"The president has finally found the courage to fire someone, but he has fired the wrong person and this will have a direct and deadly impact on the lives of millions of our poor."
This was ID leader Patricia de Lille's comment on the sacking of former Deputy Health Minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge.
I totally disagree with De Lille's comment.
Up to now, Madlala-Routledge's role remained inconspicuous to many South Africans. When Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang was in hospital, President Thabo Mbeki chose Jeff Radebe as acting health minister. This to me wasevidence that the president did not have confidence in the health deputy.
Madlala-Routledge claims the president fired her for doing her job, while at the same time acknowledging that he did not approve her trip to Madrid. There are too many contradictions in this matter.
It is a pity though that Madlala-Routledge was fired in a month dedicated to the women of South Africa. But perhaps it was just a coincidence. I strongly believe the deputy minister's dismissal was nothing personal as far as the president was concerned. I also think the decision was to ensure proper accountability of public officials.
Themba Thobela, Mkhulu