‘B team’ to the rescue?
Gauteng is bloody dangerous. The epicentre of syndicates, organised and occasional crime, the province needs a good head of organised crime.
This week, the Hawks crowned a new boss for Gauteng: Prince Mokotedi. Previously, he was the dodgy head of integrity at the National Prosecuting Authority, where, it seems, he spent most of his time engaging in the factional war that has made the place a hot mess.
This week, too, the SA Police Service announced that Lieutenant General Bethuel Mondli Zuma will be the new head of police for Mpumalanga. This gentleman was rapidly dethroned from the same job in Gauteng when it was revealed that after he was stopped at a routine check for drunken drivers, he ran away from the police, locked himself in his house and refused to come out. There are strong suspicions he was inebriated.
Throughout South Africa, there is this cruel affliction of not appointing the top South Africans for jobs in public service. Instead, nonentities or compromised individuals are chosen.
Can we honestly say that Communications Minister Faith Muthambi is the best person for her complex job? Can government not cast its net more widely to bring in somebody like businesswoman and entrepreneur Wendy Luhabe or corporate leader Peter Matlare?
There are many people like Luhabe and Matlare who can be leveraged to bring skills to the state and state-owned sectors.
Somebody like Matlare would also quickly sort out the national carrier, SAA, which is always close to crash-landing under the hand of its chairperson, Dudu Myeni.
South Africa is brimful of talented technocrats and politicians, such as former finance minister Trevor Manuel and the first post-apartheid director-general of transport, Ketso Gordhan.
Yet they are not brought into leadership and, instead, South Africa is saddled with people without leadership nous or political pedigree who muddle institutions and keep us back.
There is nothing wrong with drawing from our top drawer.