None above the law

No one is above the law, not even a former president, writes Joe Mdlela…

Joe Mdlela, via email

No one is above the law, not even a former president. Jacob Zuma’s walkout from the state capture inquiry on Thursday was a calculated act of defiance of the commission and a wilful display of contempt for the rule of law.

The former president was given every courtesy by Judge Raymond Zondo, who afforded him the fullest opportunity to present his argument, and by his conduct Zuma made plain that the whole recusal application was a sham. Zuma never intended giving evidence and the argument presented on his behalf was without merit.

The former president was lawfully summonsed to give evidence; he blatantly refused to do so. The law allows a witness who has good cause not to give evidence before a commission to advance such cause and to be excused. Instead Zuma preferred to put up a political show.

Freedom Under Law respectfully suggests that such disgraceful conduct by a former head of state must compel the strongest action from the commission in response. If a former president can get away with such a blatant challenge to the rule of law, how can the rest of us be expected to obey the law?