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Lesetja Setjas Diphoko
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I love my South Africa

04 October 2012, 18:59
Mr President,

I love my South Africa

The entire society is at the risk of becoming ethically poor, due to the ethical dilemas we find ourselves in as a result of your administrative short-comings. Sociologist Raymond Baumhart (Issues of Ethics, Web) once asked people "What does ethics mean ?" I would also like to redirect the very same question to you Mr President, What does ethics mean to you? The two of us might have different meanings to what "Ethics" means, actually I think there is no commonly accepted definition for ethics.

However let me assure you, the correct meaning of ethics is not confined to one's position in society or one's generation. My definition of ethics is, it is a continuous effort of studying my own moral beliefs and moral conduct, and striving to ensure that I, and the instituitions I am in , help shape and live up to the standards that are reasonable and solidly-based.

Article by Liza van Wyk "Real Leaders require integrity to achieve a shared vision" (Business Report 9 May 2012, page 16) is very interesting and I hope you will make time to read it. The integrity of our goverment should be protected and enhanced at all times. At this stage the credibility of our government is on shaky ground because of scandals that are mushrooming around . People are importing their ill-discipline and greed into their lines of duty.

Instead of our government correlating greatness, it is projecting mediocrity as a result of greedy people. We need disciplined people in government positions, individuals with disciplined thought processes. The culture of discipline in our society is diminishing, people who are in the public eye fail to influence us in order to act towards our common goal of eradicating poverty and trying to build an equitable society. But with errosion of morality and ethics in our government that is far from being a reality.

Mr President, I have nothing personal against you. I like your charisma and your compassion but those qualities sell you short. Those around you take advantage of you Mr President! You are facing a governance and power structure that is rather complex, and it makes your leadership style impractical in such a setting. Your leadership style is purely inclusive and consensus building but for the long-term success of our country and for greater achievement, we can never run this country on consensus and popularity only. We need a decisive leadership!

Crossing the Rubicon

The Gauteng E-Toll saga, Mdluli issue, Celegate, ANCYL defiance, to name a few says a lot about your leadership and the appointments you make my leader. You seriously need to consider your future in Soutrh African and World politics. Your chief object should not be to become our country's President in the next term but to leave a legacy behind that says President Jacob Zuma presided over a government that had good checks and balances and enhanced oversight over government works. The situation as it is now is not encouraging.

The political terrain is very tricky, there are favours involved and courtesy. You must be finding yourself in a tight corner more especially with all the scandals involving those you have appointed. If I may borrow from Dr Zweli Mkhize's speech at the KZN ANC Congress this weekend "Uncontrollable desire to accumulate wealth in a manner that creates conflict of interest, abuse of positions of authority and sliding to fraud and corruption.

This causes challenges for deployees to be accused and causes citizens to lose hope in the elected leadership. The temptation to manipulate procurement systems is growing. In some cases the accusation of micro-management by the political leadership has had its basis in this tendency. Fraud and corruption remain the cancer that cannot be allowed to subvert government systems and risk the ANC being labelled soft on corruption.

Some of these tendencies tend to spill to our constitutional structures creating impression of leaders trying to use structures for self-defence or cover up. That, we cannot allow! The recent Afrobarometer report published by IDASA report on the attitudes of society indicates a significant increase in the perceptions of corruption amongst elected representatives. A large number that do not approach elected representatives to seek solutions to their problems.

Greed and scramble for resources has been observed where elected and deployed cadres lose focus on the programme of the ANC and spend time quarrelling amongst themselves as they compete for access to resources resulting in the paralysis of a structure of government or a constitutional structure. Very often this has resulted in a slinging match of ANC members that fight openly much to the amazement of both supporters and opposition alike as the gory details of their dirty encounters are turned into headlines and sound bites.

In our case the ANC has not hesitated to act on party members where it was clear that personal interests were the cause of infighting and good governance was compromised. People have been removed from positions and disciplinary hearing initiated." Dr Zweli Mkhize's position on corruption and lack of ethics is very clear with regards to the corrosion of leadership and integrity in our cadreship.

The situation we find ourselves in is very appallling and needs your decisiveness. We need lightning energy leadership and your actions ought to be decisive and solid. Our country is facing serious challenges of governance

One last thing, as to why our Police Services was militarized even up to this day I don't understand the logic. You have failed me.

Mr President I rather you don't come back for another term, Be like Mandela! Kindly leave the stage and don't turn around my leader.

Comradely yours

Lesetja Setjas Diphoko

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