By Jacob Kudzayi Mutisi
An average African ends up in a legal crisis and worse off in prison not because they do not understand the law or their legal rights. The reason why Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma is in jail is because he has limited legal education and did not understand the repercussions of what he was doing.
In short he never got the chance to get educated because of the black oppression under the apartheid regime that was ruling South Africa. There is an important legal principle that says “ignorance of the law is no excuse.”
You cannot defend your actions by arguing you did not know they were illegal, even if you honestly did not realize you were breaking the law.
Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma os one of the few Africans who enter politics without a law background and the current ANC leadership should have and should do everything to protect the uneducated cadets and leaders who believe they are doing the right thing to protect their identity, credentials and what they believe is right and doing the right thing for the nation.
Under the national legal system, South African are expected to know what the law says,but this does not mean that they all have to be legal experts. It is not realistic for everyone to memorize all the laws! Not even lawyers know all this information.
Worse off for a leader who does not have a supporting leading structure to protect himself and his family.
The rule “ignorance of the law is no excuse” really means that people cannot defend their actions by claiming that Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma did not know the law and neither did he have the framework as a liberation freedom fighter to protect himself and his political structure.
However, even when people have good intentions, they sometimes break the law because they do not realize they are doing something illegal. This happens because the South African legal system is complicated. When people have good intentions, judges can sometimes completely not understand.
The sad bit is Judges are less understanding when the actions involve a certain high profile individuals and they want to set an example and in this case it is none other than the former President of South Africa Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, he cannot be an example, not in a million years, NEVER, we can never punish an innocent soul when we have apartheid leaders who killed, mummed and are still living comfortably in South Africa.
This is completely unacceptable not in these modern times.
Let us Protect our leaders and the legacy of the Freedom Fighters Party, the ANC party and never have a leader convicted because they do not understand the Laws of the land.
Zuma should be a FREE man because he is ignorant and should not be JAIL because he was a FOOL to the LAW.
Long Live Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma we are there for you. ■
- Mutisi writes in his own capacity. The views expressed here are entirely the author’s.