The President of the African Court on Human and People’s Rights, Justice Augustino Ramadhani, told the African News Agency (ANA) from Tanzania on Wednesday that he had yet to make up his mind on the political schism in South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) party.
Referring to the postponement of the State of the Nation Address (SONA) and the cancellation of an emergency meeting by the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) to decide the fate of embattled President Jacob Zuma following Zuma’s refusal to step down, Ramadhani, who is also Tanzania’s Chief Justice, said that he was awaiting further developments before making up his mind on the political stand-off.
“I don’t know much about South Africa’s Constitution but it would appear that Zuma’s legitimacy depends on the support of the ruling ANC party and if they want him to step down, then it might be the wise thing to do to spare South Africa further upheaval,” said Ramadhani during a telephone interview from the Tanzanian capital Dodoma.
“I mean, if he hasn’t got the support of the members of parliament who elected him in the first place, why continue?” he said, before adding that if the ANC’s internal dispute was resolved this would help to strengthen South Africa’s international standing.
“However, I won’t make up my mind one way or the other about whether I think the president should step down until further developments unfold.”
On the issue of whether Zuma was corrupt as widely alleged, the chief justice said that in his position as a judge he wouldn’t be drawn on allegations that had not been proven in court.
“As a judge, it’s dangerous to take a position on allegations of corruption without proof and evidence,” Ramadhani told ANA.
Meanwhile, Dr Erieka Bennet, the head of mission of the AU’s Disapora African Forum, wouldn’t be drawn on the matter.
“I was in South Africa recently but I’m now back in Ghana and it’s really not my place to pass comment. All I can say is that I wish South Africa well through this period of upheaval,” Bennet told the ANA from Accra.
– African News Agency (ANA)