City Press Says: The meaning is very clear

2011-07-16 18:42

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said she was not going to tell President Jacob Zuma what to do with her second scathing report on police building leases this week.

But she hoped that he would do the “right thing” to those implicated.

We do not want to leave open the interpretation of what Madonsela might have meant, so we will spell it out: Fire them.

The credibility of our public institutions is at risk.

Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde has not only nearly cost the state hundreds of millions of rands in wasteful expenditure, but thought herself above the scrutiny of a constitutional institution when she refused to answer some of Madonsela’s tough questions.

The minister’s misconduct means that she cannot be trusted to lead the state’s main procurement office.

Police chief General Bheki Cele has, for the second time, been found to have acted unlawfully.

How is a nation expected to place its confidence in the top police officer when he himself thinks nothing of contravening legislation?

And this comes not too long after his predecessor, Jackie Selebi, was convicted of corruption.

Sicelo Shiceka, the cooperative governance and traditional affairs minister, has been on sick leave since March.

Our local tier of government, which is at the coalface of service delivery, has been without political leadership at a time of bloody protests and unrest.

Being compassionate toward incapacitated comrades is honourable, but when it affects governance and the invalid is drowning in allegations of gross irregularities – including visiting his incarcerated girlfriend in a foreign land – it is time to pull the plug on the minister’s career.

We agree with labour federation Cosatu that in other functioning democracies, the three would long have followed their consciences and resigned.

We don’t yet have such a culture here, so we urge the president to do the right thing and put these three out to pasture forthwith.

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