Public ser­vants must toe the line

The Star Late Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

GOV­ER­MENT com­mu­ni­ca­tors, like jour­nal­ists, are bound by strin­gent so­cial me­dia poli­cies, and for their own part, public ser­vants ought to be re­spect­ful, en­cour­age con­struc­tive crit­i­cism, and be cor­dial and pro­fes­sional at all times – both on per­sonal and of­fi­cial so­cial me­dia plat­forms.

This week, though, So­cial Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Batha­bile Dlamini’s spokesper­son, Lumka Oliphant, threw cau­tion to the wind when she hurled pro­fan­i­ties at those who con­tinue to ac­cuse Dlamini of be­ing a drunk­ard.

By all means, this con­tra­vened the code of con­duct that public ser­vants have to ad­here to; par­tic­u­larly, a pro­vi­sion which states that public ser­vants ought to be po­lite, help­ful and rea­son­ably ac­ces­si­ble in their deal­ings with the public, at all times treat­ing mem­bers of the public as cus­tomers who are en­ti­tled to re­ceive high stan­dards of ser­vice.

Oliphant’s Face­book post went against these pro­vi­sions and it is de­plorable that she re­fuses to apol­o­gise mainly be­cause she feels those who ac­cused the min­is­ter de­serve it.

It re­mains to be seen if mea­sures will be taken against Oliphant.

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