Regard must be had to the higher standard of conduct expected from public officials, and the number of falsehoods that have been put forward by the Public Protector in the course of the litigation. This conduct included the numerous “misstatements”, like misrepresenting, under oath, her reliance on evidence of economic experts in drawing up the report, failing to provide a complete record, ordered and indexed, so that the contents thereof could be determined, failing to disclose material meetings and then obfuscating the reasons for them and the reasons why they had not been previously disclosed, and generally failing to provide the court with a frank and candid account of her conduct in preparing the report. The punitive aspect of the costs order therefore stands.
I am not in the habit of reading the exquisitely boring press releases issued at the end of every cabinet meeting by the Government Communication and Information Service. But looking for anything to enlighten me on the Vusi Pikoli saga I happened on the following little nugget in the latest statement issued this afternoon.
During the month of October, a number of activities will take place around the country to intensify direct interaction between the Executive and the public. This programme kicked off this past weekend with the Presidential Imbizo which took place in the Uthukela district in KwaZulu-Natal province. This month will experience heightened communication between the Executive and the public on a variety of issues, including Transport and Social Development events, the national Imbizo week from 22 to 28 October, and the National Correctional Services Week from 15 to 19 October.
If I was slightly less cynical or suspicious and if our political atmosphere had not been so poisoned by the race for the Presidency of the ANC I would not have thought twice about this statement. But of course, we are cursed to live in interesting times, so I immediately note that the President is going to criss-cross the country a few weeks before the ANC Conference on taxpayers money to connect with the people and get top billing every night on the SABC news and radio which are watched and listened to by most delegates to the ANC conference.
Of course he will claim he is doing nothing of the sort, but he will be campaigning for the same job Zuma and Sexwale are campaigning for. Miranda Strydom, ex-officio campaign manager will let us know all about it. It happens everywhere in the world but here we cannot admit to it because ANC leaders are supposed to be called and are not supposed to campaign.
How infantile this whole system is and how strangegly it suits the unpopular incumbent.
If I was one of those FRiends of Jacob Zuma I would send a posse of supporters to every Imbizo to ask the Presidnet all the difficult questions that journalists never get the opportunity to ask before they are whisked away by Essop’s Fables. O, one will also have to tip off the lazy non government media so that they can attend and report on the President’s answers.
Just a thought…..
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