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The big story: Zuma: The ghost of our past, present and future

The year is 2100. The world has ended. The seas have risen. Cockroaches are now the main sentient life form – and one of them is creating a news update for The Wrap on former South African president Jacob Zuma’s latest attempt to avoid court. 🙈

That’s honestly how we feel every time we have to tell you about ANOTHER development in the Man From Nkandla’s legal battle. Will it ever end? Why do we even have to keep talking about this? 

As much as we’d ALL LIKE TO MOVE ON, telling you how his legal battles are playing out is part of accountability and justice being served. It’s a bit like a rash that won’t stop itching until you remedy it.😆

This week, Zuma’s decades-old arms deal case was set to go ahead before the Pietermaritzburg High Court. Zuma, as you know, is facing 16 charges of fraud, corruption and racketeering related to the arms deal, which dates back to the 1990s. Zuma appeared virtually but the case was – yet again – postponed, this time to August. Zuma applied for a postponement because proceedings were being held virtually; they sort of had to be … he’s in jail!.  

Speaking of that, in a separate legal matter, we’re waiting to hear the Constitutional Court’s decision to effectively free Zuma from prison. The highest court in the land heard an exhausting ten hours (Dali Mpofu was A LOT) of argument last week to “rescind” Zuma’s 15-month sentence, related to refusing to appear before the state capture inquiry about how he allegedly sold the country to the Guptas. 🙄 The court has reserved its judgment, so Zuma stays in jail. 

Zuma’s successor, though, is on a legal roll. The Economic Freedom Fighters lost their bid this week to have bank records for Cyril Ramaphosa’s 2017 ANC election campaign made public. This is another legal victory for Ramaphosa, after a Constitutional Court ruling earlier this month confirmed that public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report into the whole business was basically nonsense. As we’ve said before, the whole CR17 spat has been just another political battle, so this is fine. But the larger issue is that politicians really should disclose the funds they get to run internal campaigns. 😕 

This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 22 July 2021. Sign up to receive our weekly updates.