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Donald Sekwakweng
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Leaders should be driven by a strong moral campus

19 March 2013, 11:00

"It [delivering textbooks] is an administrative function and it has nothing to do with me as a minister."… “There was nothing the minister could have done to prevent it even if he was in the country”.

Like many superficial legislations, the Executive Code Ethics of the Executive Members’ Ethics Act, 1998 (Act No. 82 of 1998) have become nothing but formalities that mis-lead the citizens that government officials are the servant of the people, and they would do anything within their powers to banish acts of corruption. It contains contradiction between its essences and what’s real.

Why is it that we have an ethics rules to guide officials, yet officials fail to resign having contravened this ethics? We have a problem with ministers and the president failing to take responsibility for their actions and failure to implement policies. Is has become clear that they choose to disregard to rules due to their ‘struggle’ credentials and their belief that they fought to be in those position.

When they have to shoulder responsibilities for their departments, they make excuses and chide the opposition parties. The latter actions seem to convince people that the current state of governance is justified. The truth is if a leader fails to inspire his followers to perform their duties with integrity and accountability it will not be a surprise when they become incompetent. Current indicators of our economic clearly shows that South Africa is failing to keep with service delivery mainly because the majority of people heading the government departments are not qualified to be in those positions and also fails to be accountable.

Leaders in government should by guided by a strong moral compass to resign whenever there are issues of mismanagement in their departments. Premier of Free State should resign for his actions, or lack of, in the corruption with regard to website tender and other shady deals which the province has been doing with the Letlake group. The Premier of Limpopo Cassel Mathale should have taken a moral stand to resign due to his poor leadership that lead to the collapse of the province economy. Minister of police should step down to show that he is taking responsibility for what happened in Marikana, what also happened recently with the death of Mido Marcia, and for the rather military action of the police that mutilate society instead of protecting it. Angie motshekga should have stepped down for the failure of her department to oversee the delivery of textbooks in Limpopo.

We South Africans, need to adopt and teach this official culture of resignation, this can only happen through active citizenship beyond elections times. As much as we can protest against lack of service delivery, we need to protest their actions that disregard the rules of society, because right now we have a situation where rules are for the citizens and not the rulers. South Africans must insist a clause be included in this Ethics Acts that allow for dismissal for those implicated, let the people govern.

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