This week, in a desperate move by the ANC leadership to maintain consistency in a government of disrepute, it attacked Thuli Madonsela, South Africa’s Public Protector. After an unacceptable spate of successes from her office, the ANC was quick to react hoping to squash any signs of competence in government-related institutions before public expectations were raised.
It is interesting that the ANC is questioning how the Public Protector’s office is being run. Not because the ANC barely bats an eyelid at Angie Motshekga’s publicly proven incompetence when it comes to managing basic education (read the Limpopo textbooks crisis article for more details on the standards for South African government accountability). This is interesting because Thuli Madonsela’s successes directly implicate senior government officials and corruption within the big party that is the ANC.
Suppose for a moment that the ANC’s allegations, that Thuli Madonsela is biased and is targeting the ANC, are true. In short – WHO CARES! Her investigations might have been considered spurious and victimising if she did not deliver results. But she did – and big results at that. She has successfully protected the public from the likes of the dodgy Police Commissioner, Bheki Cele, and removed Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde from her office. Good riddance to bad rubbish. Ultimately, the truth trumps victimisation just as it does slander.
Now what appears to have happened is that Mamiki Shai, Madonsela’s deputy, has pathetically run above Thuli’s head directly to parliament to whine into the obviously sympathetic ear of an embarrassed ANC. Of course, the highest profile incompetents are listening carefully and getting all excited now that they have an opportunity to clip the wings of what has turned out to be a worthy adversary to the government’s mischief.
Make no mistake, Wonkie is certain there is corruption to be uncovered in non-ANC territory too. The Public Protector however has limited resources and needs to focus on resolving the highest value incidents, from the public’s perspective, first. No doubt the ANC would love to see some equivalent dirt exposed on the DA and if there is evidence that warrants such an investigation it must follow due process at the Public Protector’s office. The Protector has the responsibility to prioritise investigations based on public value and/or to request additional funding in order to pursue more cases. If that hasn’t happened, then yes, the Protector has been very naughty.
Wonkie has every faith that Madonsela will retain her title as South African role model of note. Appropriately, she has welcomed Parliament’s decision to have the Justice Portfolio Committee investigate the allegations against her and the Public Protector’s office.
If Wonkie were to gaze into the Great Cynical Crystal Ball of Life, Wonkie would likely see Thuli Madonsela get removed from her office for some ridiculous misdemeanour – failing to fully investigate the reported case of excessive photocopying by the DA in some small village near Hout Bay, or something of the sort. The Shai baby of course will become the new darling of the ANC and the glamorous world of South African politics will be her oyster. What do you think?
In other news, this week the Public Protector in South Africa launched National Good Governance Week. Allegedly after a full day of intense lectures on the topic, a first year student raised his hand and said: “Erm… so basically we just look at how our government is doing things and do completely the opposite?”
The laughter in the audience was short-lived as the student was whisked away by an enthusiastic blue light brigade. Wonkie was later informed that the student possibly posed a serious security threat to Zuma’s extravagant Nkandla residence. Of course, no further details could be disclosed because all relevant government details are now protected Corruption Enablement Bill, oops sorry – the Protection of Information Bill.
- Thuli Madonsela – South African Role Model
- More articles on Corruption in South Africa
- Read about Bheki Cele – Ex-Police Commissioner Extraordinaire
- Visit the South African Public Protector website