South Africa: President Has a Right to Be Treated Fairly By Justice System

Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Ronald Lamola says the President, as a victim of crime, has a right to be treated fairly by the justice system.

The Minister said this when he participated in a debate on the Presidency budget vote during a sitting of the National Assembly on Thursday.

“We must not lose sight of the fact that we are not dealing with a situation where the money that was stolen is not from the fiscus, this money was stolen from the farm of the President, he [the President] is a victim of crime,” he said.

Lamola said the President has committed to the nation that he will cooperate with the investigation.

“He is not evading nor interfering with the work of law enforcement agencies. He has no history of such interference.

“The President also has a right to be treated fairly by the system, his side of the story must be heard, the basic principle of audi al patrem must also be applicable to him,” he said.

Lamola said when the constitution says everyone is equal before the law, it also means a President must also be treated fairly like any other citizen.

Due process must be allowed to take its cause, he said.

“We must not jump the gun, we must be patient as we would have demanded if it was us involved.

“Our constitution and resilient institutions will not enable any form of interference.”

Government pursuing state capture beneficiaries without fear or favour

Lamola said former government communicator, Joel Netshitendze, famously said the beneficiaries of state capture would not go down without a fight.

“I dare say they will not succeed, our institutions have proven over time that they are resilient. The 6th administration as led by the President has allowed the law enforcement agencies to do their work without any fear, favour or prejudice.”

He said the institutions are attending to matters irrespective of any political affiliation, the facts and the law guide them.

“The Special Investigating Unit [SIU] is clawing back on malfeasance and corruption, the HAWKS and the ID are at work.

“The era of impunity is gone, and the rule of law is reigning supreme.”

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