Conflict of interest

2009-03-13 00:00

ELEMENTS within the tripartite alliance have demanded the resignation of Unisa vice-chancellor Barney Pityana, alleging that he is neglecting the university and using his position to promote the Congress of the People. If this is true, it would be amply justified.

But the ruling party is on shaky ground. It has consistently misused state institutions for its own purposes and in particular involved them in its faction fighting: the security services are a case in point. Remarkable growth in its investment portfolio has been linked to conflicts of interest in government tendering.

There are also well-founded allegations that deployees have simply abandoned government posts and are canvassing full time for their party. This would constitute a serious case of political corruption and a danger to the constitutional state. Senior opposition politicians have taken official leave in order to campaign. It is a practice that should be both compulsory and rigorously enforced.

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