The Real State of Our Nation Will be Determined by Ramaphosa’s Response to Zuma

Should Former President, Jacob Zuma's tens of millions of rands in presidential benefits be removed in light of his refusal to testify at the State Capture Commission?

While some look to the debates in Parliament this week regarding the State of Our Nation, the real assessment will be in Ramaphosa’s response to Zuma’s defiance of the Constitutional Court.

Given that former President Zuma has defied the highest court in our land, and the very same commission of inquiry that he established, the only question is whether the rule of law will be asserted in our country.

Should an ordinary citizen defy a court order, a warrant for their arrest would be issued by the courts and they would be arrested. For the rule of law to be affirmed in South Africa, those deemed most powerful must be treated the same as any other citizen.

ActionSA demands that Parliament table the requisite process to remove all benefits accruing to former President Zuma. A former President of a Constitutional democracy cannot earn tens of millions of Rand in benefits, while he continues to defy the very Constitution that he swore an oath to uphold. If this means that the law that provides for Presidential benefits needs to be amended, then so be it.

President Ramaphosa’s silence on this matter is deafening, demonstrating zero leadership to a country that is to defend the Constitution which he himself has sworn to uphold. Ramaphosa and the NEC seem to believe this is an internal ANC matter that can be addressed through delegations and internal diplomacy. On more example of the tendency to continue to put party before country.

It is a shame that President’s Cyril Ramaphosa is the same person who played a central role in the drafting of our Constitution, hailed as the most progressive Constitution in the world, and his subsequent role in selling this to the international community after its adoption. His silence and inaction will likely damage the image of South Africa. Let President Ramaphosa demonstrate to the people of South Africa and the world that he stands by our Constitution, and that he is prepared to defend it now as the President of the Republic of South Africa.