*The mandamus of our constitutional court must hold*
The circus that was ended in a rather tame end – Jacob Zuma meekly handing himself in to the South African Police Services for incarceration.
While the country was on the brink of violence in the last week, as intimated by his supporters, we cannot seek pleasure in the shenanigans that went on.
The country was on the precipice of both a constitutional and political crisis – ironically brought on by a man who once swore allegiance to the very constitution.
The country was spellbound, disgusted, apprehensive and a whole plethora of emotions were stirred up as Zuma played legal gymnastics, showing disdain for the law and behaving like a little brat about to be spanked for being naughty.
His bravado eventually succumbed to what we all hoped for – that in a constitutional democracy, no one is above the law – not even a man who once held the highest office in the land.
But this is a sad day for South Africa.
While there will be divided opinion on Zuma’s arrest across South Africa, we cannot lose sight of the fact that here was a man whose zest for power, the very abuse of such power and the tragic manner in which he tried to hold the country to ransom could have plunged all of us into a spiral of violence and for what good reason.
That our law held firm in the end – albeit revealing glaring chinks in its armoury, we can be grateful that it escaped relatively unscathed – all said and done.
The manner in which this debacle unfolded should never have been – it lessened many people’s belief that our law can sustain an unprecedented onslaught upon its very foundation and that the rule of law is the cornerstone in any constitutional democracy – but it did prevail.
Not because Jacob Zuma played all his cards poorly in a losing hand, but because a sturdy constitutional democracy can and shall overcome and that the will of the people shall prevail.
This game is by no means over – Zuma will continue to posture his geriatric madness – make no mistake about that, and together with his ever-willing but highly questionable advocate, Dali Mpofu, whose legal prowess or a despairing lack thereof that leaves much to be desired, we may be in for some real funnies in the days ahead.
However, the mandamus of the Constitutional Court, in my opinion, will hold as that is the only way we will survive these turbulent times.
But when the story is eventually told, it will reveal a sad part of our history, amongst many sad parts – that we almost capitulated to the ego and desperation of one man, who arguably has done more harm to tarnish a beautiful country than any other in our new found democracy.
South Africa has a lot to introspect – a lot to change and a lot to be grateful for, but for the time being, the muddy waters seems to have cleared, if only for a while.
Global Indian Correspondent – South Africa
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