Former South African President Jacob Zuma appears before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture in Johannesburg. Picture: Pool via Reuters

Johannesburg - According to political analysts, there are pros and cons to the decision by former public administration minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi not to legally force former President Jacob Zuma to prove that indeed he was a spy during the fight against apartheid.

Seasoned KZN-based political analyst, Dr Protas Madlala, said the allegations are serious and the former minister must clear his name through the courts. He said for Zuma to make these allegations shows he had thought hard about the decision before speaking out. 

“If Zuma made up stories against him, he must try to clear his name because he defamed him. In the past, people who were labelled as spies were killed. This is going to stick with him and he will carry it around with people constantly asking him about it. So I think it is not wise (not to take the matter to court),’ Madlala said.

Madlala said allegations are easy to stick if you do not challenge your accuser and made an example of Zuma who once threatened to sue the author of the book titled 'The President’s Keepers' but did not. 

“So Ramatlhodi must act. Remember that Zuma has been patient and at some point he even threatened to speak out one day, so I don’t think he made these allegations before thinking hard about it. He once headed the intelligence unit. It come to a point where Zuma said enough is enough and let me speak out,” he added. 

Another analyst Xolani Dube, believes that one of the cons of not taking Zuma to court is it would be a waste of time. He believes that even though Ramatlhodi does not have much of a public reputation to defend, not taking Zuma to court will be become cumbersome. 

“Is Zuma going to reconstruct that information? It’s just a mirage and I think for him not going to court is one of the things he should not do because it will just be a waste of time. I also think he is trying to protect the ANC by not plunging it into further divisions by not going to court where certain things might revealed,” Dube said. 

Political Bureau