1 minute read
13 Mar 2014
6:00 am

Choices betray the people’s trust


Once again the ANC has shown its contempt for the electorate and for democracy by nominating characters with blemished records to be public representatives.

The list includes disgraced former Communications Minister Dina Pule, who was formally reprimanded in Parliament, fined and ordered to apologise after the Public Protector’s damning report on how she abused her office.

But at least eight others should, as the DA says, rather be in court and/or are grossly unsuitable for public office. Pule Mabe was arrested last year on charges including theft, fraud and money laundering.

Bathabile Dlamini pleaded guilty to fraud and was sentenced to a R120 000 fine or five years’ imprisonment and a further five years suspended conditionally for five years. Beauty Dlulane also pleaded guilty to fraud, as did Mnyamezeli Booi and Ruth Bhengu.

Another who shouldn’t be there is Humphrey Mmemezi, the former Gauteng MEC who abused his state-issued credit card on purchases, including a R10 000 painting from McDonald’s. And what about Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson, who has yet to be punished for a range of indiscretions, including the dodgy R800 million vessel contracts awarded to Sekunjalo?

Cassel Mathale, who screwed up the Limpopo premiership so badly that five provincial departments were placed under national administration, and who presided over the textbook scandal, is also headed for Parliament. Manne Dipico, co-ordinator of the ANC lists, says the nominations originate from branches and are piloted through provincial congresses, culminating in a democratic process which cannot be interfered with. We believe this is a cop-out. The party leadership has the capacity to mould lists to its liking, as can be seen in the predominance of Jacob Zuma supporters in the final line-up.

However, when Zuma himself is famous for having been investigated for 783 counts of bribery and corruption, he can hardly be expected to set a high moral tone for candidates.