Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Zuma must put Constitution first

Many of Jacob Zuma’s public statements resemble those of a chameleon: assuring business and overseas investors SA’s economic policies will not change if he becomes SA President.

Yet backtracking on this to his Cosatu and Communist Party supporters.

More mindboggling contradictions emerged in an interview with Business Day. Asked about ANC stalwart and former Cabinet Minister Kader Asmal’s petition in support of the Constitution, Zuma said according to ANC procedure this needed to be discussed properly before it could be acted on.

DA leader Helen Zille, who has signed the petition, has
challenged Zuma to sign. He should, in order to reassure the country he does not believe the ANC is more important than the Constitution. He has twice made statements which put the party first.

In the same interview Zuma said he did not agree with the SACP’s call for Thabo Mbeki to step down before the end of his term next year. However, he said ANC members were free to express themselves on the issue because the party was a democratic organisation.

Oh really?

So ANC supporters can say what they think when it suits Zuma’s purpose: the premature removal of Mbeki. But not so fine when it’s a simple matter of Zuma signing Asmal’s petition: then all of a sudden it has to be a collective decision.

Zuma was bemused Zille had signed: “It is for the very first time that the opposition has joined hands with an ANC member on an issue.”

There’s the rub. The Constitution is the foundation of our democracy so why wouldn’t Zille support such a petition?

Why wouldn’t anyone, regardless of party politics or personal agendas, want to uphold the Constitution? Zuma just doesn’t get it.

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