Zuma imprisonment not time to celebrate but lesson on rule of law: Archbishop Thabo Makgoba

Former South African President Jacob Zuma sits in the dock after recess in his corruption trial in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa on Tuesday (PHOTO: Reuters/ sabc.com)

Originally published in sabcnews.com

The imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma is not the time to celebrate but to teach citizens about the rule of law and the values of the Constitution, says Anglican Archbishop of Southern Africa, Thabo Makgoba.

Makgoba says while it’s sad and painful for a person to go to jail, he had prayed that the day would not arrive for Zuma to defy the court as the State Capture Commission needed to hear his side of the story.

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Makgoba says he plans to visit Zuma in jail if he is allowed.

“I will as I earlier said enquire and if apt as scripture compels me when Jesus asks I was hungry did you feed me? I was in prison, did you visit me? And indeed if allowed, I will pay him a pastoral visit in jail,” says Makgoba.

“It is not time for celebration. It is the time for teaching South Africans about the rule of law, about the values of the constitution and about the tenets of the constitution,” he added.

Zuma was treated fairly — Modonsela

Former Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, says Zuma was treated fairly throughout his court processes, but decided to act arrogantly hoping that the law will be on his side.

Her remark follows Zuma’s claims that the country’s judiciary is against him. He has publicly criticised the judges, saying they want to see him languishing in jail. Zuma handed himself to the Correctional Facilities on Wednesday night to serve his 15-month prison for disobeying a Constitutional Court order.

Madonsela says Zuma was given many chances to present his case, but ignored the processes.

“The Constitutional Court itself treated him fairly to the point of even when he totally disregarded its process. The Constitutional Court wrote to former President Zuma to ask his comments on possible sentencing. He once more treated it with utmost contempt. I don’t think he has been treated differently from anyone from other people and negatively,” says the former Public Protector.

More sympathetic to masses who suffered under Zuma rule — Maimane

One South Africa leader Mmusi Maimane, says he is far more sympathetic to the millions of South African’s who had to suffer because of maladministration rather than Zuma serving a jail term.

“I think that many people feel sympathetic to see Mr. Zuma go to jail. I’m much more sympathetic towards the people who are suffering as a result of mismanagement of our country. Are suffering as a result of corruption, without jobs, healthcare and ultimately sitting here today without education, thanks to the administration that he led. so to me, it’s not just a question of justice, it’s about affirming that south africa has a future of constitutional democracy,” he says.

One Comment

  1. Hugh G Wetmore

    ArchbishopTMakgoba is so right. The principle of THE RULE OF LAW is taught in 1 Samuel 10:25. In an era when Kings were Despots, God wants The People to know that the King is UNDER regulations and cannot do as he pleases. He must obey the regulations the Sovereign God puts on him, and rule accordingly. These regulations are permanent, “written in a scroll”, and they are sacrosanct “deposited before Yahweh”, who will hold the King accountable to obey them. In the drama played out in our courts and jail today, we must remember this principle of THE RULE OF LAW, knowing that our sovereign God will hold our Government responsible to rule according to His unchangeable ‘regulations’, summed up in Jeremiah 23,24 and in over 100 similar Scriptures e.g. Matt 23:23.