May 2, 2008

Accounting South Africa briefly

Filed under: Mwalimu (Vol 1.1. - First Quarter 2008) — newritings @ 12:52 pm

The arms deal continues to bedevil political life in South Africa, post Polokwane Conference of the ANC in December 2007. In the ensuing political dynamics, the politics of corruption is widely played out in the courts, impacting heavily within the ruling party.

The president of the ANC Jacob Zuma’s court case/s continue, whilst German newspapers are allegedly looking at the role of President Mbeki, when he was deputy president. The recent National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ANC agreed to get to the bottom of this all. What this means is difficult to know, but a friend suggested that this may be a matter of whether some persons took kickbacks for themselves (personal enrichment) or whether the ruling party benefitted.

In an interview with the BBCs Fergal Keane, Zuma stated that he was no crook and was fit to lead the country.

This is a snippet of how it went:

KEANE: Ethically and morally are you fit to lead this country?

ZUMA: Absolutely fit. Absolutely fit. I have been fit to fight for the freedom of this country. I have been fit to be in the ANC leadership as that thing happened when I’m already in the ANC leadership and I’m still fit, and I’ve got a better lesson to tell people, don’t commit the same mistake.

KEANE: But this is still a country where the powerful can be held to account. In 2005 Zuma’s financial advisor went to jail for his role in a corrupt arms deal with a foreign company. Now Zuma has been charged with corruption.

A lot of people think you’re a crook.

ZUMA: Is that so? (laugh) Ah huh, I want to see those people and government tell me why they think I’m a crook.

KEANE: Well there’s a whole army of prosecutors clearly think it.

ZUMA: Ah huh, is that so? Oh! Serious.

KEANE: Are you a crook?

ZUMA: Me?! What? I don’t know, unless I must go to the dictionary and learn what a crook is. I’ve never been a crook.

KEANE: Somebody who takes money from other people for corrupt purposes.

ZUMA: Have I ever done so?

KEANE: I’m asking you.

ZUMA: No. I think that’s a mistake you guys make, and I’ve said I currently have two trials, a trial by the media and then trial by court. I’m saying I’m not a crook, I have never been a crook. I will never be a crook.

Meanwhile, Commissioner of Police Jacob Selebi, reportedly a Mbeki supporter, has been charged by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and released from his duties as INTERPOL president. In a statement on 12 January 2008, noted that while “it would be inappropriate for INTERPOL to comment on the ongoing investigation in South Africa, it should be stated that President Selebi has significantly helped the organization and its member countries to enhance security and police co-operation worldwide.”

In the ensuing court appearance, Selebi was read the provisional charges: corruption, accepting bribes worth 1.2m rand ($160,000, £80,000) and defeating the course of justice. Various media agencies, in particular the Mail and Guardian, have written much about the chief of police and his friendship with convicted drug smuggler, Glen Agliotti. Agliotti is also facing a charge fort the murder of a prominent mining magnate.

And comrade Pîkoli, former head of the Prosecuting Authority who was suspended by Mbeki before Selebi was charged, has his matter being adjusticated by Frene Ginwala, respected ANC veteran and former speaker of Parliament. This is also a work in progress with one blogger asking when will it end?

1 Comment »

  1. […] — newritings @ 2:50 pm · Learning from each other – The interview: Hansjörg Elshort · The South African Update · The UN turns 60: UBUNTU’s Statement · The South African National Self–Assessment […]

    Pingback by Contents « newritings — May 2, 2008 @ 3:36 pm | Reply

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