Editorials 14.6.2018 08:40 am

Jail civil servants if it creates civility

Many of those running our country treat ordinary people as second class citizens and if we have to lock up people to make that change, then so be it.

Our judicial system has again proved it is our last line of defence against abuse or inefficiency by government employees.

This week, the High Court in Pretoria gave a stern warning to all civil servants that they have to obey the law … on pain of getting locked up.

This reinforces the available, but seldom used, sanction of the courts to enforce civil behaviour from our civil servants.

It sentenced Tshwane city manager, Moeketsi Mosola, to 30 days in jail for contempt of court for failing to act on a court order relating to double debiting of a property developer’s rates assessments.

The original order was made in August last year, but Mosola has ignored it since then, and done nothing.

The contempt sentence has been suspended on condition the original order is complied with.

There will be plenty of people – those mistreated or ignored by government, and especially those fighting municipalities over billing issues – who will be given heart by this court decision.

Many of those running our country treat ordinary people as second class citizens, not worthy of their precious time.

That has got to change … and if we have to lock up people to make that change, then so be it.


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