Choice of Msholozi puts pressure on NPA

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Now that ANC members have made it clear that Jacob Zuma is their preferred candidate, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is in a very tight corner.

"They (NPA) cannot charge him now, and they would find it even more difficult to charge him after the conference," said University of KwaZulu-Natal political analyst Zakhele Ndlovu.

Ndlovu says if the NPA decides to charge Zuma before the Limpopo conference next month his supporters would say that their claims that the charges were a " political conspiracy" against him were right.

"And if he wins the presidential election, it would be even more difficult to charge him because people would question why it took them (NPA) seven years to investigate him and find something to charge him with just when he has won the elections.

"They would also question why it is only Zuma that is being charged in the arms deal, whereas there are many other people implicated in it.

"Either way, Zuma is now unstoppable. Both sides of the coin favour him," said Ndlovu.

Ndlovu said the rape case was the most difficult for Zuma and the fact that he went through it, and still enjoyed huge support, means nothing can now stand in his way.

"I think they should have listened to Bulelani Ngcuka when he said there was a prima facie case against Zuma but that it was not winnable," Ndlovu said

On whether or not President Thabo Mbeki should listen to Cosatu in KwaZulu-Natal and step down from the presidential race, Ndlovu said either way, Mbeki has done enough damage to himself.

"I think Mbeki dug his own grave when he fired Zuma from parliament two years ago. The decision is now back to haunt him. If he decides to step out of the presidential race, it would be seen as accepting defeat. If he continues, it would be seen as clinging to power.

"But the fact that he has gone this far indicates that he is not prepared to step down. He clearly feels he still has a chance to lead the party. But what about indications from members that they want the president of the party to hold the same position as the state president? Does that not automatically disqualify him?" he asked.