Lindiwe Sisulu has shown lead­er­ship through ut­ter­ances

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS - MOSS CHIKANE

RE­CENTLY the coun­try awoke to the head­lines that Min­is­ter Lindiwe Sisulu has made the clar­ion call that those cab­i­net min­is­ters im­pli­cated in the on­go­ing Gupta saga must be fired.

It is the kind of call that makes the pop­u­lar say­ing at­trib­uted to Ed­mund Burke that “the only thing nec­es­sary for the tri­umph of evil is that good men do noth­ing” to as­sume a deeper mean­ing. The call, most im­por­tantly, came at a time when the ANC was about to start its 5th pol­icy conference, thus set­ting the tone for those del­e­gates in at­ten­dance that this conference should be ap­proached with the se­ri­ous cri­sis of moral de­cay of lead­er­ship that the ANC is cur­rently fac­ing in mind.

Even as the ANC’s most prom­i­nent al­liance part­ners also de­cried the state of the or­gan­i­sa­tion, what makes Sisulu’s call most unique and im­pact­ful is that she is the first cab­i­net min­is­ter to show lead­er­ship by pub­licly call­ing for stern ac­tion to be taken against some of her col­leagues who are ev­i­dently part of the rea­son why the South African pub­lic is fast los­ing faith in the ANC.

As many good women and men in the ANC wait and won­der in si­lence, signs of this moral de­cay in our na­tion con­tinue to deepen. Our coun­try is cur­rently in the midst of a tech­ni­cal re­ces­sion af­ter its gross do­mes­tic prod­uct de­clined by 0.7% dur­ing the first quar­ter of 2017 af­ter con­tract­ing by 0.3% in the fourth quar­ter of last year.

These de­vel­op­ments are hap­pen­ing at a time when, in our coun­try and all across the globe, we are pre­par­ing to hon­our our for­mer pres­i­dent Nel­son Man­dela on July 18, a day set aside by the UN when we re­mem­ber this moral gi­ant of our coun­try, but also a day when peo­ple of good­will around the world col­lec­tively join hands in a day of hu­man­i­tar­ian ac­tion to serve marginalised in­di­vid­u­als and com­mu­ni­ties.

I know that many in our coun­try share my be­lief that South Africa de­serves a lead­er­ship that is trans­par­ent, ac­count­able and free from cor­rup­tion.

In the past few months I have fol­lowed with in­ter­est the pub­lic com­ments that Sisulu has been mak­ing, and I be­lieve she is the kind of cred­i­ble and dig­ni­fied leader that the ANC needs as we ap­proach the 2019 na­tional elec­tions.

Not only does she pos­sess all the at­tributes of an ex­cel­lent leader, but she has proved her­self in the ANC as a long serv­ing mem­ber of its na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee and has also served this coun­try as a mem­ber of the legislature since 1994, a mem­ber of the ex­ec­u­tive since 1996 and a mem­ber of the cab­i­net since 2001.

In the story re­ferred to above, Sisulu was cor­rectly forth­right about her shock and dis­may at the kind of ut­ter­ances that Pres­i­dent Zuma made against the veter­ans of the ANC.

I be­lieve that her shocked re­ac­tion doesn’t arise only be­cause she is a daugh­ter of late ANC stal­warts Wal­ter and Al­bertina Sisulu, but it is a re­sponse that is in­deed shared by the mul­ti­tude of ANC mem­bers who un­der­stand and ap­pre­ci­ate the role that these veter­ans and stal­warts of our Strug­gle have played in gift­ing us the lib­er­a­tion we all en­joy to­day.

As we ap­proach July 18, it is apt for us to re­call the words of Dr Mo Ibrahim dur­ing his key­note ad­dress at the Nel­son Man­dela An­nual Lec­ture, when he said: “I be­lieve so­cial co­he­sion is about re­ally hold­ing our so­ci­ety to­gether. It is about build­ing a na­tional iden­tity that tran­scends eth­nic, re­li­gion, class and gen­der. It is where we achieve com­mon pur­pose as cit­i­zens and when we re­ally feel that we have eq­ui­table ac­cess and par­tic­i­pa­tion in the po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic, so­cial and cul­tural life of our coun­try.”

The ANC pol­icy conference has come out with many pos­i­tive pol­icy sug­ges­tions that can re­ju­ve­nate and bring back lost faith within the ANC and the en­tire pop­u­lace. We have of­ten been ac­cused in the past of de­vel­op­ing good poli­cies but fail­ing dis­mally to fully im­ple­ment them.

Now more than ever, we need a leader of the com­pe­tence of Lindiwe Sisulu to usher the ANC and our coun­try to the next stage of our revo­lu­tion.

In her own words she em­pha­sised that she has al­ways been gov­erned by the four prin­ci­ples that she learnt from her great­est teach­ers, Wal­ter Sisulu, Nel­son Man­dela and Oliver Tambo, namely hon­our, her­itage, heart and hope, and that she be­lieves strongly that it is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of this gen­er­a­tion to emerge vic­to­ri­ous and to grab hold of these prin­ci­ples.

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