South Africa: All Corrupt Presidents and Leaders Must Face Prosecution, No Matter Where They Are in the World

Screenshot of former president Jacob Zuma at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture (file photo)

Jacob Zuma is not the first, nor the last, former president to try to secure immunity from prosecution on corruption charges. The world is replete with corrupt and unaccountable leaders who thrive on dictatorial tendencies.

The beauty of discourse lies in opinion engendering debate and different views. My recent article in Daily Maverick on Jacob Zuma and dictators generated interesting reviews given the political landscape in South Africa. But, I may have been misunderstood by others or perhaps my viewpoint was shrouded in ambiguity. In particular, one comment reads as follows:

"A good article. I fail to see, however, why the author seems to think that this applied especially to Africa when we have leaders across the globe (Brazil, Philippines, Hungary et al), that are travelling the same path."

The crux of my article was that the "Zuma Theory of Dictatorship by Design", and his advocacy for "the political principle of blanket presidential impunity from prosecution", should never be allowed to fester in South Africa, or anywhere in the world for that matter. Reference to Africa as a "hotspot" for corrupt dictators and tyrants in no way suggested that imperial and corrupt leaders exist only in Africa. South Africa must...

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