South Africa: Mogoeng's Opening Zuma Gambit Could Be the Best Tactical Move of the Game

ANC flag (file photo).
analysis

The Chief Justice has put former president Jacob Zuma on the back foot in his stand-off with the Zondo Commission. In a case this important, his action could be the masterstroke that changes the political and legal equations around the issue.

The decision by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng to ask former president Jacob Zuma to submit suggestions as to what kind of sanction he should face for defying the Constitutional Court's order that he testify at the Zondo Commission is an important step in a vital and intricate process.

Some will say that Zuma is being treated with kid gloves, while others will believe Zuma is being mistreated. But, for the moment, Mogoeng's action has put Zuma on the back foot. In a case this important, this could be the masterstroke that changes the political and legal equations around the issue.

The past 15 years of our democracy have been about the tension between the power of law and the power of politics. At the centre of most of this has been the figure of Zuma.

It was Zuma who was able to demonstrate so convincingly in 2009 that politics was more powerful than the...

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