Ethical leadership needed - Madonsela

2012-03-13 10:48

Johannesburg - There is massive maladministration in South Africa because of unethical leadership, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said on Tuesday.

"Without an ethical society we cannot expect ethical leadership in government," Madonsela told delegates at a "Tomorrow's Leaders Convention" in Johannesburg.

"The biggest challenge is leading yourself successfully."

Madonsela said the abuse of power and unethical leadership went hand in hand in the public, as well as the private sector. Examples included irregularities in state tender procedures and allegations of corruption within the auction industry. Ethical leadership was vital, especially in Africa, she said.

New ideas

"We need leaders to step up and think out of the box... We need leaders with new ideas."

Titles did not make leaders, she said.

"If you lean heavily on a title you are not a leader, it is just a position you hold."

She said there was a link between ethical and sustainable leadership. Madonsela used the example of business leaders offering bribes to get what they wanted.

"Sometimes you succeed, but eventually you get caught and everything goes down the drain. Hence the link between ethical and sustainable leadership. Ethical leadership is the lifeblood of sustainable leadership in your personal life and in business."

Madonsela said with ethical leadership Africa would live up to the idea of an African renaissance.

"We can do it. If you say you do not want maladministration... then do not engage in it. If you lead yourself successfully... you will remain ethical," she said.

  • Willem - 2012-03-13 10:55

    or maybe we should grow up and stop hoping our leaders are good men and start facing up to the facts that they are just men and they will do whatever they think they can get away. Assume your next elected official is the evil love child of Hitler and Mugabe and design government around that!

      Heiku - 2012-03-13 11:41

      I cannot agree with you more. This scam has gone too far!

      Spyker - 2012-03-13 11:45

      If there is any hope of ever attaining "...Ethical Leadership..." in SA - you will have to ban the ANC again...

      Tshifhiwa - 2012-03-13 11:50

      And this comes from someone who gave a state owned vehicle to her son to destroy it deliberately so that she can get a "sexy car".

      Tshifhiwa - 2012-03-13 11:52

      @Spyker_May those who banned the ANC back then were also unethical. a constuctive comment would have been much better mate.

      Jayb - 2012-03-13 12:13

      @ Spyker to ban ANC wil not solve the problem because the new party to take over will do the same.

      bobby.mykonos - 2012-03-13 13:16

      I don't feel entitled to break the law because I see someone else breaking the law. Do your best to do the right thing every day and don't let the failings of others pull you down to their level. Call me self righteous if you like but being righteous is what is required from all of us.

  • Stan - 2012-03-13 10:56

    both in the public and the private sector... look at the Auction Alliance saga for example, look at Arthur Brown, look at Brett Kebble... we need some soul searching as south africans

      Dawood - 2012-03-13 11:26

      No Stan.. these criminals like JUJU,ZUMA,OTHER POLITICIANS,SHAIKH,ARTHUR BROWN,WENDY MCORMICK,AUCTION ALLIANCE THIEVES,and all other criminals should be locked up..they should serve as examples for the rest whom intend to do the same..we're sick and tired of this crap

      Willie - 2012-03-13 11:42

      Got it brother thumbs up

      Garth - 2012-03-13 12:34

      Dawood, sometimes you are so rational it astounds; but at other times . . .

      Stan - 2012-03-13 13:51

      @Art, firstly, there is no such thing as Xhoza and secondly it's not only blacks who commit these crimes, so please get off your high horse....

  • Siphiwo - 2012-03-13 11:00

    A very forthright woman, Thuli Madonsela. If we can continue producing leaders of this calibre in SA, we will win over corruption. I salute you Thuli and encouraging others to follow suit.

      Stan - 2012-03-13 11:01

      pitty about her children... perhaps she adopted them....

      procold2 - 2012-03-13 11:16

      siphiwo, she is already out of the box and working maybe if the rest of the leaders not only think out of the box and get out of it we might have a future.

      Thozi - 2012-03-13 11:29

      @Siphiwo The problem is that Ms Thuli is like a rare good and isolated plant growing among unwanted weeds. With senior politicians like the ANC Secretay General depicting Mugabe as a hero to be emulated, what hope do we have? No matter our chldren regard the Gadaffis of this world as true heroes and despise people like Dr Martin Luther King and Archbishop Tutu. They'd rather go with the likes of Malema - a crying hyena. Sis Thuli, please know that you are supported by a lot of good people here in S Africa.

      Ian - 2012-03-13 11:29

      Siphiwo - I totally agree with you. @ Stan - If you have shildren you will know that one cannot control everything they do, especially if you want independent thinking kids. Even I at times embarrased my parents when I was young. Kids will be kids and parents cannot be blamed for everything they do.

      Thozi - 2012-03-13 11:33

      @Stan People remain individuals and Sis Thuli's children are individuals and are indeed children. She does not try to hide or protect what they do wrong, but she lovingly tries to show them the right way. What a great mother!!

      Lungani - 2012-03-13 12:31

      @Stan....Do you hate Thuli madonsela?. Its like she has investigated or ensured conviction of your relative/friend. Please show her some respect

  • Ben - 2012-03-13 11:03

    Of course she is correct by saying this but nothing will become of her warning because while it is raining pap they will skep.

  • Morama - 2012-03-13 11:06

    In public sector we don't have leaders but fire all starting from pres who had corrupt relationship with shaik!!! We knew this from day one that there are no leaders in south nafrican government.And as for private sector,yes nepotism and favouritism is at it's best!!! South Africa is stuffed!!!

      Bomb - 2012-03-13 11:12

      Give Morama a Bells!!

      bobby.mykonos - 2012-03-13 13:15

      South Africa came back from the brink of civil war once already. I refuse to accept that we are "stuffed". We are being challenged. Problem is we are too busy fighting with each other and pointing fingers. Stay positive ;)

  • Alister - 2012-03-13 11:06

    And the new ideas have to be built on the ancient foundations of good values, ethics and principles - those that are universally accepted not because they are popular or universally practised but because they are simply the right thing to do. And it helps not to elect borderline sociopaths (!

      Rob - 2012-03-13 12:25

      Alister: We also need to be aware of ywo rather dangerous tendencies... For older people to believe that what was is alsways going to be better and For younger people to often believe that older ideas are outdated and irelevant.

  • Brave - 2012-03-13 11:08

    Emile Durkheim once said, “When mores are sufficient, laws are unnecessary; when mores are insufficient, laws are unenforceable.” in RSA - where are we? How can you fight corruption with a prez everyone knows would probably have been behind bars if the charges were not dropped?

      Foc - 2012-03-13 11:16

      wtf is a 'more'??

      rob4e - 2012-03-13 11:26

      Foc I think it means MOAR COS MOAR

      Foc - 2012-03-13 11:27

      Now I am even MORE confused .....

      Vegi - 2012-03-13 11:29

      Foc Your question is "contra bonos mores."

      Foc - 2012-03-13 11:31

      Can someone PLEASE speak ENGLISH??

      yoginnaidoo - 2012-03-13 11:47

      A set of moral norms or customs derived from generally accepted practices. Mores derive from the established practices of a society rather than its written laws.

      Foc - 2012-03-13 12:03

      Thank you Yogi .... see it is not so difficult to explain something in an understandable way :-) I bet a few other 'planks' also learnt something in the process ....

      TaniaSandraSteyn - 2012-03-13 12:12

      Foc, it is an archaic form of the word "moral".

  • Beryl - 2012-03-13 11:08


  • Herman - 2012-03-13 11:10

    No way! Could this bring SA back on track, ethical leaders? Get rid of the anc and start over then and maybe then can we save this country, but alas, never with the voting system in SA.

  • Singatha - 2012-03-13 11:10

    100% agree with the Public Protector on this one, and this unethical leadership is highly contagious especially at local government level through powerful networks of patronage.Also some attain an almost like "cult of personality" status and run their organisations as if it's their personal fiefdoms

  • Tommy.mat1 - 2012-03-13 11:13

    How do u expect good ethics from an illiterate leader? Education must come first, its high time that we adopt the US style.

  • Larry - 2012-03-13 11:16

    She is spot on there. Our Leadership is rotten from the Head down, but what can be done against a group that is above the law.

  • George - 2012-03-13 11:21

    Charity begins at home. We know Thuli has already produced unethical children who will grew up to be unethical leaders.

      Ben - 2012-03-13 11:27

      Wait until your children grow up. See if you can be held responsible for what they do.

      rob4e - 2012-03-13 11:31

      "who will grew up" wtf am I reading

      Ian - 2012-03-13 11:36

      @ Mpaketsane24 - from your assertion I would assume that you do not have kids. The day parents are able to control everything their kids do is teh day we see the demise of independent thinking kids who will grow up to be responsible adults. Yoy make your assertion as if her kids should be different to any other persons kids. If you have kids you will know that when you exopect them to be at their best behaviour is when they will embarrass you. So if you have kids and when you do have kids and they do something questionable we can write it off to them being unethical or perhaps duie to their parents being unethical. Please do us a favour and think before you type. Alternatively, go and trade in your brain coz computer says 'NO'

      Thozi - 2012-03-13 12:38

      @Mpaketsane24 Maybe you also "will grew up" one day, but unfortunately you will always remain "unethical". I'm sure compared to you, Sis Thuli's children are just growing up normally like any other child.

      George - 2012-03-13 14:25

      @rob4e and thozi, suppose I wrote "grow up". what would have been your argument? You are not constructive. I bet the son was given permission to drive the car in question. If not, then she is/was careless with state property.

  • Deon - 2012-03-13 11:23

    We need more educated leaders like her.

      TBlogger - 2012-03-14 08:49

      Deon.. many of our leaders (not all) are educated and its even more sad and pathetic that these same educated leaders cannot use the brain they were given and the knowledge they acquired to do good..

  • rob4e - 2012-03-13 11:25

    We need leaders and politicians who can do X,Y and Z not people who are X,Y and Z.

  • Andrew - 2012-03-13 11:25

    While I agree corruption more than likely exist in both private and public sectors, but it is fueled by greed of people wishing to enrich themselves. In the past government when the responsible persons were caught they were fired and in most cases criminal charged laid. At the present time where these people are found out they are suspended with full pay pending investigation and hearings which drag on forever. To my mind this allows those with intent to continue with this behaviour. The persons caught with hands in the till should be speedily investigated and fired without any benefits post haste. Hopefully this will discourage others to be honest.

      Andrew - 2012-03-13 11:27

      Finger problems last word should read " dishonest"

      Anton Van Schalkwyk - 2012-03-13 16:57

      Agreed, and so too would the death penalty's speedy return have an impact on violent crime in our country.

  • The Real Unskinny - 2012-03-13 11:26

    True Thuli. But just look what kind of example our country has. Is Zoomer the best the ANC can do?

      TBlogger - 2012-03-14 08:50

      I'd choose Zoomer over Julius any day..

  • Madzela Mthombeni - 2012-03-13 11:48

    I hope n trust dat Madonsela will try her level best to expose and stop da dirty. Corruption within the ANC we are so sick of it and its nt wht we hav votd 4 Ahoi

  • Frank - 2012-03-13 11:54

    Definition of "ethics" plural noun 1. ( used with a singular or plural verb ) a system of moral principles: the ethics of a culture. 2. the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.: medical ethics; Christian ethics. 3. moral principles, as of an individual: His ethics forbade betrayal of a confidence. 4. ( usually used with a singular verb ) that branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions. I think this definition should be made available to government and explained to them in detail. The ANC should have to write exams on the subject. Typical questions could be: 1. Can I steal from the poor? 2. Do I have to share tax money with the people? 3. Is corruption a volcano exploding? etc, etc

      Cynthia - 2012-03-13 16:13

      Absolutely brilliant!!!

  • Wayne - 2012-03-13 11:56

    I think Madonsela should run those classes!

  • Thoka - 2012-03-13 12:00

    Thuli Madonsela for President. Lets vote (X)

  • William - 2012-03-13 12:02

    Agreed!!! The ANC has made a mockery of the organisation started by great people like Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo etc. They would be turning in their graves to see the mess that has been created by these fat cats destroying the very principles they fought for. The protection of info act and the attacks on the judiciary are all examples of our great "Dictators' running this country as they please. The people starve and suffer but little regard is given to them. Lets hope and prey the DA is our National government soon!!! Long live democracy, as we are not experiencing it in SA at present. I hope you like Bananas!!! SA is heading for a republic of this nature!!!

  • gerry.woodrow - 2012-03-13 12:04

    Thuli Madonsela, You have said it for us. Thank you! People like you are needed to create patriotism in our great country. Bless you.

  • Phumi - 2012-03-13 12:19

    Madonsela must do us a favour and find the nearest cemetary and just die! I am tired of this notion of always painting everything that is black and African as if it is corrupt, unethical and incompitent! If she has nothing to offer this republic then like her admires who are holding dual citizenship she must follow suite and go to England or New Zealand! We need people who are going to take the plight of Africans in general and black in particular forward in terms of good governance! What we do not need is white massiahs like the ones Madonsela like to please to tell us what we already know!

      Ze Don - 2012-03-13 12:22

      Shoot the messenger... ROFL!

      Morama - 2012-03-13 12:29

      @Phumi,you already know that ANC is taking this country down the drain but what i would like to from you is wha is it that you are doing to stop it? In simple terms ,just vote DA and then you will see the changes we are all longing for!!!

      Mark - 2012-03-13 12:32

      Please try not to contradict yourself more than once in one sentence, it gets confusing. What exactly do you mean by, "Africans in general and black(s) in particular"? The discussion here is about corruption, maladministration and ethics - not color - and you would do well to think before just klapping your keyboard when you see the word "black" appear. This is a serious matter worth discussing intelligently - if you have nothing of value to add then butt out.

      Piet - 2012-03-13 12:37

      Eish the truth is some western thing!

      Eleanore Hill - 2012-03-13 14:47

      Madonsela is practicing good governance. Your idea my friend would more than likely be labeled bad governance all over the world.

  • Dhavandran - 2012-03-13 12:19

    you go girl! and tell the anc that we don't need a new constitution but a new government.

      Alan - 2012-03-13 12:31

      Yeah - I often say .."Lead by example, not legislation"

  • Piet - 2012-03-13 12:35

    We can only guess why! As soon as the ANC starts to show some backbone to get the judiciary right again we have no chance! Offender get of scott free. Sorry not realy scot free, they get suspended on full pay!

  • ReunionofIntelligentMinds - 2012-03-13 12:57

    If we have more Thuli Madonselas we might turn this lovely country to a positive istead of a negative. Hope she has bodyguards, as all these corrupt government officials does not like her comments and investigations at all. She has my vote should she stand for president.

  • Reggie - 2012-03-13 12:58

    If the top dog has a cloud hanging over his head as well as several memebers of the NEC, then how do you exoect MP's etc to behave. During Mandela rule, corruption was not as rife or am I imagining things !!!!

  • Nick - 2012-03-13 13:45

    I am not a racist and never have been, I am however a dishonest-ist, incapability-ist, fraud-ist, power abuse-ist and lier-ist and unaccountability-ist. Go Ntuli we need you desperately, investigate all who are in the slightest way tainted. Madonselao for President.

  • Cynthia - 2012-03-13 15:45

    Imagine if everyone in the ANC was like Thuli Madonsela. We would probably be inundated with people wanting to immigrate to South Africa. i wish she would consider running for Presidentin the next election, but we all know the Corruption Crew will never allow that. I have the greatest respect for this lady and that is exactly what she is, a LADY in every sense of the word.

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2012-03-13 16:07

    Too many "leaders" are in it for the money, not for the challenges, responsibilities and quality enhancing achievements.

  • J.A.Rademan - 2012-03-13 18:48

    Starting right at the top. We all know about this. To speak out is one thing. To actually do something about it is a whole new ballgame. All I hear is Blah.... Blah... Blah...... By the way, If the boss of an organisation is crook, then the organisation is a crime syndicate isn't it?

  • TBlogger - 2012-03-14 08:47

    Thuli Madonsela for President!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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