By Roy Jankielsohn, Leader of the Official Opposition in the Free State Provincial Legislature:
Ace Magashule and the ANC are acting as labour brokers for Cuba.
Yesterday afternoon, Ace Magashule undermined the democratic principle of the separation of the party and the state when he presented 37 Cuban engineers to the media at the ANC’s provincial headquarters in Bloemfontein. This has become the norm under Operation Hlasela in the Free State.
If Ace Magashule and the ANC were keen on creating jobs for unemployed South Africans, his government could have employed any of the about 500 qualified, experienced, and unemployed engineers in the country.
Magashule claims his government had to employ these engineers from Cuba because South Africans do not possess the requisite skills. This mentality is the worst sort of insult to South Africans.
The relationship between the Free State and Cuba is extremely questionable. Ace Magashule and his comrades are so infatuated by an outdated revolutionary romanticism, they are unable to think clearly.
MEC Tate Makgoe commented during the budget vote debates that Cubans possess the right kind of ideology to participate in the Free State government’s programmes, which we must stress are being funded by South African taxpayers, and not Luthuli House.
The Free State government is hell-bent on staffing the provincial civil service with ANC ideologically aligned Cubans above the millions of unemployed South Africans. This creates questions about what benefit the ANC and its individual leaders might get from what is clearly a financial relationship with Cuba.