Opinionista Bantu Holomisa 17 May 2016

Zuma’s worrisome behaviour on the Gordhan-SARS saga

When Mr Zuma took over the highest office of the land, one of the platforms he stood on was that of a collective leadership style. Although he is elected a president as a person, I considered this approach as healthy and good, because it would bring a leadership that appreciates collective expertise, knowledge and wisdom from which our country can benefit. A collective leadership would ensure transparency and accountability to citizens. Unfortunately, as President Zuma’s term of office is nearing its conclusion, collective leadership is no longer found in his vocabulary. He has replaced it the words “prerogative” and “majority”.

The country’s economy is on the verge of a devastating collapse, unemployment is sky-rocketing, poverty has reached unparalleled levels and corruption is institutionalised. In the midst of all, the finance ministry is being made unstable day in, day out.

While Minister Pravin Gordhan is leaving no stone unturned in making sure that our economy is stable and our country is once again a destination of choice for investors, there seems to be a consistent agenda to make that ministry fail in its task. For whose gain is a big question, but certainly not that of the country and its citizens.

What is disturbing, though, is the dismal failure by Mr Zuma to provide a collective leadership that is needed to address the fundamental challenges confronting the nation today.

Instead of providing this leadership, Mr Zuma does not fail to cast aspersions and create doubts on the qualification and suitability of the current finance minister. In almost all his public platforms, he has dared to fail in promoting his weekend special minister, Des Van Rooyen, as the most ever suitable and qualified minister South Africa ever had.

This behaviour by Mr Zuma begs to question whether the law enforcement agencies do not enjoy his support or are not carrying out his instructions, so that he can reanoint his favourable weekend special Mr Van Rooyen.

If indeed Mr Zuma believes in the capabilities and skills of Minister Van Rooyen, he should be giving him space and support to perform in his current portfolio. Local Government and Traditional Affairs is on its own a challenging portfolio; it requires qualitative leadership. Let Mr Zuma give Minister Van Rooyen a space to perform and make our local municipalities better vehicles for qualitative service delivery.

Mr Zuma should remember that law applies to all citizens equally and without favour.

All those who have questionable conduct and or actions must be subjected to the same legal processes that Minister Gordhan is facing. In fact, Mr Zuma should be leading by example and go to court to face his 783 corruption charges.

Mr Zuma, please provide consistent and visionary leadership and allow our economy to grow. DM


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