Wrong man for the job
THE appointment of former Dr JS Moroka municipality manager George Mthimunye as eMalahleni's municipal manager raises important questions about the challenges facing the country when it comes to issues of leadership.
Mthimunye left his job at Dr JS Moroka municipality in Siyabuswa under a cloud after the Pretoria High Court ordered the municipality to pay a former clerk R1.3-million after she had sued for sexual harassment.
In January the municipality had to pay R549,000 when 11 of its vehicles were attached by the sheriff of the court after the it failed to pay legal costs and damages awarded to the successful litigant.
Mthimunye then joined the Naledi municipality in Vryburg where he was later suspended for allegedly inflating the value of a traffic department tender and also awarding it without following proper procedure.
He has now been appointed eMalahleni's municipal manager despite the dark cloud hanging over him.
Incidentally, Mthimunye's appointment comes in the wake of the ANC's recent public release of a document that calls for the ruling party's renewal.
In the document, the party, inter alia, calls for a 10-year programme of action to build "a contingent of new cadres who are politically conscious, professionally competent and morally conscientious".
Given his tract record, Mthimunye hardly fits this profile. Of even more concern is the profile of those who appointed him.
Their action goes against the grain of the kind of leadership the ANC requires to attain its historical mission of improving the lives of all South Africans.
It also does nothing to challenge the notion that this country's problems have little or nothing to do with the quality of leadership, but more to do with the fact that "South Africa is not a democracy but a monocracy".
Monocracy describes a situation where the voters hardly have an alternative when it comes to voting for a party that they want to lead the country.
Voting trends have shown that currently almost two-thirds of South African voters hardly have an alternative to the ANC. This, unfortunately, disables the citizens to play their role as agents of change.
This means political power is largely unchecked. The outcome is cronyism, widespread corruption and a situation where patronage replaces merit. We believe Mthimunye's case is typical of what happens in a monocracy.