| About the Trust: Mission Statement | Fact Sheet on the Trust
The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa says in its preamble: “We, the people of South Africa, recognize the injustices of our past; Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land; Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country”.
Our country is founded on the values of “human dignity, the achievement of equality and the advancement of human rights and freedoms”.
In his report to Parliament on the manner in which the National Prosecuting Authority conducted the criminal investigation against the former Deputy President, the Public Protector found that the former National Director of Public Prosecutions “unjustifiably infringed upon Mr Zuma’s constitutional right to human dignity and caused him to be improperly prejudiced”.
The media has, over a protracted period, persecuted Jacob Zuma for his alleged involvement in the arms deal, subjecting him to all manner of humiliation and severely compromising his dignity.
In June 2005, Judge Hillary Squires pronounced that Zuma and his former financial advisor, Schabir Shaik, had a “mutually beneficial symbiosis”. This prompted President Thabo Mbeki to release Zuma from his duties as Deputy President on June 14, 2005.
In his address to Parliament that day, Mbeki said: “…I would like to emphasise two basic pillars of our jurisprudence, namely, equality before the law and the right to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise.
“We are of the firm view that this principle applies to the Deputy President not merely as a matter of principle and common decency, but also in deference to the individual occupying such office and the service that he has rendered to the Republic and its people before and after the attainment of our liberation. Unambiguous as the judgement may be about an assumed unsavoury relationship, the Deputy President has yet to have his day in court,” Mbeki said.
In response to the President’s announcement, Zuma said: “As stated before, let me reiterate that my conscience is clear. I have not committed any crime against the State or the people of South Africa. I however still maintain that I have been treated extremely unfairly throughout the entire debacle for about half a decade. Throughout this period, I did not use my position in government in any way to interfere with the due process of law, because I believe in, and cherish our democracy and Constitution. I believed that organs of state and other role players would be guided by the principles in our Constitution.
“But contrary to this, I have been tried by the media and in effect found guilty by a court in absentia. I have not been given an opportunity in an appropriate forum to defend myself against the allegations made. Yet our Constitution states that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.”
Two weeks later, Msholozi appeared in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on charges of corruption and was granted bail of R1000.
The image media reports painted of Msholozi standing alone in court before the magistrate has hurt and angered many people across our land who love and respect him.
Jacob Zuma will never stand alone again.
The Friends of Jacob Zuma Trust will serve as a fund raising campaign to help pay for Msholozi’s legal costs, as well as to support him during this difficult time.
The Constitution places an obligation on us as citizens to guard the founding values of our republic, as well as to honour and respect those who fought for our liberation. We have a Constitutional and moral obligation to act on behalf of any person whose dignity and human rights are violated.
We remember the words of the World War I German naval Lieutenant Martin Niemoller:
First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me--
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
We take our cue from our President who said at the close of the ANC National General Council that: “it is an imperative of natural justice that he should have an opportunity to defend himself against whatever accusations have been made against him. We are all united around these principled positions and join him in hoping that the judicial processes will not be delayed unnecessarily”
The Friends of Jacob Zuma Trust is committed to help ensure that Msholozi has a speedy and fair trial.
On the day he was released from his duties in the Cabinet, Msholozi said: “I have dedicated all my life to serving the people of this country, and to working for a better South Africa. I am determined to continue serving my country in whatever capacity and role, and remain ready to make whatever sacrifice necessary for our country”.
The Friends of Jacob Zuma will strive to see that this legacy is preserved.