Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
IN a move sure to anger the government, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has joined opposition parties in lashing out at the appointment of Menzi Simelane as the new national director of public prosecutions.
President Jacob Zuma and Justice Minister Jeff Radebe tried last week to put the lid on complaints about Simelane but this did not stop Tutu, who called directly on Zuma to "reverse" Simelane's appointment.
"I now appeal to the president to do the right thing. Since his appointment, he has done much to restore the confidence in the South African government. But the appointment of Simelane is an aberration. The appointment should be reversed," Tutu said in a statement.
He said that appointing Simelane "besmirches the office of the NDPP".
The Ginwala Commission, which investigated former NDPP Vusi Pikoli's fitness to hold public office, found that Simelane had "invented allegations" against Pikoli that he was later forced to retract under cross-examination, and said Simelane's "conduct left much to be desired".
Tutu's statement came after he was on Saturday awarded the Fetzer Prize for Love and Forgiveness from the American Fetzer Institute.
At the University of Cape Town's "Beyond Reconciliation" conference, Tutu also took a swipe at politicians who spend public funds on expensive cars and five-star hotel bills.
"They should have bought cars at less than a million rand," Tutu said.
Tutu did not mention any politician's names, but National Planning Commission Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel and his Higher Education counterpart Blade Nzimande are some of the ministers who recently hit the headlines for buying official vehicles worth more than a million rand.
Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa also made the news when he allegedly spent nearly R250000 in hotel bills at the five-star Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town - and for racking up a reported R500000 bill at the luxurious Hilton Hotel in KwaZulu-Natal.
Tutu implied that the government had failed the people, saying that poverty levels remained "unacceptable".
Tutu called for an immediate return to Black Consciousness in order for people to realise their history.