South Africans mustn’t pick cor­rupt lead­ers – Thuli

Pretoria News Weekend - - NEWS - BALD­WIN NDABA

FORMER public pro­tec­tor, Prof Thuli Madon­sela, has warned South Africans to avoid re-elect­ing peo­ple to public of­fice who have stolen from the poor and vul­ner­a­ble.

Madon­sela was de­liv­er­ing the Unisa 2018 Founders Lec­ture on Ethics in Democ­racy at the Univer­sity of South Africa on Thurs­day night in Pre­to­ria.

“We should stop a Stock­holm syn­drome in which a per­son who has abused us over a pe­riod and we tend to like him and re­turn him to of­fice,” Madon­sela said.

She said it was about time that in­di­vid­u­als who want to hold public of­fice should go thor­ough back­ground checks to avoid be­ing shocked when they “mess up”.

“We need to check their past. We need to find out if they ever im­prove the liv­ing con­di­tions of peo­ple be­fore oc­cu­py­ing public of­fice,” she said.

She said told her au­di­ence that in Athens, public rep­re­sen­ta­tives who ig­nore their elec­torate man­dates were eas­ily re­moved from of­fice.

“If res­i­dents there feel you have failed to de­liver on your made, they im­me­di­ately pe­ti­tion for your ar­rest or re­moval from of­fice.” Ac­cord­ing to her, in Athens “false prom­ises” are not al­lowed by vot­ers say­ing lo­cal lead­ers who wanted sec­ond terms were sub­jected to thor­ough ques­tion­ing.Th­ese are the ques­tions Athe­ni­ans ask their can­di­dates ahead of any elec­tions: “Can you please tell us what did you do for us last year?”

Madon­sela urged South Africans to adopt the same at­ti­tude ahead of the 2019 na­tional elec­tions.

In her ad­dress, Madon­sela, while not men­tion­ing former pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma by name, re­it­er­ated her crit­i­cism of re­sponses Zuma gave dur­ing her in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the Nkandla scan­dal.

Madon­sela said in South Africa re­cently he (she) came across lead­ers, when asked to ac­count on cer­tain al­le­ga­tions of wrong­do­ing against them, would say: “I have com­mit­ted no crime there­fore I have a right to gov­ern”.

Ac­cord­ing to Madon­sela, as a leader “you’ve got to be able to say what I did was right”.

“That was my ques­tion in Nkandla. That was my ques­tion in Mid­vaal. In Mid­vaal, a per­son owes R5 000 and his prop­erty worth more than R500 000 is taken away from her. The per­son who took the prop­erty away then sells it to his part­ner who then sells the same prop­erty for a for­tune in the open mar­ket,” Madon­sela said.

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