Premier 'will wield big stick'

2006-11-06 22:57

Langeloop - Thabang Makwetla has become a knobkerrie-wielding premier, with threats to beat lazy civil servants in Mpumalanga with his "isigila" (knobkerrie) if they fail to deliver services.

Much to the merriment of traditional leaders and indunas, he said: "Those in government who do not do their work properly, will feel the wrath of this isigila."

He was addressing a gathering at Langeloop cultural village in Nkomazi, along the Swaziland border, last week.

Sammy Mpatlanyane of the department of culture, sport and recreation said on Monday it was an occasion when community leaders were given symbolic items of clothing. Men were given knobkerries.

He said Makwetla, who is a Sotho, wore traditional Swazi clothing and held up the "isigila" for everyone to see.

Fighting moral decay

"The people were happy as he showed much respect and appreciation for their culture," said Mpatlanyane.

Makwetla lamented the loss of respect for other people's property and growing failure to care properly for children.

Makwetla said: "Until we put our hands together as communities working with the government, such moral decay will never subside."

"The MEC wants more cultural celebrations to be held so that people can learn about other other's cultures and to avoid any threat of tribalism," said Mpatlanyane.