Zuma farce now turns absurd
Unsurprisingly, the ANC sees nothing wrong with the latest farcical scenes in the Jacob Zuma soap opera. Without any sense of irony, the organisation said Zuma is “a law-abiding citizen who has consistently respected the courts and submitted himself to judicial processes”.
This respect for SA’s legal system saw the apex court, the Constitutional Court, ruling that he had acted unconstitutionally as the president in failing to honour public protector Thuli Madonsela’s ruling that he pay back part of the more than R260 million spent by government on upgrading his expansive homestead in Nkandla.
While he continues to say he only wants his day in court to answer charges of corruption in relation to the arms deal in the ’90s, Zuma has been using every legal opportunity over the past 15 years to avoid standing before a judge on those allegations.
His conduct has become known as the Stalingrad defence, after the drawn-out, street-by-street campaign the Soviets fought to prevent the Germans from capturing Stalingrad in World War II.
Eventually, though, as the legal avenues are fought over and then abandoned, it is inevitable that the absurd should be the next line of defence. And that is what people saw this week when a bizarre sick note was produced by Zuma’s lawyers to postpone the court appearance for a further few months.
There were questions about who signed the note (on an official military form) and whether the note exceeded what it was entitled to do, both legally and in terms of medical ethics.
Now, there have been reports of Zuma being treated in Cuba for some undisclosed “serious illness”, even as the public saw a hale and hearty Zuma riding a quadbike at Nkandla.
We have a feeling there will be more of these shenanigans in the future.