Corruption has marred the Zuma government leadership, and there is no clear indication that the African National Congress (ANC) ruling party leads by example. There is a general perception that the ANC government is soft on corruption, and this could be factually correct considering the extremes government have taken to justify the wrongs as right. Corruption factors from the controversial arms deal to the Zuma Nkandla homestead saga never seems to have finality. The probe to justify the correctness of corrupt deals continues to spill out deceptive tales in an attempt to justify excessive transgressions as permitted.
Leading by example does not amplify the ANC policies; there is no illustration that Zuma or ANC government members use public transportation. The public transportation situation in South Africa is a failed system. State hospital facilities and public schools are other structures Zuma and the ANC government avoid. The failure of service deliveries intensifies the growing gap between leaders and the people they lead.
The majority of South Africans wanted the leadership of Zuma without having a clear framework of where good governance leads. The leadership disciplines of the ANC ruling party are constantly dictated to by Zuma, who tells the people as opposed to asking the people. The people did not reflect back on the past historical problems and growth of South Africa, but chose dictatorship over a definite criterion of stable, reliable and trustworthy leaders.
The ANC rulers will argue that apartheid “messed up” the current government. Apartheid is the scapegoat for many wrongs within the current government. The past twenty years have slowed down potential growth, seem a rise in crime, allowed corruption to dictate the future progress and decrease the standard of living for most of the populace.
South Africa deserves a reliable, trustworthy leadership. South Africa needs a leadership that allows people to reflect back on the government with a clear criteria signaling improvement. The people do not need to be dictated to by corrupt officials; rather there is a need for a government that listens to the people.
Julius Malema, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party echoes the sentiments of Zuma looting the money from the people of South Africa. Malema is advocating for the president to take full responsibility of the Nkandla debacle and face criminal charges.
The Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, said that the corruption within South Africa is a social problem. Madonsela said there were methods in place to ensure that if one system failed, another could intervene. The government systems and strong constitution limited opportunities for corruption, Madonsela said. Citizens have protection from the abuse of power, violations and maladministration under the role of the public protector. Of course, corruption is not only a state problem; it is practiced throughout South Africa and gains momentum when the leaders lead by example.
The deputy president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, said the ANC is a listening organization, and not an arrogant leadership. Ramaphosa said the government listens to the people and will return with answers to their demands. The structure of the ANC is to lead in service deliveries in a conclusive manner. Ramaphosa is a respected member of the ANC and the stalwart reputation of a hardworking, dedicated leader from the time of drafting of the South African constitution. Perhaps Ramaphosa is the leader South Africa needs to make a change and steer the country away from corruption. Ramaphosa can lead South Africa away from a legacy of disgrace and crooked politicians. Ramaphosa should widen the gap between his good governance skills and the power hungry, greedy coffer grabbers and redeem his reputation.
South Africa is governed by an alliance that has entirely opposed beliefs yet insists on a unified façade in order to maintain control. There are the policies, processes and procedures, to govern South Africa in a respectable manner. The Zuma administration cannot decide what society the country should be, law-abiding, democratic, murderous, thieving or patriarchal. The Zuma leadership is marred with corruption, speaking with one voice, one opinion and dissent, creating a corrupt democracy.
Opinion by Laura Oneale