EDITORIAL | Zuma has the last chuckle as SA’s laws are chucked ...

Ideas

EDITORIAL | Zuma has the last chuckle as SA’s laws are chucked into the trash

His release might be a godsend for Cyril Ramaphosa, but it proves all are not equal before the law in SA

Editorial

In SA we have a constitution, the law, parliament, a prosecuting authority, a president and even a public protector to watch over it all. And then we have Arthur Fraser, the real power it seems, a spy extraordinaire who has the last word. He is back in the spotlight, a familiar place given he has been at the centre of the drama and scandal unfolding around former president Jacob Zuma for more than a decade. From all accounts Fraser is untouchable, and this week he tested the limits of his powers, if there are any, by summarily freeing Zuma from jail. Thus ended one of the shortest and strangest incarcerations in our history, and another incredible chapter in Fraser’s life story.

It is claimed, but not proved, that Fraser was the source of the notorious “Spy Tapes'', which inspired the claim that Zuma was being targeted by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for political purposes, and which formed the basis for the decision to drop charges against him relating to the arms deal. This opened Zuma’s way to the presidency after his victory at the ANC’s Polokwane conference in 2007. Those charges have since been reinstated and are now the subject of another, separate legal battle.

The Zondo commission on state capture heard damning testimony from former spooks against Fraser, including that R125m was unaccounted for in 2017/18 from the State Security Agency (SSA) while Fraser was director-general. The commission also heard that he approved an operation to infiltrate the ANC’s 2017 Nasrec conference, at which President Cyril Ramaphosa prevailed over the Zuma-aligned faction. Fraser has hit back with perjury charges at those claims...

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