Sexwale lauds acting police chief
Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale has spoken out against the atmosphere of "fear" in the country and criticised the government over the continuing saga of suspended Crime Intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.
Sexwale lauded Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, acting national police commissioner, as a brave man for acting against Mdluli. He asked the Rhema Bible Church in Mthatha to pray for the top policeman.
"Speak out when a corrupt policeman wants to be your commissioner. There's a policeman Mkhwanazi, pray for him.
"I don't know him but there's this cop who is standing up against the odds.
"Major people are quiet, this cop says 'if there's a corrupt cop and his friends among us who steal your money, who's got slush funds, who abuses your money', this Mkhwanazi says 'I think we should jail this cop'. Praise the lord for the name of that Mkhwanazi," Sexwale said.
Before Mdluli's suspension, it had been speculated that President Jacob Zuma wanted him as the next national police commissioner.
Sexwale addressed the congregation yesterday morning as part of his two-day unofficial presidential campaign in the ANC's second-biggest province. Sexwale is expected to challenge Zuma at the ANC's national conference in Mangaung in December.
He urged South Africans to speak out, saying the world belonged to the brave.
"There is something that we should lose - the fear of those in authority.
"We put people in authority and we get terrified of them. You start to fear an MEC, a mayor, a minister, you fear premiers, you fear the president. We put people in power then we become afraid of them.
"South Africans and fellow worshippers, be not afraid to speak out," said Sexwale to a chorus of an emphatic "Yes!" from the thousands of congregants.
In what could be interpreted as a jibe at Zuma's bid for a second term, Sexwale talked about former president Nelson Mandela's decision to serve only one term: "The authority above all other authorities is God. So these little authorities of MECs, premiers, ministers, presidents, Nelson Mandela knows that the authority he had belonged to the people. That's why Madiba stayed in public office only five years. No sooner had he done his five years, he decided 'I'm tired of this'. It was a demonstration to us that man-given authority lasts only (so long)," said Sexwale.
He turned to the Bible to illustrate his point, making an example of the "brave" Simon of Cyrene who helped Jesus Christ carry his cross on the way to his crucifixion.
"Fear must not grip this land. South Africa cannot be reduced to a country of (fear, where) we fear to speak now. When that happens, please draw courage from Simon of Cyrene. We have a democracy, a constitution, organs of power. Let's not be afraid to speak out."
On the controversial multibillion-rand arms deal, Sexwale said South Africa had "miscalculated".
Sexwale said the deal was initially estimated at about R20bn but had escalated to over R60bn.
"How did we miscalculate so much, not just with numbers but also the wrong items?" he asked.
"How many schools could have been built, how many houses, how many jobs created.
"President Jacob Zuma has opened it up again because it is eating the body of this country up. The arms package was wrong, that's why it will follow us."