NPA 'makes a martyr out of Zuma'

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

The NPA's decision to charge ANC president Jacob Zuma so soon after his Polokwane victory "makes him a martyr", says leading political analyst Protas Madlala.

He says the decision further entrenches the long-held view by Zuma supporters that the move is "part of the well- orchestrated campaign to deny Zuma the chance to be president of the country".

The decision is also a blow to efforts to unite the ANC.

Madlala says while those who oppose Zuma will deny the existence of a "political plot" to dampen his (Zuma's) chances for the country's presidency, the mere fact that he will only appear in court in August - three years after he was axed as deputy president of the country makes it clear that he is "being unfairly treated".

"There is no kidding that the latest move is a last ditch effort to stifle Zuma's aspirations as the country's president.

"The NPA decision also raises old concerns about why no action is being taken against police chief Jackie Selebi.

"Also under scrutiny is why the process to charge Zuma is a directive from the NPA whereas the decision to charge Selebi still sits with the Justice Minister Brigitte Mabandla.

"This is a worrying thought not just for the Zuma camp but also for all South Africans."

Madlala says the issue to charge Zuma will further divide the ANC.

"Clearly the huge rift between those who support Zuma and those who support Mbeki will now widen. Zuma supporters have gone out publicly stating that [Mbeki] is behind this latest NPA decision to charge Zuma.

"With Zuma faced with more charges, his popularity only heightens and makes him a martyr."

Madlala said when the ANC national executive committee meets next week it would not have to "consider the charges against Zuma" but rather efforts to re-unite the divided party.

Acting NPA Mokotedi Mpshe has said the decision to charge Zuma was made independently.