Action towards scandal a little too late

2018-11-28 06:03
Dr Sethulego Matebesi

Dr Sethulego Matebesi

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South Africa has moved from an era of unfulfilled promises to the elec­torate of the past two decades to one dominated by political scandals.

The report by Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane, which directs Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa to take disciplinary action against former Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba for lying in court, illustrates this.

As respected as he is, Ramaphosa is kept prisoner by internal divisions within the ANC and a government which is characterised by entrenched moral bankruptcy.

The fact that the ANC’s integrity commission has recommended to the party’s leadership that all party members implicated in the VBS Mutual Bank scandal step down from leadership positions and activities is welcome, but too late.

In tracing the genealogy of the VBS scandal, several related questions arise about the timing and need for the call by the ANC’s integrity committee.

Where was the integrity committee when the rampant looting and destruction of state institutions took place? Is it because those involved in the VBS scandal are not the so-called Untouchables in the ruling party? How did this take place on the watch of the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, and the National Treasury?

The state presents interesting contradictions by arguing that municipalities are independent entities. For example, the West Rand District Municipality, which lost R77 million in the VBS Bank scandal, has failed to pay employee salaries for October.

A plausible strategy for dealing with such is to hold the president of the country accountable.

  • Dr Sethulego Matebesi, Head of the Department of Sociology at the University of the Free State (UFS).

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