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Jacob Zuma: How long are we going to let a single individual continue to make total fools out of us?

Former president Jacob Zuma. File image.

Former president Jacob Zuma. File image.

Published Sep 4, 2021


Johannesburg - So, for 10 points, was anyone surprised when uBaba refused to allow doctors appointed by the NPA to examine him? What’s going to be just as predictable is that Jacob Zuma will be convicted of contempt once again – because his last sick note ruse from his prison hospital bed was predicated on the State being allowed to have him checked out by doctors they chose, which his lawyers agreed to.

What’s just as predictable is the spin that his spokesperson, formerly known as Jimmy, has been applying. Forget the race card, this is the Jacob Zuma card. What he and his fellow travellers forget though is that it’s actually not always about Accused No 1, even when it looks like it is.

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Employers have the right to get their employees to be checked out by independent doctors – especially when it comes to benefits like sick leave that mysteriously kicks in on Fridays and Mondays, or when a person is applying to be “boarded“ and get a medical pension.

It’s even more important where a person is due in court on criminal charges. It’s not actually about Zuma, it’s about Schabir Shaik who is living testimony to the Lazarus-like qualities of golf course rest on medical parole, unlike Jackie Selebi and Clive Derby-Lewis who actually died after being released.

It’s important not just for the administration of the law that Zuma is examined by different doctors, but for the maintenance of our credibility. His current bunch are all of the dog ate my homework variety. If you’re going to bullshit us, give it your best shot, don’t spin a tale of vague emergency procedures that have been postponed for the last 18 months, but now need to be carried out.

Whatever ailment Zuma has, the fact that nothing untoward has befallen him thus far, should suggest he’ll be good enough for the next 18 months. If he gets it right though, which he probably will, you can only imagine the headaches the HR departments are going to have across the country. Just like Meghan Markle’s "truth“, and Covid-19 conspiracies, we can basically start writing our own sick notes without fear of being challenged.

The phrase, second opinion, was coined for medical cases, it’s what we do when we are unsure of a diagnosis. Zuma won’t allow the State a second opinion on his medical condition, yet his Stalingrad defence was premised not just on a single second legal opinion, but on every single one his legal team could find until they ran out of courts and judges.

It’s time to bring him to court – or Zoom the proceedings into his hospital bed. The only problem is the NPA tried that last time, because of Covid-19, but Zuma didn’t want that. He wanted his day in court – the same man who was scared of going to jail because of the same risk, but still hosted a mass, unmasked gathering at his homestead beforehand.

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How long are we going to let a single individual continue to make total fools out of the other 59 999 999 South Africans?

The Saturday Star

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Jacob Zuma