Jacob Zuma, leader of the African National Congress(ANC), and the individual expected to be elected to the presidency of South Africa, was dealt a serious judicial blow when the nation’s Constitutional Court in a ten to one vote ruled legal documents obtained in police raids. The court also in a unanimous ruling, sad the National Prosecuting Attorney(NPA) could seek access to documents which relate to charges of corruption and fraud held in other locations of the world. The documents which were found are central to the success of any criminal prosecution which might be brought against the ANC leader. The court responded to claims by ANC officials they were biased and merely attempting to carryout a political vendetta against Zuma: “The cases have been considered and decided in the normal way, in accordance with the dictates of our oath of office and in terms of the Constitution and the law, without any fear or prejudice.”
There are reports of a possible way to resolve the issues raised by the case by some form of amnesty for Zuma. The case is critical to the meaning of democracy in South Africa. Jacob Zuma is a prominent leader of the ANC and his charismatic approach to politics has earned him widespread adulation among millions, but the essence of a democracy is the rule of law, not the rule of popularity. Jacob Zuma could become a national hero if he would accept the court’s verdict and withdraw from his candidacy for president.