South Africa’s leadership vacuum

Tom Stokes, MPP

Democratic Alliance

The Nkandla saga is just another example of the lack of leadership within the ANC and the reason why it is difficult to trust this party to run our country.

If we had a responsible government, senior members in the cabinet as well as rank and file ANC supporters would express outrage against this blatant misuse of state funds. Instead we have an orchestrated cover-up in the form of an obfuscating Minister of Public Works, Thulas Nxesi, trying to shift any blame away from the president towards low ranking departmental officials. This is the same tactic used by Angie Motshekga over the delivery of workbooks to schools in Limpopo. It seems that it is never the person in authority to blame but some confused underling who is at fault.

But responsible governments around the world insist that the head of a department or head of state take responsibility for what happens under their watch. Reason tells us that it is impossible to believe that Zuma was not aware of what kind of expenditure was being incurred at his own private residence. If he was unaware of things going on under his nose, huge questions need to be answered about his capability as the leader of this country and of his cabinet. If, as Nxesi insists “The President is not involved whatsoever” then he himself should accept responsibility for the mismanagement of this project and resign.

The principle of authority and accountability must be enforced in our governing structures if we are ever to escape the national habit of corruption and mal-administration. Unfortunately there do not appear to be any courageous leaders within the ANC who are prepared to stand up for what is right and responsible.

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