You know, as a litigant, if not as a citizen, that you are close to nudging the bottom of the barrel of integrity when no less an august body than the country’s Constitutional Court declares that your legal flick-flacking is “litigious skulduggery”.
A person with a thinner political and societal skin than former president Jacob Zuma would have long since headed for the proverbial hills after taking so many losses in the extended legal fight to avoid having to finally answer in court on charges of corruption.
That is still, let us not forget, the main event as far as Zuma is concerned. He has proven that he and his various teams of lawyers will leave no legal stone unturned – and will not shrink from importing irrelevant ones where necessary – to keep the wolves of the law from his door.
The words of the Constitutional Court, in turning down Zuma’s application for a rescission of its earlier judgment that he be jailed for 15 months for contempt of court, are damning.
Zuma, it confirmed, is not merely contemptuous of one court or legal process; he is contemptuous of our entire legal system.
He has already said as much when he claimed, in one of his many transparent attempts to deflect attention away from himself, that the judiciary needed to be subservient to the will of the people, as expressed by the party they elect at the polls.
That alone should be enough to convince anyone that this country dodged a potentially fatal bullet when Zuma was effectively sidelined with the decisions of the ANC’s elective conference at Nasrec in December 2017.
The decision of the Constitutional Court – and the harsh words it used – underlines the fact that Zuma is not above the law.
And a democracy where law is supreme is a strong democracy.