One of the most delicious – or sour, depending on your view – political ironies at the moment is Jacob Zuma’s use (some might say abuse) of the judicial system to further delay him accounting for his actions … actions which have got the country into the mess it is in.
Having announced he will appeal last week’s high court judgment, which removed his power to appoint the national director of public prosecutions (NDPP), Zuma will no doubt move on to appeal against this week’s similar shattering court pronouncements against him.
Those latter findings halted his stalling on the release of the public protector’s report on state capture, they prevented him from appointing a judge to head a commission of inquiry into state capture – and they forced him to pay from his own pocket the cost of the court-delaying actions he has embarked on.
The irony is that Zuma and his coterie of hangers-on (the “Guptabots”, if you like) have been setting their sights on the judiciary, accusing it of “overreach” by allegedly meddling in areas which are the preserve of the executive.
Interestingly, there have been no, or muted, comments about the judiciary being a hangover of apartheid – which would be difficult, given that the majority of judges giving Zuma a dressing down are black.
Yet, even though Zuma and his allies may like to believe our judges are “captured” by “white monopoly capital”, they have no hesitation in using those judges – and the law – in a deliberate and cynical way to further delay judgment day for Number One.
While we, as citizens, may cry in anguish: “How much more do we have to take?”, the answer is that the law must take its course. It may be Zuma’s raincoat now, but our judges have shown that, given time, it will be his straight-jacket.