The cheap politics of election years

2014-01-26 10:00

It’s been quite a week for the ruling party, or specifically those within the ANC’s ranks who have proved embarrassing.

First it emerged that the party’s three most senior political leaders in Madibeng swiftly resigned after service-delivery protests in Mothutlung in which police allegedly killed four residents.

Mayor Poppy Magongoa, speaker Buti Makhongela and the council’s ANC chief whip, Solly Malete, quit after it emerged that they failed to implement the recommendations of a task team established by former cooperative governance minister Richard Baloyi to investigate corruption in the municipality.

The task team advised that councillors and senior managers be disciplined and criminally charged for financial mismanagement.

Then The New Age reported that ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu’s personal assistant, Cikizwa Xozwa, and her husband, Bantubahle Xozwa, head of the ANC’s religious and traditional affairs desk, were fired. The party later said they resigned.

The couple owned the company that employed fake sign language interpreter Thamsanqa Jantjie, who embarrassed the country in front of the world at the memorial service of former president Nelson Mandela.

So far, so fantastic. Many said it was high time that wrongdoers get their comeuppance. The party was getting its house in order ahead of elections. Wouldn’t it be great if the polls could take place every year?

But then we read in the Sowetan on Friday of the “rogues’ gallery” included on the ANC’s list of candidates to Parliament and our hopes were dashed.

The list includes John Block, who has been charged with racketeering and fraud in a case involving the purchase of water-purification tablets by the Northern Cape government at inflated prices.

Then there’s Pule Mabe, who has been charged with fraud for allegedly receiving money irregularly from the SA Social Security Agency.

Then there is fraudster Tony Yengeni, who accepted a handsome discount on his Mercedes ML320 from a company linked to a European arms manufacturer. And Humphrey Memezi, former Gauteng housing MEC, who spent R10?000 on art at fast food chain McDonald’s using his government credit card.

Surely we can be forgiven for thinking that the resignations of the Madibeng three and the Xozwas are simply cheap politics? And that, if you are important enough, it doesn’t matter what laws you break. You’ll still get to Parliament, where all the laws are made.

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


Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
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.