South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress, has asked Jacob Zuma to talk about resuming his party duties after his acquittal on a rape charge. Soon after yesterday’s acquittal, Mr. Zuma said he intends to resume his duties as deputy president of the ANC; he was suspended from the post last year. The former deputy president faces a separate trial on charges of corruption and fraud in July.
Herman Hanekom is a current affairs specialist with the Africa Institute of South Africa. He told English to Africa reporter Ashenafi Abedje he was not surprised by the verdict in the Jacob Zuma case. “The accuser was in fact sort of almost lynching herself. Therefore I would say the judge in this trial clearly showed South Africa and the rest of the world that the judiciary in South Africa is way above the pettiness of party politics.” Hanekom says, “Despite his acquittal however, Mr. Zuma has suffered a serious damage morally and politically.
The South African analyst says, “At the present moment should Zuma have ambitions to succeed Thabo Mbeki as president, he should rather put it in the back burner because there is still a corruption case coming up in July.” Hanekom sees a message in the Zuma trial verdict. “A woman must be a hundred percent sure that in fact she has been raped, and not try and use rape as a form of revenge which I think took place in the Zuma case. This woman who accused Zuma unfortunately has done a lot of damage to the cause of women who are genuine. It’s a pity that there must be women around this world that try to make capital gain out of the crime of rape.”