How's this for bare-faced cheek from a government spin-doctor?

Bheki Cele at press conference on crime at Wor...

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No so long ago the Sunday Times newspaper in South Africa published a damning investigative report [story with timelines here] about the irregular signing of a R500-million lease agreement which involved the National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele.

After receiving a request by the Director of the South African Institute for Accountability, the Public Protector conducted an investigation which has found the Commissioner guilty of improper conduct, a ruling which most sane people will find grossly under-exaggerates his guilt. There was certainly much more involved in this whole saga, as suggested by the Sunday Times report.

Today, the ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu released this highly amusing statement, following heated calls for the Police Commissioner to be axed:

We note that the violation of public administration laws, in terms of the public protector’s conclusion on the matter, does not necessarily amount to a criminal finding.

He followed up with this absolute howler when requesting all parties to take the…

…necessary corrective action in a manner that restores public confidence in our administration

Here’s the obvious problems which the ANC seemingly have failed to take notice off:

  1. Misconduct and violation of administration laws are deeply frowned upon in the private sector and invariably leads to dismissal and in some cases further criminal prosecution of the offender. In the case where the offender is employed as a servant of the public and has abused both trust and public funds, the offence should be deemed to be doubly [if not more] serious. We should not be baying for the cretins head, but for the rest of his miserable, thieving body too.
  2. How can the ANC seriously expect public confidence to be restored when this is but one of a very long list of transgressions involving corruption? The ANC must surely consider their voters to be seriously ignorant or retarded or both.

Once again, we’re being shown the utter contempt that the ANC has for the people.

The arrogance continues…

And continuing with the theme this week of venting some spleen, how can the recent outbursts against the press, by Jessie Duarte, ANC spokeswomen go unchallenged?

Only this weekend, she layed into Sunday Times journalist, Philani Nombembe. To the question (by Nombembe) “Does the ANC President also get to answer (responses from his blog)?” she replied:

“He’s got his own blog. Yes. You can write to him if you want to. It’s ancpresident. In fact if you go www you can link straight from there to any of our blogs. Ja, he does read it. He does, he does. You know he can actually read, contrary to your opinion. I mean how can you ask me a question like that you know, does the ANC President actually read? Good God. Can you guys just get a life now. Ja no, you must get a life. You people must get a life. You’re terribly classist and if you’re not black I would say you were racist. But, well I suppose you could be racist even if you were a black like me. But you’ve got a very bad attitude, your newspaper has, you know and seriously speaking now this man, whether you like it or not is going to be the president of the country. And actually we’re not so concerned about what The Times thinks…”

It seems that she had a chance to practice, while being interviewed late last week, on BBC presenter John Humphrys’ Today radio show, where her conduct could only be described as “terribly arrogant.” Judge for yourself by listening to a recording of the interview here.

I think by now South Africans have become immune to the arrogance of government officials and indeed ANC officials as well. The utter disrespect for the citizens of this country from these officials is all but gazetted into law as normal, legal and acceptable behaviour. However, when someone like Ms Duarte goes mouthing off to the foreign press, it shows the utter disdain, the ANC has for the international community as well. When one considers all the damage our Foreign Minister, and the former Minister of Health have already perpetrated, I suppose one more spokesperson cannot make it any worse than it is.