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KNOWING vs. BELIEVING

A conversation is recounted in the book # Shantaram  in which the character, Khaderbhai, says: “There is no such thing as believing in #G...

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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

WITHOUT FEAR OR FAVOUR

Some time ago I wrote an article (click here) about the influential and courageous #ThuliMadonsela (@ThuliMadonsela3).  Once again she is riding the storm of her convictions and demand for accountability in our fragile democracy.

I shan't bore readers with the details - they are all over the media - but in summary, when President Zuma delivered a hopelessly inadequate response to Parliament concerning the #PublicProtector's report into the #Nkandla farce, and failed to respond to her as requested in her report to Parliament, Thuli Madonsela wrote a private letter to the President exhorting him to play by the rules.  This letter was apparently leaked to the Press, ostensibly by an unnamed senior ANC politician.  The ANC has now set about publicly attacking and denigrating the institution and integrity of the Public Protector, perhaps the one democratic and constitutionally protected institution in the country on which most right-thinking people pin their hopes for the continued well-being of South Africa.

Advocate Madonsela tweets succintly: "Can someone please say how exactly the deepening of accountability a weakening of parliamentary accountability."

The extraordinary aspect of this sorry saga, as usual in this sort of political storm, is that neither the ANC nor the President is willing to come to grips with the true issues here.  Their preference is to try to deflect the accountability issue by attacking the messenger and drawing attention from the real problem.

The ANC are not alone in this sort of strategic approach to dealing with difficult and embarrassing issues: it is a well-known but disingenuous strategy for those who are unwilling to face uncomfortable truths.

My prayer is that someone in the ruling party will one day stand up and show the necessary courage, backbone and leadership to engage with the real issues of the day and lead the ANC into a place of authenticity and integrity.

My invitation to readers is for each of us, myself included, to examine our own behaviour when challenged with uncomfortable truths and consider how we respond to them.  Somehow, if enough people in the country are willing to act out of integrity, my hope is that the behaviour of those acting in that manner will influence those who are out of integrity to change for the good of the whole.

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