Is the president being ill-advised?

2016-02-10 06:00

THE announcement made by the president to pay back a certain portion of the money related to the non-security additions to his homestead in Nkandla is being construed as an admission of guilt.

If the president and his cabinet were so confident that taxpayers’ money was not abused, they would not be afraid to go to the Constitutional Court to defend their assertions about Nkandla.

It seems that Jacob Zuma’s advisers have been misleading him or they had a preconceived notion that he is untouchable. Were his advisers misleading him to such an extent that he developed a false sense of security?

The president and all the different task teams that were instituted to cover up the non-security upgrades at Nkandla may be exposed at the Constitutional Court. This could be the fundamental reason why Zuma is now bowing to pressure to pay back the money.

His advisers will also be feeling the heat as they realise the antics to protect Number One with bizarre and unrealistically fabricated arguments, like the pool being a fire pool, do not hold any water (no pun intended).

Zuma’s advisers also wanted to sue Shapiro, a satirical artist, for defamation of character in what has now become known as the famous shower drawing.

Shapiro was initially sued for an amount of R5 million, which was reduced to R50 000.

He did not pay as he was prepared to defend the allegations of defamation instituted against him.

As the court date drew closer, the case was withdrawn by the state attorney. This could be another classic case of the president being ill-advised.

The sacking of Nhlanhla Nene as Finance minister sent the rand into free fall as almost R165 billion was wiped out of the stock exchange, making the economy vulnerable.

Could this be another classic example of the advisers underestimating the gravity of their dubious decisions?

The policy decisions that the president enunciates are a collective decision of the people entrusted to advise him. However, it could be a case of the president being assertive, resulting in him driving a specific agenda and thereby undermining the decisions of the advisers, or it could be a lack of skills on the part of the advisers, with the result that they are unable to make decisions that effect the country positively.

Speculation is not going to remedy our battered economy, our poor growth rate of below one percent and the impending downgrade that will relegate South Africa to junk status.

South Africa needs decisive leadership from our government — decisions that will not impact detrimentally on the poor and vulnerable but will bring about real change to the millions of people who have been affected by poor service delivery due to nepotism and corruption.

The time for real change is now.

There is no other way to effect constructive change but to hire skilled and experienced personnel who can move this democratic revolution forward.

Anything less than this will be a compromise which people are not prepared to accept any longer.



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