Yadhana Jadoo
Political Editor
2 minute read
15 Apr 2016
8:25 am

Let me at least do the right thing

Yadhana Jadoo

More than a week ago, President Jacob Zuma stood in front of a nation and said “sorry” – but, in fact, it was more like “I’m sorry, but ...”

Zuma, you see, blamed his nonpayment of nonsecurity upgrades made to his Nkandla homestead on bad legal advice. I had been sitting through a rather disappointing sequel to My Big Fat Greek Wedding when the news broke: Zuma was to address the nation.

Popcorn discarded on the seat and soft drink in hand, I hurriedly made my way up the cinema stairs, dropping the beverage on the way. No time to pick it up, the “president” was to make an important announcement. Guilt-ridden from not picking up the drink, I asked a friend if I could watch the announcement on her DStv (I was recently disconnected due to my unapologetic addiction to Downton Abbey).

I made it to the friend’s house in the nick of time: Zuma had just taken the podium. With bated breath I waited for some indication that he was finally going to do the right thing.

“I have consistently stated that I would pay an amount towards the Nkandla nonsecurity upgrades once this had been determined by the correct authority,” Zuma said. “Our constitution commits us, individually and collectively, to build a nation based on the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom, through constitutionalism and the rule of law,” he added. I wish to thank the court for providing clarity which will have a positive impact on other Chapter 9 institutions.”

These are three pivotal things:

  • Zuma repeatedly in parliament called Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s remedial actions “recommendations” – almost sniggering as he did.
  • Zuma should take heed of the constitution which he did not respect and step down.
  • Thanking the court for its “clarity” through apparent bad legal advice is just not enough is it?

I should have stopped to pick up my spilled drink, it was the right thing to do. But alas, the tiny bit of me which thought the president may do the same, stopped me from doing so … I should have …