Jacob Zuma’s rural village burst into song and dance when the news that their son has been set cleared of all charges aganist him. Reports say, Nkandla village in KwaZulu-Natal on Monday his trademark Umshini Wam song rang out across the hills and fellow villages and his family celebrated the end of his eight- year tussle with the law.
The head of South Africa’s prosecuting authority had announced he was lifting the corruption charges, on which Zuma was due to stand trial in August.
Reacting to the announcement reports say Sizakele Zuma, the first of
Zuma’s several wives said she “is very happy” the long case is “over”. Wearing a headscarf knotted at the front in a big bow, and a traditional wrap skirt and blouse, Sizakele was overseeing preparations for a celebration party that night in Zuma’s homestead.
She was reminiscent of her long wait for Zuma to be freed by the country’s apartheid authorities when he spent 10 years in Robben Island prison off Cape Town. She is also said to be looking forward to being by her husband’s side when he is installed as president in Pretoria. “He is going to teach me how he’s going to be and how to behave in the presidency”
The charges against Zuma related to payments of more than R4-million that he received from his businessman friend Schabir Shaik, who was found guilty of fraud in a multibillion-dollar 1990s state arms deal. Zuma claimed the charges were part of a plot to destroy him politically, even though Shaik was found guilty of soliciting a bribe from an arms manufacturer on his behalf.
Zuma’s release from prosecution marks another milestone in this astonishing political comeback after an earlier comeback after he was fired as deputy president by Mbeki in 2005. Some have described Mr. Zuma as the politician with nine lives.
Today JZ as he is well known said he was a victim of a “systematic abuse of power” and that there was no cloud of corruption hanging over him. “There is no cloud. There has been allegations against me and the State has not been able to put up the case. I have not been found guilty in a court of law,” he said. He also stressed that he was not above the law. “I do not regard myself as being above the law and no public person should be above scrutiny,” he said.
“In the last eight years, I did not use my position to interfere with the due course of the law … and I always presented myself in court whenever needed.