Editorials 25.1.2018 07:00 am

Half truths, quasi apology as Mahlangu hides behind the title politician

Former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu. (Photo by Gallo Images / Beeld / Simone Kley).

Former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu. (Photo by Gallo Images / Beeld / Simone Kley).

Certainly, we are in the throes of discovering just how trenchant the words of George Orwell in Animal Farm were in penning.

Surely, the fall of the Soviet system, where the masses were largely ignored as an inconvenient irrelevance by the privileged members of the Russian Politburo, and the ugly reverse side of the coin, where grasping pseudo capitalism has given rise the flood of oligarchs who suddenly have the means to buy everything from ocean-going yachts to football clubs, must have taught the world something about the inherent venial nature of the political process.

Certainly, we are in the throes of discovering just how trenchant the words of George Orwell in Animal Farm were in penning “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others” in the current South African condition.

We have from former Gauteng MEC for health Qedani Mahlangu under cross-examination, in front of the families of 143 dead psychiatric patients in the Esidimeni scandal. Her answers wavered between ignorance, halftruths and deception, followed by a tearful quasi apology.

Her excuse? She is a politician. Similarly, the responses from Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini evading questions during an inquiry into her role in the SA Social Security Agency crisis, that jeopardised the livelihoods of 17 million social grant beneficiaries, was a seemingly arrogant shifting of blame which starkly contradict her version of events under oath.

But then Dlamini is a politician … a veteran of the genre. And as the tangled ball of twine ensnaring the issue of state capture gradually unravels, we are faced with the intransigent stance of Eskom executive Matshela Koko, who has steadfastly refused to resign despite a parliamentary portfolio committee and his suspension by the power utility.

Koko is not a politician but is manifestly a political appointee. Politicians and their cohorts? You can keep them.

Shocking revelations Adv Hassim extracted from Qedani Mahlangu

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