Butt out of our courts

Time has come to protect the institutions of our democracy.

Time has come to protect the institutions of our democracy.

The basic division of responsibilities in a democratic state are the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. But the checks and balances these three estates are supposed to hold on each other have broken down in the hurly-burly of recent South African politics.

The main principles of the law is that all are equal before it and that justice is blind to the position of a defendant.

ANC president Jacob Zuma's supporters have long held that he faces a political prosecution.

That would be an impossibility in the normal course of things because prosecutions should be decided by the judiciary with no interference from politicians. If nothing else, the hearings of the Ginwala commission into Vusi Pikoli's fitness to head the National Prosecuting Authority have exposed the lie in that notion.

Now we face the unseemly sight of senior members in the ruling party questioning the courts' ability to give their leader a fair trial.

It's time for the judiciary to assert itself and tell the politicians to butt out. We the people deserve to know if Zuma is guilty of the crimes with which he has been charged before he stands for election as the president of the republic next year.