Indecisive justice is indecisive

What are you indecisive about?It has taken 10 years and 7 months for the honourable Eben Jordaan to reach a conclusion in the trial of the right wing “boeremag”. 10 years. What was so complex and difficult in this trial that it could not be addressed in a week?  Too many accused – there were an amazing 19 defendants?  That is not as many as the Nuremburg trials though, which took under a year for some 200 defendants.  What was it then?  Flip, it must be something – it took 10 years for crying out loud.  Nobody knows.

Actually, nobody cares any more.  The sheer absurd duration of this trial gives weight to the protestations of the accused that the court has no jurisdiction over them, and also gives weight to all their other ridiculous and bizarre arguments. Clearly those arguments must have merit if they managed to tie up the state’s attention for 10 years while they try to establish that they are guilty of the charges put to them.

Apparently, says the honourable Eben Jordaan, they are.  Whoopee yay.  It took 10 years.  They must be bad.  In fact, they must be so badly bad that they are actually bad bad.  We know, because it took 10 years to get to the point.

When someone is guilty it is a simple matter of the facts, the testimony and the clear arguments presented by the prosecution (not rebutted by the defence) that establish guilt.  To take 10 years to get to the point means that the point is not the point.  The real point is something to do with the payment of lawyers for their invaluable services, the accumulation of mountains of boxes of paperwork full of finely crafted prose and presumably the great difficulties of scheduling play dates for all the great legal minds when all of their mommies can simultaneously spare them for court.  10 years.  Hell, what’s that about?

By way of comparison, and speaking of hell, this is how the final judgement is scheduled to go down:

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.  Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

That is not indecisive.  It’s pretty straightforward – the relevant facts are extracted from the mass of evidence, and the judgement is given.

10 years.  It is despicable.

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