Keep looking for the truth

There can be no doubt that the decision by the Pietermaritzburg high court is by far one of most politically significant since South Africa became a democracy in 1994.

There can be no doubt that the decision by the Pietermaritzburg high court is by far one of most politically significant since South Africa became a democracy in 1994.

Ironically Judge Chris Nicholson best articulated President Thabo Mbeki's call at the beginning of the year that this will be a year of business unusual.

Now that some of the dust - specifically that the National Prosecuting Authority might have been driven by more than the desire to see justice done - has settled, it is worth reflecting on the issues that remain unanswered.

Jacob Zuma's supporters have long argued that he was being persecuted and they based their reasoning on what they in a roundabout way said was the knowledge that there were many others who had benefited personally from the arms deal, but who had not been prosecuted.

One of the many ways of reading Nicholson's judgment is to say if a crime has been committed then it should be investigated and duly prosecuted. This process, for it to be credible, should never be coloured by the political views of the alleged perpetrator.

That is why it is incumbent on those civil society bodies that have reason to believe there was some criminality involved in procuring arms to keep pressing for the truth.

Again, in keeping with Nicholson's lessons, this should happen without fear or favour.

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