Quote of the week

The judgments are replete with the findings of dishonesty and mala fides against Major General Ntlemeza. These were judicial pronouncements. They therefore constitute direct evidence that Major General Ntlemeza lacks the requisite honesty, integrity and conscientiousness to occupy the position of any public office, not to mention an office as more important as that of the National Head of the DPCI, where independence, honesty and integrity are paramount to qualities. Currently no appeal lies against the findings of dishonesty and impropriety made by the Court in the judgments. Accordingly, such serious findings of fact in relation to Major General Ntlemeza, which go directly to Major General Ntlemeza’s trustworthiness, his honesty and integrity, are definitive. Until such findings are appealed against successfully they shall remain as a lapidary against Lieutenant General Ntlemeza.

Mabuse J
Helen Suzman Foundation and Another v Minister of Police and Others
7 February 2007

SACP borrows from Tony Blair – really!

When Prime Minister Tony Blair became the leader of new-Labour in the early nineteen nineties, he was revered by some for the way his slogans managed to straddled the divide between the social concerns of the traditional Labour supporters and the middle class bourgeois concerns of people who voted for Margaret Thatcher.

The most famous of these slogans was that new-Labour would be “tough on crime, and tough on the causes of crime”.

What a surprise then to read in the paper that the SACP, in criticizing FNB’s aborted crime campaign as hypocritical, made the following statement:

We need to be tough on crime, but we also need to be tough on the underlying causes of crime – in particular, the crisis of underdevelopment confronting around half of our population, with the aggravating circumstance of extreme inequality.

(Thanks, Marcus, for pointing this irony out to me.)

The rest of the SACP statement also largely seems to make sense to me. As is usually the case when they are not talking about Mr Jacob Zuma and the succession debate, the SACP seems rather level-headed and sensible.

“Banks in South Africa are welcome to contribute to the fight against crime… But it is important that these initiatives… be grounded in reality if they are to succeed and not falsely raise our hopes and squander the financial resources of clients and stakeholders,” the NCF said in a statement.

Many of the same points are made by Steven Friedman in the Business Day this morning.

If more people engage on this sensible level with the issue of crime because of the FNB debacle, maybe something good would have come of it after all. Meanwhile the whole saga has at least revealed that the SACP is a modern political party that is so confident of its principles that it is even prepared to borrow ideas (or at least slogans) from the arch enemy, Tony Blair.

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