An Awol witness should not hold us in his thrall

22 November 2020 - 00:00 By SUNDAY TIMES EDITORIAL

Former president Jacob Zuma's departure from the Zondo commission this week was a breathtaking "up yours" to the whole democracy project of which he claims to have been so important a part. It's a spectacular middle finger to the constitution, the rule of law, the ethics of public office and, ultimately, to the people of SA. And, let's not forget, an act of rank rudeness to his "friend", deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo.

Instructively, and at odds with the legendary courage he professes to possess, Zuma's slinking out of the commission was done behind Zondo's back. Perhaps even Zuma could not face Zondo, and invite the contrast between his behaviour and the calm dignity and sense of public duty that has characterised Zondo's chairing of the commission. And for Zondo, all this while having to face a procession of rogues and charlatans and professional shoulder-shruggers, whose evidence raises serious questions about the quality of public service and the deleterious effect that the ANC's policy of cadre deployment has had on our public institutions and their governance. On Zuma's watch...

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