THE inevitable assault on the judiciary by the newly elected pro-Jacob Zuma ANC leadership has begun in earnest and it makes for frightening reading.
The ANC’s National Working Committee issued a statement to this effect: “The NWC discussed transformation and the need to restore the integrity of law enforcement units and the entire criminal justice system.”
It went on to say: “In this regard, the NWC was shocked that the chorus from opposition parties was joined by Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke on the occasion of his 60th birthday. His reported comment shows disdain for the delegates to the ANC National Conference, and highlights the difficulty that many within the judiciary appear to have in shedding their historical leanings and political orientation.”
Apparently Moseneke made the grievous error of stating publicly that he was not there to serve the interests of a political party.
Then the statement said: “The sudden withdrawal of charges against Scorpions Gauteng head Gerrie Nel raises a number of questions. The manner in which this case has been handled suggests that South Africa has a long way to go to achieve equality before the law. It strengthens suspicions that those who occupied positions in agencies of the former apartheid government can act with impunity while the offensive against cadres of the democratic movement is intensified. This brings into sharp relief the transformation of state agencies.”
The statement is evidence that the ANC is deliberately seeking to politicise the judiciary, laying the groundwork for “transformation” which will amount to an effort to reduce its ability to preside over matters involving political figures from the ruling party.
This does not bode well for the criminal justice system and suggests that we are entering a new era where party and state are inseparable. Be afraid.
Mr Hartley, this is a worrying development indeed. There are a few puzzling things about this development nonetheless that I would like to share. There is a schizophrenia about it!!
Let me explain:
-The JZ camp all along has been saying they want JZ to have his day in court.
-The JZ camp drums up support for legal fees which we largely be used to prevent JZ from getting his day in court!!!
-The JZ camp want the Scorpions disbanded largely because they are charging JZ.
-The JZ camp loudly applauds the same Scorpions who are arresting Jacob Selebi who happens to be an TM ally.
-The JZ camp loudly accuse the judge (and the judiciary) of bias and being apartheid influenced in the Schabir Shaik trial for being biased when he throws the same SS in jail for 15 years.
-The JZ camp loudly applauds the judge (and the judiciary) when the case against JZ is struck off the roll in PMBurg last year.
I have just been wondering to myself as a result what to make of this lot. Should we really be as worried as we are or should we just chill whilst the patient sorts out ‘his’ schezophrenia?
Just a thought.