South Africa: Most Fish Rot From the Head, but the NPA's Head Is Fresh - It's the Zuma Tail That Is Rotten


South Africa has taken an enormous battering to save the skin of one man, Jacob Zuma. Its legitimacy as a modern constitutional democracy under the rule of law needs to be restored now.

A galaxy of stars contributed an Op-ed to Daily Maverick in June under the auspicious title "We must develop governance game-changers for a post-Covid-19, post-Zuma recovery" (Tania Ajam, Pascal Moloi, Pali Lehola and Ivor Chipkin, DM 24 June 2020).

The thoughts they express and the suggestions they make are profound and timely. Their respective pedigrees demand that their views be accorded serious consideration. It is their fourth "game-changer" that is the topic of this gloss on their essay. They submit that "a reconstituted NPA could reel in some high-profile corruption arrests that could contribute towards rebuilding the legitimacy lost during the Zuma era."

On the assumption that the loss of legitimacy referred to is a reference to the failure of the state to uphold the rule of law and to implement the supremacy of the Constitution during the Jacob Zuma years, the reconstitution of the NPA is indeed critical to the future trajectory of the country. Loss of legitimacy impacts on business confidence; it scares off new...

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