In the first quarter of 2004 I wrote in The Citizen newspaper calling for the depoliticisation of the civil service. Six years down the line I am looking at the faces on television at the ANC’s National General Council and the President, Deputy President, all Cabinet Ministers, MP’s, Premiers, MPL’s and so on are all there. Who was running the country when they were all at the NGC?

The NGC is a party political event. Five working days can’t be squandered on a party political event. Why can’t they convene their NGC over the long weekend? They conflate the party and the state. Where on earth have they seen a governing party giving top public servants five working days leave to attend a party political event?

When political party office bearers or people who are active in their political parties are appointed to government posts, they should relinquish their positions in their political parties. One doesn’t expect a Cabinet Minister or Commissioner of Police to attend an NGC or NEC meeting of his political party.

If, for example, Fikile Mbalula wants to stand as Secretary General of the ANC in 2012, then he must relinquish his position as Deputy Police Minister. If there are those who disagree with me, would they find it proper if, for example, the man the current Polokwane brigade loathe so much, Judge Dikgang Moseneke, can go and contest for the Presidency of the PAC, lose the contest and go back to the bench. Would that be acceptable? Let’s look at why ANC top civil servants do it that way.

It is also interesting that all the tycoons and instant billionaires and millionaires’ businessman, SAFA officials and soccer club owners also attended the ANC’s NGC. I am not aware if SARU officials and rugby club were also there, perhaps. Is the interwoven relationship between the ruling party and the state, unfolding in this country normal?

By Sam Ditshego

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