We must cautiously welcome Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s selective statement to stop bling expenditure of the government. History has shown us that it has been difficult for Gordhan to walk the walk and talk the talk.
Hogging media on rhetoric because elections are around the corner is blatant populism. Standing gum tree talk of all corruption is the Nkandlagate scandal.
When Thulas Nxesi was appointed Minister of Public Works, he made many promises and today he is the Minister of Nkandlagate Cover-up.
Simultaneously with service delivery, we have seen a massive increase in corruption. That is why there is a covert and overt demonisation of the public protector Thuli Madonsela, whose office has played a significant role in whipping corrupt politicians, officials and tenderpreneurs into good corporate governance.
Her speech at the Black Management Forum conference got more attention than rhetoric from Gordhan, President Jacob Zuma, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe and Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa of the moral regeneration initiative.
There was a broad agenda why Gordhan replaced Trevor Manuel and Jabu Moleketi was never appointed his successor. We all know Zuma and Gordhan rejected the “lifestyle audit”, except if aimed at John Block, Gaston Savoi, Julius Malema and those who do not undergo pilgrimage to Nkandla like the Guptas and Vivian Reddy.
Gordhan failed to stop Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande, a pseudo-communist, buying a R1.1 million BMW car during recession. We pay for Zuma’s four wives, each gets R36 000 a month, more than a principal, a police commissioner, and district heads of education, social welfare and health departments.
When Humphrey Mmemezi was expelled for abusing credit cards, six months down the line he was top of the list of the Zuma-Gordhan faction for Mangaung.
Gordhan did not object to R206m spent on Nkandla, the R2 billion allocation towards surrounding Nkandla mansion and to election of Mmemezi into the ANC national executive committee.
He did not ask for the removal of the Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa or the disgraced crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli for public funds (R200 000) used to fence the buying of Mthethwa’s house.
If Gordhan is genuine about curbing unnecessary expenditure, he must fully fund the public protector, divulge the truth about how R206m was used at Nkandla and cut R36 000 to three of Zuma’s wives and reduce the number of ministers and deputies that cost the country R1bn, and he will have my unreserved praises.