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Zuma decision condemned by Makgoba

23 April 2009

by Pat Ashworth

THE ARCHBISHOP of Cape Town, the Most Revd Thabo Makgoba, said this week that a decision by prosecutors to drop charges against the South African presidential can­didate Jacob Zuma will become a “running sore”, unless there is an independent inquiry into the arms deal that triggered a legal process that has gripped the country for more than two years,

Charges of corruption, fraud, money-laundering, and racketeering were dropped earlier this month. The ANC was expected to win the election, which was taking place on Wednesday, at the time of going to press.

“How can this country forgive unless we know who we are forgiving, and for what?” Archbishop Makgoba said in a speech to the Cape Town press club on Monday, the Cape Times newspaper reported. “The NPA issue will be a permanent running sore on the body politic unless we go back to the beginning. . . Truth starts with a proper commission of inquiry into the arms deal.”

Archbishop Desmond Tutu said this month that he would not be happy if Mr Zuma became president. But his remarks that “If he is innocent, as he has claimed to be, for goodness’ sake, let it be a court of law that says so,” were condemned by the ANC. It accused Dr Tutu of undermining the independence of the National Prosecuting Authority.

Bishop Mvume Dandala, the Methodist bishop who is standing as a presidential candidate, said that, if elected, he would reopen the corruption case against Mr Zuma.

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