Ramaphosa in quandary over Zuma snub
By John Eche
Buffeted by troubles on all sides, South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa is presently in a fresh quandary over the snub on the nation’s judicial authorities by former President Jacob Zuma.
Zuma, who had been summoned to help in the resolution of an inquiry into acts of corruption perpetrated during his tenure as President, had walked out on the inquiry after unsuccessfully getting its chairman, Judge Raymond Zondo to recuse himself.
Zuma is accusing the judge of bias and insisting that he would not get a fair chance to present his submissions under the circumstance.
Ramaphosa, who is grappling with an economy that is in very parlous state and very high COVID-19 infection rates even amid continuing clamour from the South African streets that he should take even more steps to confront and decisively curb the corruption and graft that has been associated with the ruling African National Congress, ANC for very many years now, is now on the spot as to how to respond to the current snub from Zuma.
Though the South African judiciary is relatively independent and fairly vibrant, observers say that this would however not insulate President Ramaphosa from censure should he not take the right steps in response to the current snub.
However, part of the challenge, polity watchers say have to do with the fact that many Zuma loyalists continue to hold top positions in the ruling party and government, a factor that they say remains a check on Ramaphosa even as he faces severe pressure from the streets on account of his performance on the job this far.
The Difference has learnt that even before the current development, no fewer than 34 witnesses have pointed accusing fingers at the former president, though he vehemently insists that he has no case to answer.
One of the perplexing developments in the saga is that Zondo has headed the judicial inquiry commission since it was set up in early 2018, and even when Zuma was still in office.
This has therefore prompted some to conclude that Zuma is only now using delaying tactics to dodge questions relating to alleged acts of corruption that had reportedly taken place from 2009 to 2018.
Former President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma