NEWS & ANALYSIS

Misconceived criticism expressed by NADEL corrected – MKMVA

Association says their sincere concern in Zuma case has been misrepresented as an attack on judiciary

MKMVA corrects the misconceived criticism expressed by Nadel 

18 March 2018

The Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association(MKMVA) has noted the criticism that has been levelled at us by the President of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL), Mr. Mvuso Notyesi, to the effect that MKMVA is 'mischievous' and 'disingenuous' to have raised our concern about the impact that the avalanche of vociferously negative personal and political attacks over many years on former President Zuma, could have on him getting a fair trial.

Mr. Notyesi casted this sincere concern of MKMVA as an attack on the judiciary, which it was not at all. No-one who read the MKMVA statement properly can possibly come to such a conclusion.

For the sake of clarity the relevant paragraph is quoted here in full again:

"Without expressing any doubt in the competence of our country’s judicial system MKMVA will, however, be amiss not to raise our serious and well considered concern whether it will be possible for Comrade Jacob Zuma to receive a fair and unbiased trial in the context of the decades long and vicious personal and politically motivated attacks that have been launched against him in public and by the mainstream media. This must be a matter of genuine concern because there can be no doubt that every South African citizen - including all our judges - have been bombarded and influenced by the avalanche of negative publicity, character assassination and kangaroo courts that have been conducted against Comrade Zuma. Professional and fair as our justice system strives to be, the judiciary cannot escape this harsh reality and will have to face it head-on."

Instead of either intentionally (which would in itself be mischievous), or unintentionally, misrepresenting our genuinely held concern about the impact that the longstanding and deliberately created negative perceptions about former President Zuma by the mainstream media could have on a fair trial, NADEL and our South African judiciary in general, should take this matter - which MKMVA conveyed as a constructive contribution and concern - seriously and not as an attack on our legal system.

Instead if attacking a fellow progressive organisation such as MKMVA, that is similarly committed to achieving a just and democratic society, NADEL will do well to take our genuinely expressed concern on board and address it in order to ensure that the high standards of our judicial system is protected and maintained under all circumstances - also with regards to the charges that have been reinstated against former President Zuma.

Issued by Carl Niehaus, NEC Member of MKMVA and National Spokesperson, 18 March 2018