Ex-pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma this week un­der­mined the con­sti­tu­tion and rule of law in an ad­dress at the Wal­ter Sisulu Univer­sity and is prov­ing him­self to be a po­lit­i­cal sabo­teur with only his own in­ter­ests at heart, say an­a­lysts.

The Citizen (Gauteng) - - FRONT PAGE - Eric Naki – er­icn@cit­i­zen.co.za

‘JZ is a lame-duck. He is try­ing to be rel­e­vant. But he is an out­law.’

Ja­cob Zuma is “an out­law” and it should have come as no sur­prise this week when the ex-pres­i­dent un­der­mined the con­sti­tu­tion and rule of law in pub­lic.

Not only that, but he is prov­ing him­self a po­lit­i­cal sabo­teur by “stok­ing the fires” of dis­sent within the ANC, ac­cord­ing to lead­ing po­lit­i­cal an­a­lysts.

Mce­bisi Ndletyana said Zuma’s state­ments are part of his historic ha­tred for the rule of law and his habit of un­der­min­ing South Africa’s con­sti­tu­tion.

“JZ is a lame-duck. He is try­ing to be rel­e­vant. But he is an out­law, I have never met an out­law who likes the law. So let’s not be sur­prised when he con­tin­ues to un­der­mine the law and the con­sti­tu­tion,” said Ndletyana.

He was re­act­ing to re­ports about the ex-pres­i­dent con­duct­ing a se­ries of “po­lit­i­cal lec­tures” to stu­dents at var­i­ous uni­ver­si­ties on top­ics in­clud­ing free ed­u­ca­tion, but where he also crit­i­cised the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into state cap­ture.

Speak­ing at the Wal­ter Sisulu Univer­sity this week, Zuma out­lined his be­lief that a “con­sti­tu­tional democ­racy” (as we cur­rently have) was not as ef­fec­tive as a “par­lia­men­tary democ­racy” in al­low­ing the will of the peo­ple to be done.

Zuma said that, with a con­sti­tu­tion, “any NGO can go to court” and use the con­sti­tu­tion to halt gov­ern­ment pro­grammes. This would not hap­pen in a par­lia­men­tary democ­racy with­out a con­sti­tu­tion, be­cause the ma­jor­ity vote would carry the day, he added.

Zuma then went on to deny that state cap­ture ex­isted be­cause none of the three arms of the state – the leg­is­la­ture, ex­ec­u­tive and the ju­di­ciary – were cap­tured.

Ndletyana said Zuma was can­vass­ing sup­port that he would use should the Com­mis­sion of In­quiry into State Cap­ture come up with ad­verse find­ings against him.

“He is in trou­ble with his court case and a lot of rev­e­la­tions that had come and are still to come from the in­quiry.

“There is like­li­hood that the com­mis­sion’s find­ings will vil­ify him and he is try­ing to counter any pub­lic per­cep­tion or re­sent­ments that is go­ing to en­sue af­ter the com­mis­sion re­leases its re­port,” Ndletyana said.

An­a­lyst Ralph Mathekga – au­thor of the new book Ramaphosa’s Turn, said: “He is stok­ing fires within the party [ANC]. He is strength­en­ing his po­lit­i­cal cam­paign against the ad­verse find­ings against him. He is very self­ish in all this.”

In 2016 Zuma was found by the Con­sti­tu­tional Court to have failed to up­hold and de­fend the con­sti­tu­tion and to have breached his oath of of­fice by re­fus­ing to com­ply with for­mer pub­lic pro­tec­tor Thuli Madon­sela’s re­me­dial ac­tion on the Nkandla is­sue.

But he es­caped a pos­si­ble im­peach­ment when the rul­ing ANC de­fended him and even threat­ened to dis­ci­pline its MPs who planned to vote him out via a mo­tion of no con­fi­dence in par­lia­ment.

An­a­lyst Levy Ndou said Zuma’s claim that state cap­ture did not ex­ist was meant to con­vince the stu­dents that he was in­no­cent.

“If state cap­ture did not ex­ist, why is there a com­mis­sion on state cap­ture? Why did the for­mer pub­lic pro­tec­tor come up with a re­port on state cap­ture?

“Zuma wants to gal­vanise sym­pa­thy and in the process wants to point a fin­ger at some­one as be­ing re­spon­si­ble for his sit­u­a­tion,” said Ndou.

He added that Zuma was wrong for try­ing to im­pli­cate the ANC or cer­tain in­di­vid­u­als for putting him in the mess he was in re­gard­ing state cap­ture al­le­ga­tions and cor­rup­tion charges.

“In­stead of deal­ing with the Demo­cratic Al­liance, which brought back the charges against him, he be­lieves that peo­ple within the ANC are to blame.

“He has a ten­dency to por­tray him­self as a vic­tim when he faces crim­i­nal charges,” Ndou said.

The an­a­lyst said Zuma’s lec­tures were noth­ing but a ploy for him to stay in the lime­light.

“He finds it dif­fi­cult to get out of the pub­lic space that he is used to,” said Ndou.

Ac­cord­ing to Ndou, Zuma did this with his then rape charge and the first time he was charged for cor­rup­tion re­lat­ing to the arms deal.

“He is in a tight cor­ner. The charges [cor­rup­tion, fraud and money laundering] that em­anated from the arms deal have been re­in­stated.

“Also, his son, Duduzane, is fac­ing a num­ber of chal­lenges legally and still has to ap­pear be­fore the com­mis­sion re­gard­ing his al­leged in­volve­ment in state cap­ture,” he said.

The an­a­lyst said Zuma de­lib­er­ately preached to the stu­dents that he brought free ed­u­ca­tion as if this was his per­sonal mat­ter when, in fact, free ed­u­ca­tion was an ANC pol­icy.

Pic­ture: Neil Mc­Cart­ney

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