[Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro] possesses, however, few of his predecessor’s resources, lacking not just oil revenue but Chávez’s surplus of charisma, humour and political skill. Maduro, unable to end the crisis, has increasingly sided with the privileged classes against the masses; his security forces are regularly dispatched into barrios to repress militants under the guise of fighting crime. Having lost its majority in Congress, the government, fearing it can’t win at the polls the way Chávez did, cancelled gubernatorial elections that had been set for December last year (though they now appear to be on again). Maduro has convened an assembly to write a new constitution, supposedly with the objective of institutionalising the power of social movements, though it is unlikely to lessen the country’s polarisation.
The following graphic by Media24 seems to illustrate, in pictures, what is wrong with our Police Service and with those politicians who use the Police Service to fight their political battles (inside and outside the ANC) or to enrich themselves. It also illustrates why we need a truly independent corruption fighting body that will be able to investigate these kinds of allegations and will be free from political interference by the Police Minister or the President.
Minister Nathi Mthethwa, who mislead the public last week about the use of a secret police fund to pay for a “security fence” around his home and has not yet apologised for misleading us, and President Jacob Zuma, who has been linked to Mdluli but has not made any statements about his reinstatement and the order by his Police Minister to stop an investigation into Mdluli’s alleged corrupt activities, owe citizens an explanation. In the absence of such an explanation all reasonable people will be hard pressed not to conclude that the Minister and the President – if not themselves implicated in this web of alleged corruption – is condoning it for purely short term political purposes.
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