People will call rulers to account, warns Tutu

2011-03-09 15:37

What is happening in North Africa should remind governments everywhere that people are not fools, they will call rulers to account.

This warning was addressed to the South African government by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, chancellor of the University of the Western Cape this afternoon.

Delivering the Annual Desmond Tutu Ecumenical Lecture at UWC’s Main Hall, Tutu said: “I am fond of our President Zuma. He is affable and warm.

“But I do believe it would have been better for him to have been pronounced innocent by a court of law weighing the evidence rather than through a dubious administrative act.”

He said the arms deal was “an unnecessary albatross”. “If indeed there is nothing to hide, the government surely has nothing to fear from a judicial commission of inquiry into the arms deal ...

“Our country with such tremendous potential is going to be dragged backwards and downwards by corruption which in some instances is quite blatant."

He added: “It may be that there is really nothing to worry about with the parole of (Schabir) Shaik but it must raise eyebrows when someone who was said to be at death’s door is shown playing golf.

“It is worrying when his close relationship to the President is put in juxtaposition,” said Tutu.

“Perhaps the Gupta family would make all those lucrative deals and it is merely coincidental that the President’s son is a beneficiary”, he said.

“It may all be above board but it is worrisome. I am sure it is all in order but it is disturbing that there are these seeming coincidences.”

Tutu pointed out the the people were not fools.

“They notice things and one day they will explode. “We have many competent people in this country, people of all races, people who would be snapped up in other countries, people who love this country passionately, people who were involved in the struggle, people who are today being sidelined because the first qualification is not ability, not calibre, but political affiliation”, he said.

In a way that was “as wrong as judging people by the colour of their skin”.

South Africa needed to revert to the well tried constituency system, Tutu said.

“And we need a vigilant and fearless media who have by and large served us well.”

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.