Julius Malema, then president of the ANC Youth League, with former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Sydney Seshibedi /The Times
Julius Malema, then president of the ANC Youth League, with former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Sydney Seshibedi /The Times

About a decade ago two fateful decisions were taken that have haunted us, defined our politics, enabled the phenomenon known as state capture and allowed evil men to not only survive but flourish.

We all know the saying thatall that is necessary for evil to flourish is for good men to remain silent”. The two decisions were Thabo Mbeki’s decision not to press ahead and charge Jacob Zuma, and the second when the National Prosecuting Authority allowed the charges against Julius Malema and his Ratanang Trust and On-Point Trading to be dropped. Both were “unlosable” cases.

The failure to take these to court has had untold ramifications on our economy, politics and country. They have enabled and emboldened others with crooked intent to loot our national assets at national, regional and municipal levels.

To stay out of jail, once Zuma had wheedled his way back into power he systematically eviscerated all arms of the state that might bring charges against him, from the Scorpions to the Hawks, NPA, police and other state security structures. The result? The Guptas and others stole all our cheese.

Both Malema and Zuma have evaded prosecution because both fundamentally were allowed to blackmail prosecuting forces by threatening a tit-for-tat revealing of other “offences” that might embarrass others. This must never be allowed to happen again.

We need, as a matter of great urgency, to bring charges against these two individuals. The past cannot be undone, but we need to send a strong signal that we are moving on from the past. Events within parliament during the state of the nation address confirm the clear need for action. We need to reverse those two fateful decisions of a decade ago, and pronto.

Jon Quirk
Hoedspruit

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