Zuma's legacy down the drain with his struggle credentials

Zuma's legacy down the drain with his struggle credentials

Former president Jacob Zuma survived more than nine lives but civil society organisations believe the scandals faced by his presidency triumph's his role in the liberation of South Africa.

Zuma and Nelson
Government SA

The legacy of former presidents in South Africa have always been righteous. Nelson Mandela as the messiah of the world and Thabo Mbeki's praised for his silent diplomacy policy on Zimbabwe. 

History will not be kind to former president and struggle veteran, Jacob Zuma. His tenure in the highest office of the land had been bookmarked by widespread impropriety. 

To be fair, Zuma should be remembered for prioritising the roll out of ARV's, the National Development Plan devised to upscale and ensure an inclusive economy, but most importantly South Africa as partner to BRICS.

This will however not be the case. The Guptas, Eskom, Khwezi, the so-called Spy Tapes and state capture are some of the headlines Zuma featured in prominently during his presidency.

From struggle hero to possible convicted felon, Zuma's legacy might only be remembered by those who walk pass the huge bronze statue of him in Zimbabwe.

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Civil society organisations didn't blink on whether protection of prosecution should be awarded to the struggle veteran who paved the way for a democratic South Africa.

Zuma faces at least 783 counts of corruption, money laundering, fraud and other charges arising from the so called Spy Tapes - on which the NPA will pronounce later this month.

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation's executive director, Neeshan Balton believes Zuma's struggle credentials should play no role in his prosecution.

"When people like him and people like Madiba and Kathrada and others joined the struggle it wasn't to have reek any benefits and personal benefits to the extent that he has. I think struggle credentials must play no part in the execution of justice in this country. If he's found guilty, and sentenced to jail time, so be it."

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The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution's (CASAC) Lawson Naidoo admits that the notion of a former president connected to the liberation struggle sitting in jail does not sit well but "it shows the greatness of our Constitution; that nobody is above it." 

"It certainly does not look good but I think the necessity holding people to account regardless of the office they hold or may have held, is really what underpins the rule of law, is that nobody is above the law. Zuma used his tenure in office to protect himself to be hold legally accountable, I think time will catch up with him."

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The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse's (OUTA) Wayne Duvanage connected Zuma's legacy to a natural disaster which has caused the country irreparable harm. 

“We do need it. In other countries around the world where they tackle corruption seriously you can’t be half pregnant. You either do it properly or you don’t do it.”

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