Monday, July 31, 2006

Delayed Justice

Forgive the layman in me, but my assumption of the law (or my idea of justice) is that you are only charged with committing a crime when the State has amassed sufficient evidence to be convinced of your guilt. I am entirely sympathetic, and understand the frustration of his supporters, with Jacob Zuma's opposition to further delays of his corruption trial. If the evidence didn't stack up properly when he was charged he should never have been charged.

This Natal Witness Editorial correctly sums up the impact if this trial on our land.
Facing a decision that one way or the other will surely be a turning point in the nation’s political history, the judge has an almost awesome responsibility not to be swayed or cowed by the forces brought to bear on him. And, once justice is done and seen to be done, the verdict and all its implications must be respected.
With all of its sub-plots, this trial will ultimately be a test of South Africas young democracy and its ability to find and maintain the crucial balance between the executive, legislative and judicial arms of government to the satisfaction of its people.

Let's get on with it.


VallyP said...

I think that's often a problem with fledgling justice systems...accepting that either side hasn't done their homework sufficiently. They can't keep trying to hold up a case that has been shaky from the start..even IF the likelihood of guilt is strong, and I mean IF.

If we are all innocent until proven guilty, the onus is on the prosecution to provide that proof, but not to keep looking for evidence if they don't have enough to begin with. There is a greater danger there of trying to invent facts to fit the case- and that's hardly justice. Thanks for another good news link too. I like being able to keep up.

Third World Ant said...

I can't decide why it is I dislike JZ so intensely - am I being overly influenced by the distinctly anti-JZ media? Yes, he said some rather stupid things in his rape trial, but he was acquitted of rape, so I have to believe he was innocent of the crime...

If he is acquitted of the corruption charges (which I have to believe is unlikely, seeing Schabir Shaik wasn't), then he is presumably innocent there too (although a frightfully high number of criminal cases get thrown out for incorrect handling or evidence), and then I have no reason to dislike him so, do I?

Maybe I'm just an intellectual elitist, refusing to believe that a man without a Matric exemption is incapable of running the country, but surely I can't base my dislike on those grounds, either.

Can't put my finger on it just yet, but I will definitely not be a happy camper if he were chosen as the ANC (or Cosatu, if it comes to that) presidential candidate...

ATW said...

Ant - If you wanted to put your finger on something put it on the swagger of arrogance and a lack of humility that follows JZ around.