Trump’s electoral fiction floats free of verifiable reality. It is defended not so much by facts as by claims that someone else has made some claims. The sensibility is that something must be wrong because I feel it to be wrong, and I know others feel the same way. When political leaders such as Ted Cruz or Jim Jordan spoke like this, what they meant was: You believe my lies, which compels me to repeat them. Social media provides an infinity of apparent evidence for any conviction, especially one seemingly held by a president.
Could it be that the president’s supporters do not want the courts to review and possibly set aside the decision of former director of public prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe not to proceed with the prosecution of Zuma on charges of corruption? That appears not to be the kind of power they think courts should possess. Of course, they are free to criticise judgments they consider to be wrong, but that is a different matter to curtailing constitutional democracy, which rests on a principle of constitutional review. If that is not the reason for the recent moves, it is high time the country was told specifically what has motivated this call for a review. Without a clear explanation, the inference drawn in this column sadly becomes irresistible. Is it too much then to ask that the present chief justice enter the arena and defend the Constitution as it currently stands? –Serjeant at the Bar in the Mail & GuardianBACK TO TOP