Cape Town – The example Reverend Makhenkesi Stofile set is an indictment on the ANC’s current leadership, Sipho Pityana said at the former sports minister’s funeral on Thursday.
“He was accused of corruption; a commission of inquiry was established. He didn’t play avoidance games. He submitted himself to public scrutiny,” he told mourners at a packed Fort Hare University Sports Complex.
Former president Kgalema Motlante, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, Sports and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula and former finance minister Trevor Manuel were in attendance.
“He didn’t abuse state institutions to protect himself,” Pityana, a businessman and former public servant, said.
“He didn’t try to block the inquiry; he didn’t destabilise the National Prosecuting Authority, the police, intelligence and other security structures to defend himself,” he said, in a thinly-veiled dig at President Jacob Zuma.
Stofile died on August 15. He was 71. He was South Africa’s ambassador to Germany.
Constitutional Court ruling
Pityana said Stofile cleared his name through the legal process.
“When it made an unfavourable finding against him, he didn’t cast aspersion against it; he didn’t insult the judiciary. He took the matter on judicial review and cleared his name.”
When Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found Zuma had unduly benefited from the upgrades to his Nkandla homestead, he argued that her findings were not binding.
The Constitutional Court ruled on March 31 that the public protector’s findings were binding and that Zuma had violated the Constitution.
“When the Constitutional Court makes a finding that you broke your oath of office, what it means is that you are honourable no longer. What it means is that you are untrustworthy,” Pityana said to applause, but without mentioning Zuma by name.
He said political accountability was a central tenet of public service.
“Accountability is an important measure of respect for the people. It is an important measure of respect for public office. You don’t, when you’re called to account, plunge Parliament into chaos.”
Pityana lamented ANC officials who covet leadership positions to benefit from patronage, rather than serve the people.
“The reality is that some of the leaders have been co-opted to be on the eating trough.
“So we must ask the question: Do we have leaders of the revolution, or do we have full-time thieves and looters?” said Pityana.
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