On Tuesday, 29 June 2021, the Constitutional Court of South Africa handed down a judgment that carried a 15-month jail sentence for South Africa’s former President, Jacob Zuma. The judgment was in relation to Zuma failing to honor an appearance at the Commission into State Capture and as such being in contempt of court. Among the Judges that handed down the judgement and sentence were Judge Chris Jafta, who gave a strong dissenting judgment against the majority judgment to sentence Zuma. Jafta partly argued that the majority judgment was unconstitutional.

Jafta was celebrated by Zuma supporters and hailed as being “not captured” by capital interests and anyone opposing the former president.

Fast forward two days on the same week on 1 July 2021, Judge Jafta was the Justice now responsible to deliver judgment on whether South Africa’s current President, Cyril Ramaphosa, did indeed mislead parliament regarding the funding and donors towards his campaign to be elected the leader of the ANC in 2017. This follows South Africa’s Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, changing the wording of the Executive Ethics Code to conclude that President Cyril Ramaphosa had inadvertently or deliberately misled the legislature. In a majority judgment, Jafta, along with six other Constitutional justices, dismissed the Public Protector’s appeal against the Pretoria High Court’s judgment’s dismissal of the same case. In delivering the judgment, Jafta said that the Public Protector was wrong on the facts and the law and said the high court was right to set aside her finding that Ramaphosa misled parliament.

Jafta, barely two days after opposing the Zuma judgment, was now deemed a WMC (White Monopoly Capital) puppet by the same people who hailed him a hero a couple of days earlier.

If you have been following South African politics, or politics in any country in Africa for long enough, you will realize that much of the discussions, sentiments, or opinions are mostly generally not about the merits of the topic at discussion but rather the narrative that is being pushed. It appears that we generally view political matters through a lens of a narrative that we hold and from that point onwards, our dominating narrative determines our views.

In my humble opinion, this is not a productive way to discuss political matters. Beyond our Narrative Wars, we need to develop critical thinking so we can hold African governments accountable. Whether they are our favorites or not.

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Thought of the Day

In debating politics, beyond our “Narrative Wars ⚔️”, we need to develop critical thinking so we can hold African governments accountable. Whether they are our favorites or not. (Tweet this | Share on WhatsApp)

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