Jacob Zuma – Not Guilty, Not Innocent

Well, as most of you who read the papers or watch the news will know, Jacob Zuma has been acquitted of rape. This is exactly the outcome i expected, as it was the correct legal decision to make. I say this only because there was reasonable doubt, and in the presence of reasonable doubt the judge had no choice but to acquit him. In a move that was strangely reminiscent of the O.J. Simpson trial, Zuma got off because of shoddy police work. If the policeman who had investigated had thought to write down everything Zuma said, and had thought to read him his rights before questioning him, i believe things may be different. But as it stands, in the words of Zenstar, he got Cochraned.

Now, that’s the verdict in the court of the land. In the court of public opinion, the man is guilty as sin. A man who can claim that a woman wearing a skirt is asking for it, a man who claims that a Zulu woman who wants sex will charge you with rape if you don’t sleep with her, a man who can offer to pay lobola for her if she drops the charges, a man who was admittedly cheating on his wives and concubines with the complainant whether it was rape or not… if this man did not rape this woman, he is certainly capable of it. He has demonstrated that in his mind, women are either property or whores.

But that’s the rape trial, over and done with. Now for the corruption trial. Does the fun ever stop for the ex-deputy president of our great land?

And the complainant? Still un-named, she is now being hurried into exile outside of the country – indeed, outside of the continent – because if her name is revealed, or if she remains anywhere within reach, there is a good chance that Zuma’s supporters will kill her. And they will do it in his name, those proud 100% Zulu boys.


4 Responses to “Jacob Zuma – Not Guilty, Not Innocent”

  1. I think your “convicted in the court of public opinion” comment is wrong on two different levels.

    1. It’s just plain wrong. I know the white intelligentsia (myself included) like to thing of themselves as thinking what the any thinking person would, but sadly it’s just not true.

    To most of the country, Zuma is innocent – and the victim of a conspiracy to blacken his name.

    2. It’s a sad fact that the accused in a rape case (usually the guy) has his name blacked automatically. It’s a bullet that’s virtually impossible to dodge – no matter how crazy the allegations.

    Though I do agree with your main point – the court gave the correct ruling in law.

  2. 1) yes, there will be some people who will ignore all he said and assume that the verdict implies his innocence, rather than a failure to prove his guilt. Some of them will do so because they are Zulu, and some because they are stupid. But it’s a little elitist to think that only the white intelligentsia see him for the scum he his. A large number of organizations (political parties, women’s rights organizations and unions among them) have publically withdrawn support of Zuma. There have been no poles to show how many people actually support him, and just because his supporters are the loudest doesn’t mean they have the most bodies. I think you will find that anyone with even a smidgen of ethical sense can see he is not the man to be the next president.

    2) yes, in some cases people will see the mere accusation of rape as guilt, but those people again are stupid, and are also prone to forget. Note how many supporters Mkaya Ntini has… who now remembers that a few years ago he was charged with rape?

    Anyway, in this country less than 10% of rape cases result in a conviction, so even if you’re charged with rape, regardless of your guilt or innocence, those are some pretty good odds in your favour.

  3. I don’t agree that JZ was Cochraned. He didn’t get off on any technicalities, it was just because the accusor was not a credible witness. If it did happen the way she said, and I’m not so sure it did, it’s a good reminder of the old ‘Don’t cry wolf’ story.

    I’ve posted quite a lenghty comment on Zen’s blog about this if anybody cares enough to read it.

  4. actually, there is no evidence whatsoever that she was not raped every other time. None of those charges went to court, therefore it has not been proven one way or another. In at least one case, the man in question admitted to having sex with her but not to raping her, but she was underage at the time so that’s statutory rape no matter how you look at it. So even if she was lying in this case, you can’t assume she’s been ‘crying wolf’. Because there is no evidence she wasn’t telling the truth before.

    In fact, a large percentage of black south african women will be raped multiple times in their life. So it’s not at all unbelievable that she has been raped more times than she can count, by people who she trusted. Can you imagine the devastation she must feel if he is truly guilty? The one time she is brave enough to take a rapist to court, he gets off and she has to leave the country.

    Just remember, in an Innocent Until Proven Guilty system, an acquittal does not imply innocence, it merely implies failure to prove guilt. On the flip side of the coin, the verdict does not mean that the complainant has been proven to be lying – she too is innocent until proven guilty, and that would need a whole separate trial.

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