DOES ZUMA DESERVE AN APOLOGY?
The full page article in The Citizen written by Steven Motale on Wednesday 12 August 2015 is at best misleading and in certain aspects incorrect.
He poses the question “Was Zuma actually found guilty of corruption?” No he was not however, after publicly stating that he “wanted his day in court” in fact he has spent 6 years running from the 783 counts of corruption, fraud and racketeering that are hanging over his head. In fact he has spent the six years planning and scheming on how to politically destroy any person or organ of state that tries to get him to court.
Why should we have to apologise to a person who has tried to mislead the public and parliament by stating that the Public Protector never said that “The Public Protector has not said ‘pay back the money’. The Public Protector has said because there was in her view undue benefits to the family and myself, she thinks this money might be paid back, but it should be determined by the minister of police.”?
This is incorrect the report actually says “the president should determine ‘the reasonable cost of the measures implemented by the DPW [department of public works] at his private residence that do not relate to security’, assisted by the treasury and the South African Police Service”. The President has instead chosen his handpicked Minister of Police to do this evaluation, this is a major difference to SAPS and the treasury.
Misleading the house a serious matter.
Why should we apologise to a person under whose leadership the Executive facilitated the escape of Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir from South Africa on 15 June 2015 in direct contravention of a court order issued by the North Gauteng High Court. This is a clear violation of the President’s oath to “obey, observe, uphold and maintain the Constitution and all other laws of the Republic,” this is an offence for which the President can be impeached in terms of section 89(1)(a) of the Constitution?
No one is allowed to contravene a court order in South Africa, not even the President there were other legal means that could have been applied if the government was unhappy with the court’s ruling.
Why should we have to apologise to a president who does not know what his cabinet ministers are doing?
This happened on Thursday in Parliament when the president proclaimed that he was unaware that one of his cabinet had simply withdrawn the operating licence from a mine whose labour policies displeased him. He replied, in apparent ignorance of the situation: “The minister has not reported this to me. I am not aware of this decision. I cannot answer this question because I don’t have the report,”
Again responding to the question about illicit financial flows, including the issue affecting Lonmin, the president responded: “The government does not interfere with private sector business.” The answer is inconceivable considering that the potential involvement of Lonmin in illicit financial flows was one of the aspects covered by the Farlam Commission into Marikana – whose report Zuma has been “applying his mind to” for several months.
Yet again President Jacob Zuma also had no knowledge of the incident just over a month ago in which one of the most senior figures in his cabinet accused the judiciary of producing biased judgments. Police Minister Nhleko is reported as having told senior managers of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) that “some elements of the judiciary meet with characters to produce certain judgments.” He added that this practice was becoming a common feature in the judiciary. Zuma replied: “It’s literally the first time I hear of it.”
Why should we have to apologise to a President who makes the absurd remark that that South Africa was getting along just fine and that “this is a well-governed country”?
Ø In my opinion no country is well governed where the head of state has to say “I did not know” to important matters of state;
Ø No country is well governed when unemployment rises by 321 000 in six month;
Ø No country is well governed when it is destroying an important industry, like tourism, through over regulation, the visa debacle;
Ø No country is well governed when it is unable to meet its electricity requirements;
No Mr Motale we do not owe President Zuma an apology.
Motale further alleges a case of corruption against the DA Mayor of Drakenstein to secure his farm. He read it in an unnamed local newspaper. Because he did not read it in any national newspaper, including the one he edits, he claims “the story was killed”. Once again he is disingenuous if there was any substance in the allegation many anti DA publications would have carried the item especially the Cape Times or New Age. Probably some journalists of integrity investigated the matter and found it to be without substance.
As for his comment that people ‘pour scorn on the New Nation because it is pro-government” this too is incorrect they are scorned because of the large amount of taxpayers’ money is paid to the to host business breakfasts and for government advertisements when the have a minimal circulation compared to other newspapers, even the Citizen. Perhaps the Citizen has been promised an increased share of this income for publishing the apology to President Zuma!
Furthermore, Motale implies that his predecessor was a DA deployee because he has since his retirement been elected a DA city councillor. This is most disingenuous he should know that the DA does not have the opportunity or ability to appoint staff at the Citizen – how about an apology to both the DA and your predecessor.
Not only has Motale attacked the DA with no evidence but he attacked, Max du Preez accusing him of misquoting the Judge Squires judgement “that there was a generally corrupt relationship between Shaik and Zuma. However if my memory serves me correctly he quoted the judgment of a full bench of the Supreme Court of Appeal, read by its President, Judge CT Howie, on 6 October 2006 which called the relationship between Zuma and Shaik “a sustained corrupt relationship” and “an overriding corrupt relationship” – how about an apology to Max du Preez?
It so sad to see journalism in the Citizen descend to this low level.
Until next time,
NOTE: This is a letter that I sent to the citizen but it was not published.
This newsletter is published by Clive Hatch former Leader of the Opposition in the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature and former DA Provincial Leader. These views are my personal views and do not represent those of any other person or organisation.