Lis­ten to your­self, Mr Pres­i­dent

CityPress - - Voices & Careers -

Aleader’s words that are fol­lowed by ac­tion are mostly trusted by his or her fol­low­ers. But when the words con­tra­dict the ac­tions, then so­ci­ety is left with no choice but to seek lead­er­ship else­where.

Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s ad­dress at the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum on Africa in Cape Town this week said tax­pay­ers’ money should not be used for cor­rupt pur­poses.

He went fur­ther to as­sure the world that South Africa was trans­par­ent in deal­ing with cor­rup­tion.

“We have spe­cial struc­tures that in­ves­ti­gate very deeply the cor­rup­tion that hap­pens, par­tic­u­larly in gov­ern­ment.

“If there is a prob­lem, we have struc­tures to in­ves­ti­gate ... Even the pres­i­dent [re­fer­ring to his own cor­rup­tion case] is in­ves­ti­gated thor­oughly if there is some­thing wrong. We have a strong an­ti­cor­rup­tion cul­ture that we have de­vel­oped that was never there be­fore.”

He went on fur­ther to say: “Gov­ern­ment has es­tab­lished a lot of in­sti­tu­tions that fight cor­rup­tion. Peo­ple have the right to go to the Public Pro­tec­tor.”

Th­ese state­ments are true, but we need to re­spect the de­ci­sions of those in­sti­tu­tions that gov­ern­ment has set up to deal with cor­rup­tion.

Fail­ing to re­spect the de­ci­sions of th­ese in­sti­tu­tions clearly sends the wrong mes­sage to the public and the world.

Pres­i­dent Zuma would do best to im­ple­ment some of the rec­om­men­da­tions of the Public Pro­tec­tor af­ter she found that the pres­i­dent and his fam­ily un­duly ben­e­fited from non-se­cu­rity up­grades at his pri­vate res­i­dence in Nkandla.

When it suits him, Zuma boasts about the Public Pro­tec­tor’s of­fice as a cor­rup­tion­buster.

But when it finds against him, he is quick to re­mind the Public Pro­tec­tor that she is not a judge. Which one is it, Msholozi?

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