Zuma's anti-corruption blitz gets thumbs up

2011-10-24 22:29

Cape Town - Political parties have welcomed President Jacob Zuma's decision to axe Cabinet members Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde and Sicelo Shiceka.

Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille also applauded Zuma's announcement that national police commissioner General Bheki Cele was suspended with immediate effect.

"This announcement is better late than never," she said in a statement.

Zuma announced earlier in Pretoria that Mahlangu-Nkabinde would be replaced as public works minister, and Shiceka as co-operative governance and traditional affairs minister.

Zille said Zuma's government had been beset by controversy for several months.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela urged Zuma to take strong action against those involved in the SA Police Service lease deals, as well as Shiceka for his abuse of public money.

Zille lauded Zuma "for reaffirming his government's commitment to the role of the public protector and other Chapter Nine institutions".

The ANC said the Cabinet reshuffle would contribute significantly to strengthening government performance and capacity.

"In this regard, the ANC would [like] to praise and equally endorse the president’s action and decisiveness," spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said in a statement.

The ANC also welcomed Zuma's announcement that Supreme Court of Appeal Judge Willie Seriti would head the new commission of inquiry into the arms deal.

Strong message

African Christian Democratic Party leader Kenneth Meshoe said action against the two ministers was long overdue.

"What we still want to see happen is Mr Shiceka paying back the taxpayers’ money he wasted on his alleged visit to his imprisoned girlfriend in Switzerland," he said.

Freedom Front Plus spokesperson Pieter Groenewald also welcomed Zuma's announcements, as did the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac).

"We believe that the president has acted appropriately in responding to the reports of the public protector regarding the misdemeanours by these two former ministers," Casac said in a statement.

Casac welcomed Cele's immediate suspension and the appointment of a board of inquiry to investigate his role in the SAPS leases.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions said it hoped the announcement marked a turning point in the fight against maladministration and corruption.

"From now on there must be a policy of zero-tolerance to the looting of public resources by anyone, in the public or private sector, no matter how senior their position," the trade union federation said in a statement.

Civil rights group AfriForum said Zuma's decision sent a strong and essential message regarding the accountability and responsibility of people in positions of power.

  • Jackie - 2011-10-24 22:41

    me too.

      SimnikiweNtingi - 2011-10-25 05:19

      me three

      Dirk - 2011-10-25 05:32

      Now, all JZ needs to do to show that he is REALLY serious about corruption, is to resign himself and confess his own involvement.

      TheRock - 2011-10-25 06:06

      Before we all get excited let's not forget who we're dealing with here...

      Albert - 2011-10-25 08:27

      Don`t be fooled.If it wasn`t for the pressure from Madonsela nothing would have happened.Suspension,rigging commission of inquiery,choosing the right chommie judges,but Malema is going to get him.

      Dave - 2011-10-29 05:01

      This is a step in the right direction, but lets see how long Cele stays on a free ride with full pay. Don't forget JZ is the first ANC high ranking official to take decisive action in this area, better late than never , WELL DONE, keep up the good work.

  • Christo - 2011-10-24 22:48

    Now don't lose your focus and momentum Zuma. Keep on doing the right things and this country will be back on the right track.

      Michael - 2011-10-25 07:57

      Well done Mr President - you make us proud :-)

      jeffery.stokes - 2011-10-25 08:31

      The media doesn't cover this but he has been travelling around the country to municipalities and firing councillors and staff who have not been performing.

      jeffery.stokes - 2011-10-25 11:35

      The problem i have, is that Cele was the last man to sign the deal. what is happening to the people who made up the two committees that approved the deal? ie the offcials. When you talk of the government these are the guys that run the show, who actually decides who got the deal/tender. the politicians only set a direction the officials make it happen.ANC and Gov are two seperated entities. those guys seem to be getting off scot-free.

  • Vusi - 2011-10-24 22:54

    There are a lot more to axe Dearest President, just a small reminder in case you have forgotten about the rest with their fingers in the till.

      Van - 2011-10-24 23:04

      Can he fire himself?

      Kotie - 2011-10-24 23:05

      Agree Vusi, when one decides to clean your house, surely you cannot sweep in one corner only!

      Vusi - 2011-10-24 23:37

      When I was a little boy, I spent a lot of hours on my Grandpa's knee being taught about the struggle. He spent 22 years in exile in the UK. He told me about Barend Du Plessis that went to on to retire in comfort in the south of France having raped and screwed his own people. Little did I know at the age of 6 that the same would happen to me and every other person slogging it away in a shack tonight. Would never in my wildest dreams have thought that after all of those lives lost and heartache that my own people would do this to us.

      Right - 2011-10-24 23:54

      Eiiiyyy Vusi...that Barend Du Plessis made billions playing Call and Put Options on the SA Gilt Stock...particularly the E168 and others Government Bonds.

      Vusi - 2011-10-24 23:58

      Don't you guys find the sudden change of heart funny so soon after the Hairdo Of Libya death??????

      pirba - 2011-10-25 08:25

      What a Coincidence, hahaha... :) love the humour....

      Anthony - 2011-10-25 09:31

      well done mr president how ever this is what happens when u appoint your mates--bekkie goes a long way back with zuma [birds of a feather.......] are there really no decent non-corrupt anc members--first was that slimball jackie selebie ,now bekkieeeeee and lets not forget dear robert mac bride and the head of metro with his fake numberplates you really cant blame the first world for thinking south africa is a joke

  • woytek.sokolowski - 2011-10-24 23:13

    I applaud the President, this is a great step in the right direction, accountability and responsibility must be the fundamental basis which the government at every level should adhere to. When these action are followed at every level we will see progress and a growing, learning, and free nation with a moral fibre to be truly proud of, congratulation Mr President, and congratulation Mrs Thuli Madonsela, you are a shining star that many will follow, keep up the good work.

      Vusi - 2011-10-24 23:19

      Don't get carried away too far yet Brother. This isn't the tip of the ICEBERG yet, not even the smallest eensie weenie tip of the iceberg.

      Kosie - 2011-11-24 08:57

      one step forward, now wait for the 3 steps backwards

  • Dave - 2011-10-24 23:15

    Window dressing. This corruption is what we, the taxpayers know about, what about the 90% under the counter?

  • Daniel - 2011-10-24 23:43

    At last!!

  • Mark - 2011-10-25 00:07

    About time. Seems it was a case of throw them to the wolves, or get the same treatment

  • chris.khanye - 2011-10-25 00:33

    Shiceka is like a fly that follows the corpes into the grave - it's all because of a woman

  • Gobsky.Raging.Bull - 2011-10-25 00:39

    It's simple. Zuma buckled to public pressure. Had there been no pressure put on him, they would have continued stealing the publics money like the thieving politicians they are.

  • pierre.hough1 - 2011-10-25 02:11

    How crazy is the world of politics? These misdemeanour's took place right under the nose of the President. He has not even noticed the outrageous spending in his own households!!! Clearly there was and still is no control of this type of conduct. How is it possible for such mismanagement and maladministration and corruption to have happened in the first place? Why was tighter control over authority and control over departmental spending not introduced long ago? Now that the President does act - which he should have done long ago - he actually receives praise and applause! For doing the right thing! Crazy world indeed. As for me, the corruption is endemic and widespread and will continue unabated. It's an African mindset and seemingly ingrained in their thinking about how to manage public life. To think that is going to change is wishful thinking. I believe the time has come for right thinking (not right wing!) people who share language and culture and values of a functional democracy to separate themselves politically, economically and strategically from whatever underpins this mindset and build a new nation right here on South African soil, in an independent state. That way the thievery of what's left over can continue unabated and those who believe that by voting into power incompetents, thieves, criminals and corrupt individuals to manage their public life can live with all the consequences or such utter mediocrity and begin to pay the price themselves!

  • Maximus Odinidus - 2011-10-25 02:31

    Are these people gonna see any jail time?

      Mzamo - 2011-10-25 07:46

      I don't think so! Instead they gonna see holidays in Canada at our expense and we (as taxpayers) will be paying them fat salaries and they will continue with their corruption!

  • Maximus Odinidus - 2011-10-25 02:39

    I'll tell you why the change of heart in the prez, south Africa has a big head and our government milks the madiba angle which still works here but the international community is starting to wake up to the deception. Also he has realized that his beloved African union is a toothless wonder and that the rest of the African leaders are all really just in it for themselves. Hence the inability of the AU and himself to negotiate a peaceful outcome for Libya.

  • Maximus Odinidus - 2011-10-25 02:41

    The South African government are mistakenly of the opinion that the AU is a viable opposition to NATO but the prez quickly realized that NATO cares little for the AU as a body when it supports cretinous dictators.

  • Mnikeli - 2011-10-25 03:17

    I think as South Africans we need to thank the much hated journalists for publicizing corrupt activities happening around us, "keep up the good work". Were it not for these stories being widely publicized in newspapers, and opposition parties making a noise, we wouldn't be aware of what is going on "corruption wise". As for Ms Madonsela, I can just say "You rock Ma'am", your contract should be extended even far before it comes to an end. As a taxpayer I am quite happy to pay your salary. The key question to my dear Prez, is "will we see those who have eaten the taxpayer's money refunding the state up to the last cent, more so the Ministers", for the "fruitless and wastefull expenditure/s" they are alleged to have caused?". Or will we see the "poor Directors General" being punished for the actions of their "political heads" as nothing was mentioned in the press conference. Or will they be transferred to other parts of the world to be our esteemed Ambassadors, so that they atv least can continue being paid a normal salary they are used to? The law is clear of what must happen when one has caused a "fruitless / wastefull / irregular / unauthorised expenditure" not unless that law doesn't apply to the Ministers, but only to the DG's. From: Taxpayer MJN

  • pws69 - 2011-10-25 03:59

    This is only step one. I want to see if criminal charges are laid, and if these scum go to jail. If not, I predict they will be redeployed to other positions within 6 months.

  • mokwenatau - 2011-10-25 05:44

    Well done Zuma! I just hope they will not be deployed elsewhere in government.

  • Walter - 2011-10-25 05:46

    Now, let's see some positive action in other areas of poor government ...... first and foremost, some serious legislation to put a stop to rhino poaching; it's long overdue!

  • Kevin - 2011-10-25 06:18

    Now we just need an investigation into the zoomer and mandela kids scoring tenders ,mines and whatever else.

  • Bill - 2011-10-25 06:25

    Maybe the sight of Colonel Gaddafi being taken out by his own people was a wake up call for Mr Zuma…! Why else has he suddenly reacted to these maters after so many months of silence on them…! Maybe he had a flash of what might just happen to him in the bush justice courts in the future!

  • swavka - 2011-10-25 06:52

    Desperately wants to stay in power. This was a political move nothing more.

  • Adriana - 2011-10-25 06:55

    Alarge majority of South African citizens live in shacks, mudhuts, and RDP houses that got blown to shreds by the first strong wind that hit them, why should the honourably minister stay in 5 star hotels. The rest of us 'HAVES' spent 20 years plus working flat out, to pay off our obviously inferior accomodation, and consider ourselves well-off if we can afford R250-00/night in a guesthouse for a couple of days a year.

  • Dave - 2011-10-25 06:58

    How can anyone congratulate Zuma ? He has now managed to appoint 3 cabinets full of rogues and thieves and each time he only takes action when forced to. If this was the private sector, his business would have been liquidated years ago and he would be behind bars.

  • Garth - 2011-10-25 07:01

    Window dressing! When these anc criminals do not get a golden handshake; when these anc criminals are forced to return, with interest, all that they have stolen; when these anc criminals are stripped of every ill-gotten gain, then and only then, shall I believe the utterances of this president and his fellow liars. He is anc first and foremost and that, makes him not worth our trust.

  • Monique - 2011-10-25 07:24

    It's about time that Malema gets the axe as well...while you're at it!!!

  • Ian - 2011-10-25 07:25

    now get rid of malema as well

  • phinda.buthelezi - 2011-10-25 07:28

    Just a ploy. ANCYL is endorsind Kgalema and he wants to remain in power, so he wants to proveto SA that he can do it. I still say put in Kgalema, not because teh ANCYL says so, but because his the next best thing in the ANC.

      Kosie - 2011-11-24 09:06

      "next best thing" what is the best thing in the anc, I can't even think of a good thing nevermind best

  • Marion - 2011-10-25 07:29

    Well done President Zuma. Now we await the outcome of Bheki Cele's hearing. Hopefully those who need to realise you are in charge will have taken note that you are, in fact, in charge. Thumbs up from me.

  • Emile - 2011-10-25 07:51

    I frown on corruption but i would like to have a active part in it....

  • pws69 - 2011-10-25 07:53

    Like beaten wives, we celebrate when we only get a bruise or two, insteado of broken bones. This is how it works with the corrupt ANC cadres. When investigated, they resign just before the hearing. The (ANC) state then withdraws the case, and the person gets redeployed in a higher position a few months later. Peggy and Booi are but two examples of this. When fired, the same thing happens. I'll celebrate when they are actually convicted and sent to jail. As to the arms deal investigation, Zuma had no choice. It was before the courts, and the ONLY way he could control the terms of reference of a commission/investigation was to institute it himself. I'll celebrate this one if/when the terms of reference are released and they are sufficiently wide.

  • Charles - 2011-10-25 07:55

    JZ has merely shifted the deck chairs around on the Titanic.

  • muriel.farquharson - 2011-10-25 07:57

    Just about the whole cabinet should be fired, including the minister who spent plus, minus R 1 500 000.00 on hotel accommodation, because she had no where to stay. Could she not have rented an apartment? Me thinks she could have.

  • jody.beggs - 2011-10-25 07:58

    with or without full pay ?

  • Mzamo - 2011-10-25 08:19

    Why "thumbs up" to this decision? I really don't see any thing that deserves thumbs up to this decision! There is not "direct" / clear response to the Public Protector's (PP) report! He (the President) did not say he is "firing" them because of corruption or because of the Public Protectors findings! Instead "I am just reshuffling my cabinet", for what??? He did not condemn their wrong doing!! Mind you, these are not ALLEGATIONS but are FINDINGS (as Mr Lekota said in the Parliament)! The PP has gathered all necessary evidence to prove that there is wrong doing by these officials, so why do further investigation?? Is there someone being protected here?? I will only welcome his decision only if we are guaranteed that Mr Shiceka will pay back the money and they will be prosecuted for their wrong doings (Shiceka, Mahlangu & Cele) rather than being "redeployed". To me, Mr Zuma has not yet responded to the PP! He has not taken any "strong action" as the PP recommended! Instead he just removed them from the public eye FOR NOW then they will be redeployed somewhere else! Also, I am not 100% happy with the PP's recommendation "strong action", rather her recommendation should have been based on the PFMA where it states that public officials who misused public funds should repay the money back and they must face legal action. So, "strong action" could be anything (may be this is strong action by President but to me.... it does not seem to be)!!

      Musa - 2011-10-25 11:24

      Are you amongst the disgruntled mob annoyed by the Polokwane results? Guese so, considering your reference to oom Lekota (self-proclaimed COPE leader).

  • Robert - 2011-10-25 08:33

    More importanty, how are they going to recover the money that these idiots have spent - they should be required to pay it back !! even if it takes a lifetime

  • Mashiane - 2011-10-25 09:47

    Police commissioner's position,do not have to be a political appointment,President Zuma.A person who understand law,rules and regulations,police act and police administration can do.Selebi was appointed without all this requirements and look what he did.The cowboy Bheki Cele is a very actve man,who wants things been done,he does not care about the law,all he wants aws to see all criminals behind bars without bail,as he was questioning the justice depatrment regarding bail issue.He might have even approve the documents without consulting with his legal advisor.

  • Elayne - 2011-10-25 14:57

    This is just as front to get more money from us for per Times Live.."The Presidency has been allocated an additional R115.9-million in the adjusted estimates of national expenditure unveiled by the Treasury on Tuesday. Some R20-million will pay for higher-than-provided-for salary increases, including for the National Planning Commission, and R62-million will be moved from the government communications service to the Presidency for the Brand SA project."

  • Ntu2ko - 2011-10-25 16:09

    People must be glad that south africa has democracy and freedom of speech otherwise a lot of people would be silence from even talking about such things. let the president do his job and you shutup and sitdown.

  • Cheryl - 2011-10-25 22:58

    Jail sentences please for the hundreds of criminals in power....they must do time. (and not 'Shaik style ' golf time)......AND they should be allowed back!!!!!!!!! (as with Winnie and Yengeni) ...!!!!

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