A miracle cure was a safe bet from the moment “terminally ill” Schabir Shaik was released on medical parole in March.
We knew the criminal justice system was being manipulated, just as it was a month later when Mokotedi Mpshe withdrew all charges against President Jacob Zuma.
Or this week, when Zuma warned the Pretoria High Court not to interfere with his plans to appoint a successor to Vusi Pikoli as National Director of Public Prosecutions. Pikoli was the man who brought charges against Zuma.
He was suspended when Thabo Mbeki tried to protect our criminally connected former police chief Jackie Selebi.
And so it goes on.
I am sure you could, without too much effort, add to the list of instances where the rich and powerful have bent rules and conventions. The sidelining of the exceptionally able Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke is just another blip in a downward spiral.
Can you see where this is heading?
It is not Shaik that is terminally ill. It is that blindfolded Lady Justice is losing her grip on the scales as the balance tilts inexorably.
The question is not whether it is feasible for a man who was on death’s door five months ago to drive around in his 7-series BMW, buy balloons, joke with petrol attendants, or celebrate his wife’s birthday at a French restaurant in Umhlanga.
If Shaik had been genuinely ill and was now much better, the normal human response would be relief and good wishes to him and his family. But we know from his fraud and corruption trial that deception is very much part of Shaik’s way of dealing with the world.
So, too, his lack of repentance. He doesn’t believe he’s done anything wrong. So we mock his fake illness, and sneer cynically at the friends who pulled strings to free him.
I say look beyond.
See the pattern.
Now that Zuma has spent 100 days in office, commentators are being generous, praising him as a “people’s President” because he visited one troubled township.
After ministers have bought their multiple cars, the message is frugality. Please. An iron grip is tightening around the justice system. Not for the benefit of ordinary citizens but for swine with their snouts in the trough.
Zimbabwe syndrome, the final phase of this terminal illness, is not far away.
There is no miracle cure.
Only a wake-up call.
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