Commander in thief

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November 8, 2016
Commander in thief

NOT UNTOUCHABLE: President Jacob Zuma

Report proves democracy is well.

There has been more fireworks in our political arena in the past week, than in all the 400 years of Guy Fawkes days combined.

Every day seems to bring with it new explosions. Last week, our country must have had THE most number of nervous politicians in the world.

I know a lot has been said in the last week about the “State of Capture” report, but please allow me my two cents worth.

There are so many angles to this, that it’s even tough to decide where to begin.

The former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report is the thing future generations will look back on and will be identified as the defining moment in SA politics. The one thing that came and turned everything on its head.

And if nothing else, the report exposes Jacob Zuma as a man who doesn’t have the country’s best interest at heart.

While there was no clear illegal action, I got the impression he’s always looking for a gap to make a buck.

But his conduct is also tacit approval to public servants everywhere that it’s OK to enrich themselves; to look for ways to go against the spirit of our democracy.

The problem with having a Commander in THIEF, is that other senior public servants feel they can also raid the public purse without consequence.

But what struck me the most reading the report, was how powerful the public protector is; more powerful even than our first citizen.

The fact that Thuli was able to ask direct questions to him and press him for answers, gave me a lot of confidence in our checks and balances.

It also made me realise how important it is for us all to remain vigilant and to demand only the highest standards and morals from our leaders.

And to support structures that can hold them accountable for their actions.

Thuli’s final report was more than just a swansong. It was a solid line being drawn to show exactly where the split between honest and crooked politicians is.

It’s the new benchmark; an immovable line supported by law and a line that is not merely about actions, but also about inaction going against the
spirit or morality.

Having an incorruptible public protector is the best thing that has ever happened to our democracy; someone who took action based on the facts, leaving no room for argument.

Thuli spoke for the last time and – instead of wasting our tax money on lawyers exploiting every possible legal loophole for as long as possible – all that’s left for politicians to do now is desperate damage control.

Or how about making sure your conduct is never brought into question?

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