Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Was justice served in the Jacob Zuma rape trial?

Jacob Zuma sings "Leth'uMshini Wami" (bring me my machine gun) with his supporters Picture: Mail & Guardian
I believe so.

When the rape claims came to light, I posted that I found it unlikely that Mr Zuma's claims that the proven unprotected sex with the accuser had occurred in the course of an ongoing sexual relationship.

Since then I felt angry when the accuser's past sexual history was allowed into evidence. A very wise judge told the court that he had his reasons for allowing the evidence and as we heard the history of accusations against multiple people surface, including clergymen, I began to have my doubts.

And doubts are all that are required. The ultimate measure of whether justice has been done is when we put oursleves in the shoes of the accused and consider the evidence before the court. Would we have felt the judgement was fair?

So what of the conspiracy? I think it is unlikely that an accuser would go through the torture that has accompanied this trial for political masters. It is however likely that those unfriendly towards Mr Zuma encouraged an opportunistic prosecution. They more than us would have likely known Mr Zuma's cultural beliefs and believed that even if a conviction did not result, Mr Zuma was likely to be embarrassed.

So now we await Mr Zuma's trial for corruption. I'll await new facts and an interesting examination.

But Mr Zuma, you have coloured my perception of you with your anachronistic beliefs and chauvanist attitude. You have shamed men as you have sung your war songs with phallic symbolism. You and your supporters are may be loud and visible, but you represent an ugly side of mankind.

2 comments:

MOLEBATSI said...

Jacob Zuma has been acquited...he has apologised for what transpired between him and his accuser.He also apologised for his unfortunate statements during the trial.
Shouldn`t we rather await the outcome of the forthcoming trial before standing in judgement over this manner.And in the interim find out a little more about circumstances around these trials.

It is the question said...

I was abundantly clear that "I'll await new facts and an interesting examination."

As to "circumstances around these trials," I commented on the conspiracy theories above.

While Mr Zuma apologised for his statements during the trial, he stands now in front of the court of moral judgement - the public. My last paragraph specifically refers to his morals. He might be sorry for looking foolish in court, but he has shown no such sadness at saying that a woman's dress is a sexual invitation.

Indeed before this trial he has stood in favour of virginity testing and described homosexuality as a threat to the Zulu nation's rich moral teachings.

We are surely entitled to judge his integrity and moral fibre based on these facts.

Mr Zuma stated facts during the trial. We have every right and indeed obligation to judge his morals and fitness to stand as our representative in politics based on these facts. To not do so is to show blind faith and to cheapen the democratic freedom we now enjoy.