The judiciary’s rectification this week of two “glaring and avoidable mistakes” proves that there are serious capacity problems in government, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said on Saturday.
The Constitutional Court’s intervention to ensure that 17 million social grants recipients got their money at the end of the month and the High Court in Pretoria’s judgment that the appointment of Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza was invalid – both on Friday – should give the African National Congress and its government some reasons to pause and reflect, Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said.
“The judiciary’s rectification of these two glaring and avoidable mistakes proves that there are serious capacity problems in government and unless they are addressed there will be more difficulties ahead.
“It is obvious that these mistakes are all associated with the disrespect for the Constitution and rule of law by some government departments and political deployees. These existing internal challenges in government and the erosion of revolutionary morality values have a potential to irrevocably weaken the movement and its government,” he said.
It could not be acceptable that the people of South Africa had to look to the judiciary and the public protector’s office for leadership because the democratic government was “limping from one crisis to another and the legislative arm of the state is sleeping at the wheel”.
Parliament had been doing a lot of “firefighting” lately and this could only mean that somewhere, somehow, “they stopped paying attention or they abandoned their mandate for political expediency”.
The ANC should make sure that all its deployees were instructed to work properly within the ambit of the law and that they avoided scoring unnecessary own goals by defending the indefensible. The movement also needed to intensify the fight against corruption across all spheres of government and act decisively as directed by its 53rd Mangaung conference, Pamla said.
The ANC needed to close the widening trust deficit between its government and the people by holding all of its deployees accountable for their failures and also by elevating the standards it held them to.
Poor people and workers needed to see action that proved that the ANC remained the only credible movement that carried their hopes and aspirations, and that it was still capable of driving a thoroughgoing socio-economic transformation to eradicate poverty, inequality, and unemployment.
“Cosatu remains totally convinced that the best way to invalidate the much repeated anecdote and narrative that the ANC government, like most liberation movements, has reached its 20 year expiry date is to sort out the subjective failures and put people first,” Pamla said.
– African News Agency (ANA)