There has been a whole lot of unwarranted hullaballoo about the dropping of the former deputy minister of health from her portfolio by President Thabo Mbeki.
No member of parliament can and should claim entitlement to a cabinet position. In this case the individual involved defied the president by writing to him that she was not going to resign. This after she was afforded a chance to meet the president and state her case. Above all, she was afforded a chance to consult him, yet Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge still said she would not resign.
In my book, a deputy minister is just that, not equivalent to a minister. The former should by no means imagine being on par with the latter. In the event of disagreement, it is in the interest of the unhappy party to leave.
This case has gone beyond the limits by forcing the Presidency to make the letter of her dismissal public.
People in government should know and accept that they are there to represent the interests of the nation. Party squabbles should not be allowed to cut across the business of government.
Contrary to common belief that Mbeki is hard and unsympathetic, the circumstances of this particular case indicate that he has bent backwards on a number of occasions by accepting that humans may err in the discharge of their duties.
Sipho Mfundisi, United Christian Democratic Party