken if he thinks his legal woes are over.

This is Zondo's dilemma: If he lets Zuma get away with ignoring a summons to appear in front of the commission of inquiry into state capture by walking out without the chair's permission, others can do the same. But if he requests a warrant of arrest for Zuma, this whole saga will be drawn out and Zuma and his fans will use it as proof that there is a vendetta against him.

Now is not the time for the judiciary to be forgiving towards manipulators.

Read more about this and more news and analysis in this week's issue of Vrye Weekblad.

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Zuma has been playing cat-and-mouse games with the legal system for about 15 years and has refused to respond to requests and summonses from the commission for more than a year.

His era of state capture cost the country an estimated R1.5 trillion, according to Treasury, and the long-term damage is immeasurable. On his watch, corruption spread like wildfire, institutions were hijacked and billions were stolen.

More than 40 witnesses at the commission have pointed a finger at him and he was supposed to respond.

That seems unlikely to happen, meaning he and his cronies will forever discredit Zondo's report because Zuma “never had his say”.

The nearly 79-year-old former president is in court again next year though, on corruption charges — 15 years after he was charged the first time.

Must-read articles in this week's Vrye Weekblad

SOME SAFFERS' 'WHITE MESSIAH' | In true Robert Mugabe-style, Donald Trump is refusing to let go of power. What is it about this zef power monkey that some white South Africans find so attractive? 

FREE TO READ — COVID Q&A | We got answers to 11 Covid-19 questions, such as if and when SA will get vaccines, and why they need to be kept so cold.

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN ETHIOPIA? | Less than a year after winning the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in making peace with Eritrea, Ethiopian premier Abiy Ahmed's government has launched a full-scale military offensive against his own people in Tigray.

THE PRICE OF DA LEADERSHIP | What is a leadership position in the DA worth, we wonder, after the alleged murder plot involving two members in the party's leadership battle in the Western Cape.

#BOEKBEDONNERD | This week, we are reading six non-fiction works.