Lindiwe Sisulu has shown leadership through utterances
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.