Former deputy an opportunist

The former Deputy Health Minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge had been walking a tightrope for a long time.

Her firing came as no surprise because she had been undermining her employer.

Tell me of a company that can allow a senior manager to criticise it publicly. Which social or political organisation can allow one of their own to be such a big liability?

For instance, the SACP expelled its former spokesman Mazibuko Jara for allegedly voicing dissenting views against that of the central committee. Former treasurer Phillip Dexter was also silenced for his scathing attack on the philosophy and management of the SACP.

If Madlala-Routledge was not happy with the direction of the government's health policies, she should have resigned in protest. She chose not to do so and continued to ride on the "populist" bandwagon.

She garnered support by playing with the emotions of those who are HIV positive.

Her morality needs to be questioned. If she really cared about the people and was on the side of justice, fairness and morality, why didn't we hear her protest against the arms deal when she was deputy defence minister?

She had nothing to gain there.

We must perhaps find out who invited her to the conference in Spain in the first place. The conference was about medicine and science, and these are driven by pharmaceutical companies.

People accused President Thabo Mbeki of being a despot for firing Jacob Zuma. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was also fired for taking an unauthorised trip during her tenure as deputy minister for tourism and environmental affairs. Major General Bantu Holomisa, then her boss, was also fired for disobeying the ANC. On both occasions Nelson Mandela was president. So this firing is not a new phenomenon in South African politics.

Mbeki did what any president or chief executive of a company would do. Madlala-Routledge is an opportunist and a populist - period. We cannot allow ourselves to be hoodwinked by her. She paid the ultimate price.

Another populist is born.

Sindiso Malaku, Pretoria