read message | Pardon Zuma so SA can move on

read message | Pardon Zuma so SA can move on

The latest Supreme Court ruling against former President Jacob Zuma is likely to destabilize the country. Perhaps President Cyril Ramaphosa should heed EFF leader Julius Malema’s plea and pardon the former president.

Pardon is an instrument of mercy in legal systems. We cannot afford any disruption of the scale we witnessed in July 2021. A repeat of that catastrophe will devastate and destroy our fragile economic system.

Zuma’s legal battles have cost the state by the beleaguered taxpayer 50 million rand so far. The game of political chess and checkmate must be stopped. Correctional Services Commissioner Makgothi Thobakgale can overturn the main sentence on compassionate grounds. It’s time to heal, let the nation come out.

Our divided country is mired in self-doubt, our democracy is under siege and vulnerable to demagogues and populists. Any attempt to put Zuma back in prison could lead to a conflagration that will surely be exploited by anarchists and political extremists.

Pardoning him would be an act of statesmanship by Ramaphosa. During July 2021, 350 people were killed, and R50 billion in damage to infrastructure and businesses was caused. The private sector incurred losses of more than R70 billion.

An amnesty will not undermine the rule of law; On the contrary, it will enhance the quality of justice in our embattled political landscape. All those who have been and still are in the corridors of power are equally responsible for the scene we are witnessing today. We cannot erase the past, it is a grotesque reminder of absolute power without guarantees.

As a nation in massive crisis, it is urgent that we act. The mistakes of the past twenty years cannot be corrected. Let us plan and implement policies for the coming years and let those who have led us astray live their shameful lives in peace. History will judge them accordingly.

The nation has suffered enough. Unfortunately, what we are witnessing today is political wars of attrition. Litigation battles waged by various combatants within the corridors of power have cost the state through embattled taxpayers hundreds of millions of rand. These astronomical amounts could have been used to alleviate the suffering of the masses. Let us forgive and move forward for the sake of our children and grandchildren.

Farouk Arai, Actonville, Benoni

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