Madik­izela-Man­dela’s Brand­fort house cor­rup­tion a na­tional shame

The Sunday Independent - - Dispatches -

THE dis­ap­pear­ance of the al­lo­cated money to turn Win­nie Madik­ize­la­Man­dela’s for­mer house of ban­ish­ment in Brand­fort, Free State into a na­tional her­itage site is painful. It is now 11 years since a bud­get was ap­proved by the Free State govern­ment. The money is gone.

Lots of ex­cuses were made by govern­ment of­fi­cials start­ing from the for­mer premier of Free State to heads of de­part­ment and se­nior man­age­ment. If such pain is in­flicted to the mem­ory of our Strug­gle stal­wart and fam­ily, what about or­di­nary folks and cit­i­zens? We must lose sleep over this mat­ter and cor­rect the wrong that was com­mit­ted.

We must see peo­ple chang­ing from their fancy posh clothes to or­ange over­alls. We have lost con­scious­ness in the var­i­ous sec­tors of our so­ci­ety. Govern­ment has mon­i­tor­ing mech­a­nisms on spe­cial projects like this one of Mama Win­nie.

But ev­ery­one turned a blind eye for 11 years and did noth­ing. Pos­si­bly there were fights over the bud­geted R3 mil­lion and strate­gies de­vel­oped on how to con­ceal this shame of our lives.

This is no sur­prise.

The Life Esidi­meni Com­mis­sion In­quiry is prob­a­bly the most re­cent il­lus­tra­tion of the lack of em­pa­thy of politi­cians and pub­lic ser­vants.

Our most vul­ner­a­ble cit­i­zens per­ished be­cause of the self­ish at­ti­tude of our of­fi­cials and politi­cians. The fights we have wit­nessed at Eskom, In­de­pen­dent Po­lice Direc­torates, Po­lice, Pas­sen­ger Rail Agency of South Africa, South African Air­ways re­main tragic and sad tales about our coun­try. The fact that some of our mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties have been made dys­func­tional by politi­cians and pub­lic ser­vants is fur­ther proof that we are in trou­ble.

We need a new breed of politi­cians and pub­lic ser­vants. We must get rid of cor­rupt greedy politi­cians and pub­lic ser­vants. It is not cor­rect that our trusted politi­cians would give them­selves mil­lions as pen­sions for them­selves and their fam­i­lies. Per­haps per­pe­tra­tors of cor­rupt acts such as the Brand­fort mat­ter and re­lated mat­ters must get a spe­cial pun­ish­ment.

Was there not even a com­mu­nity ac­tivist or busi­nessper­son from Brand­fort who cared enough to raise the is­sue of the house? Our peo­ple have aban­doned the spirit of the 1980s ac­tivism which Mama Win­nie cham­pi­oned.

We can­not let such hap­pen any­more. If we do, one day we will wake up there will be no coun­try.

We would have been sold to the high­est bid­der.

We would not even be able to de­liver the most ba­sic of ser­vices in our com­mu­ni­ties.

In fact this is al­ready hap­pen­ing in some mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

Cries and com­plaints about per­ma­nent pot holes, elec­tric­ity and wa­ter cut offs have be­come the or­der of the day.

Let us stand up just like our mother of the na­tion and stop the rot of cor­rup­tion which is likely to be the per­ma­nent para­dox of our life­time.

Sipho Dibak­wane

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.