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Lesego Setou
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Our president: When an asset turns liability

10 July 2013, 11:14

Our President- When an Asset Turns Liability

I recently decided to take a sabbatical from reading Newspapers and listening to the news. The rationale behind that was I needed a break. I needed a break from hearing about violence against women and children, a break from brutal heart-breaking reports on rape. I was tired of affirmation that we do not have strong leadership and worrying reports about our approach to basic education. I then asked myself what was the root cause to most of the challenges we are currently facing as a country. In my moment of deep thought and analysis, I realised that our President was at the centre of a myriad of challenges we are currently facing. I am not at all relinquishing my role in creating a wonderful South Africa within my sphere of influence; I do however acknowledge that leadership will always set precedence on behaviour, attitude and principles adopted at any point in time.

I would like to highlight 4key challenges facing our country and how these challenges are aggravated by the kind of leader we choose for ourselves


It dawned upon me that we must be mad as a people to expect anything other than our current state of affairs with regard to rape. We shot ourselves in the stomach by electing a President who was acquitted of rape. What message did we think we were sending to the public? Acquitted or not my view is you do not want a President whose name and rape are mentioned in one sentence. Do you remember how the ANC Women League were bashing the lady who was supposedly wronged person in the President’s rape case, now how do you expect any urgency from the Ministry of Women, Children and Disability in addressing this current pandemic; How do you expect the same system that acquitted the president to successfully curb rape.


An old saying goes; the people around us, shape us and are shaped by us. We have a President who was associated with the Shaik’s of this world, had corruption charges dropped against him.  How do you then fully reprimand the Private Sectors of this world when they collude and fix bread prices, How do you hold Construction companies accountable for price fixing. Our President has created an enabling environment for corruption; he is the Champion of the Eat, Pray and Love Culture that is reigning in our country. The culture were people eat as much as they want, pray that they don’t get caught and if they do get caught, they are saved by the fact that they have loved everyone enough that their relationships are so water tight, that they cannot be reprimanded. We are now applauding him for firing Dina Pule, the lady who was supposed to have been fired million moons ago.


Apartheid did a lot in ensuring that black people do not have good quality education but Nelson Mandela is educated, Thabo Mbeki is educated it therefore means it is possible to have a President who is educated. We cannot account selecting Jacob Zuma as President to shortage of skills. How do you expect our President to appreciate the importance of education when he could reach the highest form of leadership without none? Most importantly how do you convince the youth of the significance of education when our president has none and is not to seen as a change agent in the education front. Are we not crazy to expect our President to realize Angie Motshekga’s incapacity? On what basis will our President know good quality education, using what as reference point?


We will always remember Nelson Mandela for a desire for a rainbow nation, a colourful nation that reflects love, peace and forgiveness. We will revere Thabo Mbeki for African Renaissance, building the rich pride that is Africa. How will we remember Jacob Zuma, will it be for his association with the Guptas; His Buckingham palace in the form of Nkandla or his great singing ability.

As we prepare for elections next year, we need to really think of our beautiful South Africa and the kind of leadership it deserves. We also need to step up and lead in our very own spheres of influence, we cannot replicate Jacob Zuma’s leadership model in our respective roles and want to persecute him for poor leadership. We need to lead from bottom up. It is no longer enough to have A Nelson Mandela day, we need to make every day, every hour, every minute, Mandela day. Nelson Mandela did his part, we all need to run with our individual batons and shape the world. South Africans be blessed and be a blessing.

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