Why Zuma's trial is good for SA's constitutional democracy

Lecturer at the Department of Political Studies at Unisa, Professor Dirk Kotze says former President Jacob Zuma's trial will hold him to account for breaking what he says is a social contract between himself and the country.

Zuma's case will resume on 8 June after his first appearance in the Durban High Court on Friday.

He is facing 16 charges of fraud, corruption, racketeering and money laundering.

Kotze explains how there are some very important constitutional issues attached to the case.

The fact that president Zuma was an elected public representative means that he received a mandate at an election and that mandate works in both directions, towards the voters and the public, and towards him.

Professor Dirk Kotze, Lecturer at the Department of Political Studies at Unisa

He has to account for the fact that he acts n behalf of us in many respects. My argument is that what he did in his position as president, is that he violated that mandate. It was a form of a social contract and he didn't keep to it.

Professor Dirk Kotze, Lecturer at the Department of Political Studies at Unisa

Kotze says it is important to look at the judiciary in terms of the separation of powers that is now to a large extent being reaffirmed and the independence of the judiciary.

It is, I think, a very positive position in the South African law that there isn't something like presidential immunity or amnesty for president, to avoid a situation like what has been unfolding.

Professor Dirk Kotze, Lecturer at the Department of Political Studies at Unisa

The president is as equal as you and I before the law. Many people are attracted to politics because of the allure of power and I think what this course is going to say is power is not supreme.

Professor Dirk Kotze, Lecturer at the Department of Political Studies at Unisa

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