'No-one is above the law': Thuli Madonsela slams Zuma’s 'shocking behaviour'

08 February 2021 - 12:42
Former public protector Thuli Madonsela spoke out about former president Jacob Zuma's attitude towards the state capture inquiry.
Former public protector Thuli Madonsela spoke out about former president Jacob Zuma's attitude towards the state capture inquiry.
Image: Esa Alexander

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela has expressed dismay at former president Jacob Zuma's “behaviour” regarding the state capture inquiry, labelling it as “shocking” and inexcusable.

Speaking on Newzroom Afrika on Sunday, Madonsela said Zuma's public stance to defy the Constitutional Court order for him to appear at the inquiry was a first of its kind from any SA president, current or former, under a new constitution.

She added that no excuse could be acceptable for defying the law and that Zuma was not above it.

“There are many people who are not happy with being dragged to court but because no-one is above the law, everyone goes through the courts and trusts that if one court gets it wrong, the next one will fix it,” she said.

Madonsela said Zuma was the reason the inquiry was established in 2018, largely because of the allegations levelled against him.

SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi also weighed in on Zuma, saying he must “stop believing that he’s more important than all other South Africans”.

Vavi told eNCA that Zuma's defiance could set a precedent that would lead the country astray.

Zuma is as important as any other grade 1 student in this country.
Zwelinzima Vavi

“Once he succeeded to blackmail the country into accepting that he is above the law, the constitution and its people, there will be loads of other people who share a common fear of the law with him who will stand in the queue and say, 'we also must be made an exception because, like him, we have a record of struggle against apartheid'," said Vavi.

Vavi disapproved of President Cyril Ramaphosa's statement that Zuma needed to be given more time to think carefully about his decision.

“President Ramaphosa’s statement, with due respect, it’s ridiculous. Which other South Africans when defying the apex court of the land will be given an opportunity to think about it? Who else will have that privilege?” asked Vavi.

No South African would want to turn the clock backward to pre-1994 where other citizens were more equal than others. Zuma is as important as any other grade 1 student in this country. He must stop believing that he’s more important than all other South Africans.”


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