Letter to the Editor for publication 29 January 2014
Dr Rishigen Viranna, MPL
DA KZN Spokesperson on Community Safety:
THE issue of undue preferential treatment being given to well-connected African National Congress politicians and their families by the South African Police Services has again been placed in the spotlight.
The latest incident involves reports that the Durban North Police Station failed to arrest Edward Zuma, President’s Jacob Zuma’s eldest son, despite a seven month outstanding warrant of arrest issued by the Pietermaritzburg Maintenance Court. The warrant stems from the fact that despite being subpoenaed seven times, Mr Zuma has yet to appear before the Court.
The hypocrisy of the Zuma family action cannot be overstated.
During an August 2014 Women’s Day celebration, President Zuma – his father- called on all fathers to support their children voluntarily, without having to involve the government or the courts.
It seems that this fatherly advice has fallen on deaf ears.
Yet again, it appears that there are two sets of rules – one for the ANC ruling elite and their family and another for the rest of South Africa.
Of the utmost concern is the influence of and preferential treatment given to Edward Zuma by the SAPS. This is the government service entrusted by all South Africans to enforce laws and to arrest persons as determined by the courts.
It is unacceptable that despite a valid warrant of arrest and a proper home address that the Durban North Police Station are yet to arrest Mr Zuma after seven months. Worse still is the fact that they claim to have lost the original warrant – ME95/14 – issued by the Pietermaritzburg Maintenance Court on 23 June 2014.
The situation begs the following questions – did ANC government officials pressure SAPS officials to make this warrant ‘disappear’? And how many other ANC officials or their family members have pending warrants that have not been served?
Our country is a constitutional democracy in which court orders are enforced and equal treatment by the police is guaranteed. Regrettably this is not always the case as a select few with money and political influence within the ruling party seem assured of a ‘Get out of Jail Free’ card.
This is absolutely abhorrent and a blatant affront to the principles of our Constitution, for which so many have made huge sacrifices.
The DA in the KZN Legislature will closely monitor the investigation into this issue, recently announced by SAPS and we will ensure that the muddied facts around this debacle are made clear. We will not allow the ‘preferential treatment’ of a connected member of the so-called elite to impact on the protection and benefit of children or any other vulnerable members of society.