FOR Africa, a continent bogged down in the stultifying crises of the post – colonial state, the news of a court order jailing former President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, for fifteen months was a sensation. This ought not to be so.
The order stemmed from Zuma’s refusal to appear before an anti – corruption commission to answer charges about his alleged involvement in corruption.
The republic of South Africa has once again demonstrated that it has in the words of its constitution, “independent institutions of the state”. This will continue to give South Africa an edge, nay a decisive advantage in every area over the rest of the continent.
It is also important to note that no ethnic conflagration has resulted over the jailing of an ex- president. Zuma’s Zulu ethnic nationality IS the biggest block in South Africa, yet we have not seen outbreaks of demonstrations and sabre rattling in the Zulu heartlands.
This is due to South Africa having well structured, ideological oriented political parties as well as real trade unions as opposed to the “aristocracies of labour “ we have in countries like Nigeria. Combinations of the factors listed above have made it well nigh impossible to bifurcate matters by playing the ethnic card as in “they are oppressing our pickin” which is the age old tactic deployed in countries like Nigeria.
South Africa’s admirably strong institutions have set an example, in the interest of its citizens African countries should emulate South Africa.