Madonsela: Inefficiency not apartheid's fault

2012-08-22 11:14

Johannesburg - It is time for women to stand their ground, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said at the University of Johannesburg on Tuesday.

"It's our time to act. There's a Zulu saying that says "Indela ibuzwa kwabaphambili" [the way forward is asked from those who are in front]," she said in the seventh Helen Joseph lecture at the university.

"We should learn from the likes of Helen Joseph, Ruth First, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela amongst others," said Madonsela.

The lecture was titled "Following in the steps of Helen Joseph: The place of South African woman leaders in our democracy".

‘Tea-makers dressed as decision-makers?’

Madonsela said women had been given power since the years of apartheid and racism, and it was up to them to change the environment they were in - just as political activist Helen Joseph had done.

"We complain about maladministration, but we should ask ourselves, are we part of the problem or the solution?"

She criticised women who held positions of power, but failed to take a stand for what was right.
"Are we still tea-makers dressed as decision-makers?" she asked.

This reference arose from a conversation in 1989, when Joseph told her the day had come when women, whose job was to provide tea to men as they held their important meetings, said they wanted role reversals.

‘Maladministration not apartheid’s fault’

Madonsela said women should encourage dialogue, rather than protest, when faced with problems such as service delivery in their communities.

"We have a right to blame a lot of [socio-economic] problems on apartheid, but can we blame it all on apartheid? Maladministration in government [cannot be blamed on apartheid]," she said.

She further encouraged women to learn to stand up against corruption and the abuse of power.

SA ‘in trouble’

University of Johannesburg vice-chancellor Ihron Rensburg said the lecture came at a time when South Africa was faced with difficulties.

"South Africa is in trouble. We should ask ourselves, what would Helen Joseph do in this particular situation?"

Comparing Madonsela to Joseph, Rensburg said she was faced with challenges of the poorest of the poor, but she still tackled her tasks with courage.

Joseph was one of the women who marched to the Union Buildings on August 9 1956 to protest against the pass laws.

She was vocal about sexism and racism and received the ANC's highest accolade, the Isitwalandwe medal, for her dedication to human rights. She died at the age of 81 in 1992.

Among the dignitaries at the lecture was Zanele Mbeki, the wife of former president Thabo Mbeki.

  • logical007 - 2012-08-22 11:19

    The first intelligent comment from government today! Keep it up!

      chris.novak.9235 - 2012-08-22 11:28

      She is not government (obviously, she has brains)! She is the public protector.

      pieter0827006294 - 2012-08-22 11:41

      No, Mantashe said ""Something is wrong with this system(BEE) of creating layers and layers of business because the primary objective of building a school is made secondary... to creating business beneficiaries."

      michael.vanrheenen.9 - 2012-08-22 12:02

      I think Thuli must run for the ANC presidency. If the DA can't win the battle for the presidency then at least we would have a president within the ANC that actually has brains!!! Give Madonsela a bells! BTW Who'sWho... You spelt Thuli's surname wrong in your hyperlink.

      sean.redmond3 - 2012-08-22 12:11

      Why? is she not the President of this country.

      mlucejko - 2012-08-22 12:26

      This woman has got 'more brains' that the whole of the ANC put together.. If she stood for 'office' I would definitely vote for her !!

      ann.murray.9279 - 2012-08-22 12:58

      From your lips to Gods ears - and the all of those who keep on regurgitating the past whenever they are looking for a scapegoat. It's time to move forward and heal our nation.

      claudia.meads - 2012-08-22 14:49

      michael.vanrheenen.9, Seanred, et al, The issue is not only those running the ANC/country - it is the people who vote for the ANC. E.g. 70% of those who vote for the ANC = unemployed - most of the rest are the kind who attack the police with pangas and then they cannot grasp why they get shot (go figure). I am afraid I am less optimistic about Madonsela (albeit she is from a different plant than the one occupied by the ANC). Anybody who references the most evil witch alive - Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, will provoke my most vocal disdain. Apart from that - what is happening to the investigation into the financial affairs of Julius Malema..?

      mihaip007 - 2012-08-23 10:01

      Thuli for president! but if she had to become part of the anc, she'd struggle with a system that is corrupt to the core..!

  • sandra.matlala.9 - 2012-08-22 11:23

    finally some see where the problem is! we are electing iliterate people just because they came from a certain racial background not because of their skills

  • koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2012-08-22 11:23

    News flash Thuli, when government is used as a job engine and for friends and family there is no place for efficiency. Efficiency is a long forgotten concept that has no place in today’s culture. I can remember a time when things where highly efficient compared to today’s standards but things have changed and you know they won’t change back.

  • kala.bafazi - 2012-08-22 11:23

    There's a Zulu saying that says "Indela ibuzwa kwabaphambili" [the way forward is asked from those who are in front]," If those in front need to ask the way, it's no wonder the anc have lost the way.

      thando.gqabaza - 2012-08-22 11:34

      good one

      Willie - 2012-08-22 11:44

      Good one Boet they need to listen to everyone not only lost members of anc

      blignault.michaele - 2012-08-22 12:50

      Obviously you cannot read...the front runners are not doing the asking it is the front runners who are being askED [by the ones at the back].

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-08-22 13:23

      Kala, what a beautiful saying. It saddens me that so much of tribal spirituality has been lost.

      kala.bafazi - 2012-08-22 13:27

      Don't tell me blignault - Tell the anc.

      nico.dejongh.90 - 2012-08-22 18:21

      On this material plane of course - Madiba.

  • allan.keyzer - 2012-08-22 11:25

    Thuli for president!

      Sylvester.Mohloli - 2012-08-22 12:55

      Leave her in ur past currie :)

  • prieurp34 - 2012-08-22 11:30

    Ja learn from a bloody murderer Madikazela Mandela!!! Is that the way forward for you people? Then its just tipical!

  • peter.ndamase - 2012-08-22 11:39

    Thuli, if you dig deeper you might find the traces of apartheid's fault in our administration.... but I do expect you to say that in respect of your office. Apartheid's effects will live with us for many decades to come.

      stirrer.stirrer - 2012-08-22 11:54

      "you might find the traces of apartheid's fault in our administration" - Care to enlighten us? Please don't make inflammatory statements without providing proof.

      Desilusionada - 2012-08-22 11:59

      For the past 18 years, you have had all the laws, rules and regulations to eradicate "apartheid faults", and you could not do so? The effects of many things will live with us, but blaming them and using them for excuses will not change the result of the endemic and systemic failures of the present. Apartheid must really have been something ne? Was good enough to put an example of good infra-structures in ALL aspects of SA life. But when these could and cannot be emulated 18 years later, ideology and politics are not blamed, no the same apartheid is. It is such circular reasoning that the young Ms is warning about. DH Lawrence had something to say about self pity. Go Google it.........

      mo.matt.14 - 2012-08-22 12:01

      Only because you allow it. Only because you keep listening to your leaders telling you not to take any responsibility or accountability for anything but rather pass the buck and blame someone or something else. Yes, you will be victims of it as long as you choose to be. The moment you start standing up and taking responsibility for your own life, your own decisions and your own mistakes, you will forever break free for the chains of apartheid. Grow a pair. You have had all the opportunities we ever had for the last 18 years, and still you could not manage to make something of it. But no, you would rather follow the crowd of criminals that use your emotions and struggles to keep you from thinking and doing for yourself, and believing that it will all be handed to you soon. Newsflash. Apartheid or no apartheid, fair or unfair, even then nothing was handed out to everyone for free. Most people that have something today (black and white) worked really hard for it. Like Thuli said, be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

      andres.dewet - 2012-08-22 12:04

      No Peter, If Apartheid was so bad and inefficient, the new dispensation would want to do everything in their power to not emulate this horrific regime. Yet, there is maladministration everywhere. How is being a bad public servant now, Verwoed's fault; how is not delivering on quality education today, Hertzog's fault. Fact is, the longer the ruling party denies the problems and blames Apartheid, the more they prove the Apartheid architects right... and this is the last thing the new SA needs.

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-08-22 12:18

      How the f*ck does something that ended 18 years ago affect present day situations?? Is the Eurozone crisis happening because of WW2? The Holocaust? Spanish inquisition? Please man, think a bit before you talk sh*t

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-08-22 13:26

      Peter,ndamase, Apartheids effects will live with us while it serves some people well to hide behind it, to bury their own shortcomings.

  • hlgiorgino - 2012-08-22 11:46

    Please make this woman president SA can be so much more

  • richard.zanner - 2012-08-22 11:55

    Hallelujah somebody understands.

  • dhavandran.palavar - 2012-08-22 12:00

    you go girl.

  • Greypatriot - 2012-08-22 12:02

    This woman is brave, wise and clever. She has my vote for Vice President of SA

      mo.matt.14 - 2012-08-22 12:03

      So who has the vote for president?

      sean.redmond3 - 2012-08-22 12:13

      Why Vice?

  • joe.peters.56 - 2012-08-22 12:04

    Vote DA

  • larry.piggott1 - 2012-08-22 12:05

    Great comment from a great Woman.

  • norman.motlhabani - 2012-08-22 12:08

    You deserve a hug Thuli Babe.

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-08-22 12:19

      I agree :)

      djgmaestro - 2012-08-22 12:32

      y mr. Norman?

  • wesley.bischoff - 2012-08-22 12:15

    This woman should be president. She has integrity and honour, and doesn't take the ANC's bullsh*t.

      bob.mcmillen.564 - 2012-08-22 12:24

      Exactly, she should join the DA, then get voted in as president, not sure about her reference to that cow Winnie, unless she means we should learn from her how NOT to act.

  • andre.burrows.92 - 2012-08-22 12:19

    Government inefficiency is directly related to forced AA where a few officials benefit from AA while the whole country suffers.Well done cANCer! Keep struggling comrades!!!!

  • firstseed.mbeva.9 - 2012-08-22 12:19

    So Verwoerd is not the culprit this time

  • nicole.vandervelde.96 - 2012-08-22 12:22

    Anyone that keeps blaming apartheid for schools,hospitals,roads, business, medical, are all in denial - goverment hospitals were places to go, Joburg Gen had the best phyciatric wards in the country - helen jospeh was the best maternity - etc \r\nAll you had to do was maintain it - but you have #it up and everything from chairs tvs and tables etc in any public institution is bolted to to floor or ceiling - so Madonsela is the only person to speak the truth and u all don't like to hear it - o and the apartheid thing is getting very lame - no one is listening anymore

  • - 2012-08-22 12:24

    Thuli - respect lady!!

  • lydonmcg - 2012-08-22 12:26

    I love this woman.

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-08-22 14:45


  • jarryde.meikle - 2012-08-22 12:30

    See hat happens When you show off and have extravagent lifestyles while your miners live in squatta camps

      gretchen.oswald.3 - 2012-10-04 23:26

      @ jarryde- Yes we have seen that, with the likes of Malema and other top ANC leaders- understand exactly where you are coming from!!! Disgrace NE? Therefore thumbs up for people like Thuli Madonsela.

  • djgmaestro - 2012-08-22 12:30

    To my experience dialogue in our New South Africa has no effective meaning as there is a broad gap of inequalities in economy, education, socio economy etc hence most public protests apply to be legal before hand and when the memo has been handed nothing happens. People with grievances turn to be silenced in this fashion.

  • danny.levin.351 - 2012-08-22 12:33

    She was doing OK until she used Winnie Mandela (AKA corrupt murderer who abuses power and has no respect for the law) as an example.... the rest was actually good, pity that she opted to use Winnie as a good example...

  • warwick.railton.7 - 2012-08-22 12:37

    And the penny drops.

  • wilhelm.snyman.1 - 2012-08-22 12:46

    Madontsela, why aren't there more of you? Madontsela for president. If she stood for the ANC, I might even vote ANC

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-08-22 14:45

      Madonsela... without the "T"

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-08-22 14:46

      But ur right, if she led the ANC, i might consider voting for them. Maybe

  • dimitripappas - 2012-08-22 12:57

    OK, So whenever something goes wrong, it's EITHER apartheid's fault, or NOT apartheid's fault? Interesting category limits there. I guess that explains why, to this day, 18 years later, apartheid still gets blamed for just about every race dispute that takes place? Aren't we so LUCKY that this time around, it's not apartheid's fault? Let us all celebrate! Bring out the blue label! *rollseyes*

  • joyce.beeton - 2012-08-22 12:59

    This lady gives this country hope - she is a shining example of a person who is not prejudiced and sees situations and reality for what it is. Pity the ruling party can't take a leaf out of her book!!

  • riad.mahomed - 2012-08-22 13:13

    The present situation resembles one that’s on a journey and along the way you encounter an obstacle, the question is, do you stop and complain about such obstacle and point fingers as to who put that there or do you figure out a way to continue with ones journey by overcoming such an obstacle………I think Thuli Madonsela needs to speak afar so more people can jump on the bus that’s she’s on…….

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-08-22 13:20

    I am starting to respect this woman more and more. Just a pity there aren't more of her.

  • winifred.watson.9 - 2012-08-22 13:32

    Maybe she should be called in to lecture all the cadres. They always blaming the apartheid, its wearning thin, maybe next the will be jesus.

  • nadineelvina.francis - 2012-08-22 13:38

    Go Thuli - you earn our Respect everytime you speak - You are a women of Truth, Honor and Integrity. You build bridges man and not divisions. I would never be embarassed to call you Madam President.

  • lerato.motshana - 2012-08-22 13:50

    If there is one person we should be thankful for in Zuma's cabinet is our public protedctor, finally someone speaks sense and i am glad that she is honest and doing her job, apartheid happened but it is not the cause of all this nonsense happening in our country. Let's pray that the next shuffle from Zuma will not see the end of her, our president doesn't want to see someone doing something right.

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-08-22 14:48

      True story Zumba hasn't done anything to deserve respect. This woman does many things and actually does EARN respect :) Viva Thuli!

  • Tony Lapson - 2012-08-22 14:14

    Thuli as president will either unite South Africa, or result in her assassination.

  • jacques.swanepoel.372 - 2012-08-22 21:14

    Give that Girl a Bells !!!

  • Katriena.LaGrange - 2012-08-23 08:29

    This is so true, wish just everyone else can see the same..... This is the way forward if everyone open up there eyes and see everything is not to blame on Apartheid.....

  • rajiv.ishwar - 2012-08-24 22:42

    She is a woman of conviction. SA needs more leaders like her to rise to speak with courage.

  • mbambo.shi - 2012-09-10 14:35

    When she walks in the room filled by hyemas, like Zuma, they all start to pee on their trousers. Actually, their spears start to shower the pants.

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