Avatar photo

By Kyle Zeeman

Digital News Editor

A VIEW OF THE WEEK: The Zuma ‘wonderland’ continues

The Electoral Court's decision this week catapulted us back to a "wonderland" that may prove to be a wasteland.

We are four months into the year. And while some people are now in the routine of going on a daily run to get a Comrades medal or eating healthily, I have picked up reading a kid’s book before bed.

Or, at least, I read it to my toddler.

Among the collection of books on the shelf is the story of Alice in Wonderland. It follows a girl’s crazy adventures after following a rabbit down a hole. It can be a real mental trip for adults who read and try to analyse it properly.

Like Alice, South Africa was this week taken back down the rabbit hole of former Jacob Zuma.

A “wonderland” where reality at times seems distorted and the noise distracts from what might be happening behind the scenes.

Down Zuma’s rabbit hole

Zuma’s presidency brought successes and improvements for many South Africans. But it was also an era of state capture, propaganda and appointments that often defied logic and were out of touch with reality.

READ MORE: A VIEW OF THE WEEK: Old enough for power but too old to be embarrassed?

From the appointment of Des van Rooyen and Malusi Gigaba as finance ministers to nuclear deals and Gupta-influenced media and government tenders; it was an uncertain time where you never knew what would come next from the Union Buildings.

There may be arguments for this starting before his presidency, but the feeling of disconnect and distorted reality that appeared with more regularity under Zuma has returned, including with the Electoral Court‘s decision this week to set aside a decision of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to bar him from this year’s ballot.

The circumstances that led to the court battle, including President Cyril Ramaphosa‘s likely politically motivated decision to remit Zuma and other prisoners, have been a fiasco that should have been avoided in the first place.

And it catapulted us back to head-scratching decisions and finger-pointing.

Courts in crisis

The reasons for the court’s decision aren’t clear, and as of the time of writing, have not been shared with the public.

The long delay is shocking, yet not surprising. It is another sign of a judiciary so lethargic it seems at times to be in its own wonderland.

A VIEW OF THE WEEK: ‘Ill’ Ramaphosa’s Sona was a prescription for a sketchy future and false reality

A report by Moneyweb this week noted the highest court in the land, the Constitutional Court, has not handed down a single judgment this year. It is the latest in a long line of reports about years-long waits for justice and backlogs in the handing down verdicts.

It holds others accountable but struggles to keep this same principle.

What could happen next in the “wonderland” that could soon be a “wasteland”?

ALSO READ: We have politicians so bad they even fail at politics