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By Zanele Mbengo

Digital Journalist


MK rally: ‘We must be ruled by African law’

Former president Jacob Zuma's rally speech challenges constitution and endorses return of corporal punishment.


Former president Jacob Zuma has stirred controversy over his views, challenging South Africa’s constitution and laws. Zuma lashed the ANC and the use of Roman-Dutch law during a rally of the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party in Maqongqo, near Pietermaritzburg, on Sunday. Zuma assured MK supporters South African laws would be repealed if the party won the general election. No place for such statements in democratic society Ayesha Kajee, political analyst and research Fellow at Africa Asia Dialogues, said irresponsible and short-sighted statements of this sort should have no place in a democratic society. “For leaders to be openly advocating to…

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Former president Jacob Zuma has stirred controversy over his views, challenging South Africa’s constitution and laws.

Zuma lashed the ANC and the use of Roman-Dutch law during a rally of the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party in Maqongqo, near Pietermaritzburg, on Sunday.

Zuma assured MK supporters South African laws would be repealed if the party won the general election.

No place for such statements in democratic society

Ayesha Kajee, political analyst and research Fellow at Africa Asia Dialogues, said irresponsible and short-sighted statements of this sort should have no place in a democratic society.

“For leaders to be openly advocating to suppress the rights of some of our most vulnerable citizens is unconscionable and a dismal indicator of the dearth of creative and strategic policy solutions in our political landscape,” Kajee said.

ALSO READ: Thandi Modise dismisses reports of leaving ANC for MK Party

Zuma slammed the ANC government, accusing it of embracing Roman-Dutch law.

“We will change laws. We are currently being tried and convicted using Roman-Dutch law, yet we have never been Dutch or Roman. We must be ruled by the African law,” Zuma said.

“I know that today we are 30 years into democracy and we think we have absolute freedom but we aren’t completely free. If we were, we would not be jailed in this country,” he said.

‘Posture of electioneering’

Political analyst Bernard Sebake described Zuma’s actions as a “posture of electioneering”.

According to Sebake, Zuma is saying “let’s overhaul this system of democracy and bring state measures in the constitution, translating them into law to overregulate people’s choices”.

ALSO READ: ICYMI: The rebirth of Jacob Zuma’s plan to ‘exile teen parents’ to Robben Island

Zuma also advocated for the return of corporal punishment within homes during his speech. He said this would serve to instil discipline and respect for their elders in children.

He emphasised the party won’t allow young boys to sit and “do nothing and become alcoholics”.

“You are in for a surprise because we will force them to go to school, even if it means they must get a beating,” he said.

But Kajee highlighted Zuma’s recent statements endorsing corporal punishment contradicted his own statements in 2017 when he condemned corporal punishment in SA schools.

“Zuma’s proposed solutions would directly contravene section 28 of the Bill of Rights in the SA constitution which states that every child has the right to be protected from abuse, neglect and degradation,” Kajee said.

ALSO READ: ‘I feel so good’ − Mervyn Dirks unfazed by ANC expelling him for joining Zuma at MK party

Traditional leaders should have a say

Zuma claimed that traditional leaders should have a say on how South Africa is governed.

He said traditional leaders should take their “rightful place” and be above politicians.

Sebake said democracy and traditional leaders were established within the context of same principles.

“Democracy is related to the establishment of the government by the people, for the people, in which the majority voices do establish that government,” Sebake said.

“If you go to the traditional leadership, the system is that of monarch.

ALSO READ: ANC defiant amid Zuma’s shadow in KZN: ‘Zuma and MK party cannot defeat us’

“And in most cases it governs itself as opposed to the willingness of the people.”

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