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.
Eusebius McKaiser has an excellent piece in the Business Day this morning in which he argues that we need to talk about race, rather than avoid talking about it. Money Quote:
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[We] have an irrational fear of race discourse that must be abandoned. White South Africans, in particular, fear that mere talk about “black” and “white” implies that we cannot relate to each other as individuals. This fear is understandable. But it is also hasty.
What is beautiful about human relations is the natural curiosity we have to explore the shades of differences between ourselves — appearances, personalities, intelligence, ideologies, etc. The value pluralism on which our liberal democracy is based stems explicitly from an acceptance that differences need not be divisive.
The eruption of violence in Skielik speaks to the fact that when we let differences fester like a wound we would rather not attend to, we could lose part of our national body — like the four innocent citizens of Skielik.