Threats of violence don’t put Zuma above the law

Ideas

Threats of violence don’t put Zuma above the law

No-one wants another Marikana, but if he and his fans are not held to account lawlessness will continue unabated

Columnist

Former president Jacob Zuma is trying to stage-manage a “popular” uprising in his effort to instil fear into the hearts of the judiciary, ANC leaders and South Africans, and force a reversal of his 15-month jail sentence for contempt of court, handed down by the Constitutional Court.

Zuma, his strategists and allies are deliberately creating an atmosphere representing an uprising to supposedly demonstrate his popularity. At his press conference on Sunday he was portrayed as the “president” speaking to the “nation”, and as if he was still “president” of the ANC, rather than merely addressing his supporters.

Of course, Zuma had no compunction to deliberately instigate an uprising to prevent him from going to jail. He has thrived on his potential to unleash ethnic violence. During his campaign for the leadership of the ANC in the run-up to the party’s 2007 Polokwane conference, he allowed slogans such as “100% Zulu” to be bandied around by his supporters, mobilising isiZulu-speaking supporters behind him and portraying opposition to his bid for power as part of a conspiracy against a “Zulu” becoming president...

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