JOHANNESBURG, Former South African finance minister Pravin Gordhan says the country’s current leaders have failed to uphold the highest levels of ethical leadership and has called on President Jacob Zuma to step aside.
Speaking at a panel discussion to mark the commemoration of Nelson Mandela Day in Rivonia, Johannesburg, on Tuesday, Gordhan took a swipe at the current political elite, accusing them of self-interest and abandoning Mandela’s noble ideals of ethical and corrupt-free leadership.
Gordhan was fired by President Zuma in march this year, a move which forced global rating agencies to downgrade South Africa to junk status.
The former finance minister compared the Mandela years with the current situation and said: Madiba was a unique figure who upheld dignity. In today’s world, how many leaders do we have who have a non-negotiable purpose? We should be ashamed of ourselves in terms of how we conduct ourselves in leadership today.
Gordhan also told the audience that coalition politics could become a reality if the ruling African National Congress (ANC) fails to restore public trust and repair its battered image. The ANC continues to lose public support because of revelations of corruption and the collapse of governance systems at State-owned enterprises (SOEs), he added.
Gordhan argued that the ANC had a major challenge to earn respect of citizens or risk losing political power. Being historically right does not mean being right forever. Where you have State capture (exercise of influence over top figures of the State) as a phenomenon, we are setting ourselves for serious problems. We have to earn the respect of citizens or take consequences of not earning their trust.
Gordhan also lashed out at those who attribute the current socio-economic decline to Manedela’s reconciliation legacy. Stop blaming Madiba for our own short-comings and our sense of greed. We can’t take our responsibility and put it on somebody’s shoulders.
The dialogue was part of nationwide initiatives to commemorate Madiba’s legacy. In a panel discussion themed The Negotiated Settlement”, prominent politicians and media practitioners reflected on the state of the country’s economy, and Madiba’s legacy.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK