Beware of eel-like Motlanthe

2012-10-13 12:00

When Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe requested the Public Protector probe allegations that Gugu Mtshali gave political support to an Iranian oil deal in return for R104 million, he was hailed as an example of morally upright leadership.

But now that the report is ready and has been submitted to him, his silence is deafening.

Why is Motlanthe sitting on this report when it is clear the public wants to know if the girlfriend of the country’s deputy president has used her proximity to the office of the deputy president to solicit bribery?

Archbishop Desmond Tutu once rebuked Nelson Mandela for cohabiting with Graça Machel after he divorced Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, saying he should pay lobola and get married as cohabiting would set a bad example.

The same should apply to the deputy president, whose image is being characterised as that of a man of good morals – in comparison to the polygamist President Jacob Zuma – with the hint that someone who always looks aloof and dapper in his Western-style suits must obviously be more trustworthy than a person who appears totally at ease in traditional garb, and even worse may be seen fraternising with the lowest of the low.

This includes, for Zuma, even poor white Afrikaners on his visits to squatter camps and other areas housing the poor.

The most observable characteristics of Motlanthe are his slippery, eel-like nature and his ability to survive without making his views clear on any controversial topic.

Such a person is an obvious choice as interim leader prior to the transferral of the title deeds to Tokyo Sexwale.

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