Sad for him but good for the Constitution - Madonsela on Zuma ruling
Thuli Madonsela penned the report, which led to the establishment of the commission of inquiry into state capture following claims that close associates of the then president were at the heart of grand scale looting of the country's state-owned enterprises.
JOHANNESBURG - Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on Tuesday said the judgment against former President Jacob Zuma showed that commissions were part and parcel of the architecture of democracy and the rule of law in the country.
Madonsela penned the report, which led to the establishment of the commission of inquiry into state capture following claims that close associates of the then president were at the heart of grand scale looting of the country's state-owned enterprises.
She said Tuesday's events were sad because a former president would have to go to jail for refusing to be held accountable. But she also acknowledged its worth celebrating that the rule of law still holds in this country.
The former Public Protector said the rebuke by the apex court was necessary.
“Because they are the ultimate guardians of the Constitution and the rule of law,” she said.
Madonsela also said the judgment affirmed the importance of commissions, saying they're complimentary to the rule of law and plugged in necessary gaps. When reflecting on Zuma’s fate, she said she felt sad for him but that he and his lawyers could have prevented this outcome.
“It's something that's a lesson for all of us to reason with our minds and not allow emotions to take over,” she said.
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MAC MAHARAJ RESPONDS
Meanwhile, ANC stalwart and one time spokesperson for the former president Mac Maharaj has described the court's judgment as a watershed moment for South Africa’s democracy and the end of a chapter of corruption and abuse of state power.
Speaking to the SABC on Tuesday night, Maharaj said there was overwhelming evidence that under Zuma’s administration, corruption developed to a point of becoming endemic in the country.
Maharaj said he quit his job speaking on behalf of Zuma when he realised the situation had become untenable. He said South Africa’s democracy had come under attack on Zuma’s watch.
“Our Constitution has been under threat and has taken a firm and unequivocal decision to defend its authority, to uphold the principles that all are equal before the law and to assert the supremacy of our Constitution,” he said.
At the same time, former director general in the office of the president Frank Chikane said anyone who was planning to break the law to make sure Zuma didn't hand himself over to the police by Sunday should be stopped.
Chikane, who is part of the "defend our democracy" campaign said no one should be allowed to trample on the Constitution.