Gigaba had been on the warpath for some days, daring President Cyril Ramaphosa to fire him instead of stepping down of his own volition
ON TUESDAY, former home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba rightfully fell on his sword and resigned from this crucial portfolio.
His decision, of course, did not come without drama.
Gigaba had been on the warpath for some days, daring President Cyril Ramaphosa to fire him instead of stepping down of his own volition.
It had been a chaotic period in Gigaba’s political career, following the ruling of the Constitutional Court that he lied in the Fireblade Aviation saga, which was also affirmed by the office of the Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane.
Mkhwebane found that Gigaba had violated the Executive Ethics Code, and thus the Constitution.
Gigaba’s statement after his resignation offers a glimpse into the question of leadership and ethics in our country.
He says he decided to quit “after a long period of sustained and vitriolic public attacks on my integrity”, and that the “integrity and public standing of the government and the ANC, of which I am a loyal and proud member, is more important than any political office bearer”.
Nowhere in the statement does he take responsibility for his actions – which were going to get him fired by Ramaphosa, anyway – or admit that he erred. This is typical of the leadership of this country, especially in the last 10 years under former president Jacob Zuma.
Until now, a culture of ethical leadership and accountability had been non-existent in our government in particular, and generally in our body politic.
This is why Gigaba doesn’t
comprehend the fact that the highest court in the land found him guilty of lying is a major issue. That he violated the Executive
Ethics Code and Constitution appears to be a light offence to him, if an offence at all.
For Gigaba and his ilk, you only serve at the behest of the party and the president, not the people of this country and the Constitution. Such is the understanding of what constitutes leadership in the heads of people we call public servants in this country.
South Africa will not realise its potential and economic prosperity for as long as we are led by men and women who are not ethical and only serve self and party interests, instead of the Constitution and the people of this country.