Dangerous perception

JULIUS Malema's comments about why Tito Mboweni will not get a good government posting after his tenure as governor of the Reserve Bank say a lot about what is wrong with the ANC's deployment policy.

JULIUS Malema's comments about why Tito Mboweni will not get a good government posting after his tenure as governor of the Reserve Bank say a lot about what is wrong with the ANC's deployment policy.

The ANC Youth League president says Mboweni's opposition to nationalisation has cost him whatever hopes he might have had of landing an important job in the state sector.

They are also an insult to the many competent men and women who, though loyal to the party, owe their jobs first and foremost to their skills and qualifications.

In thinking that he has waded into Mboweni, Malema has played right into the hands of those who believe that the shortage of skills in the state sector should be blamed on the fixation with giving jobs tocomrades.

Unless the ANC disassociates itself with Malema's latest rant - as it did with Billy Masetlha's assertion that the Leftists were trying a communist takeover of the party - it runs the risk of this being taken as reflecting current thinking within the party.

Rightly or wrongly, current perception is that loyalty to the Rightist faction of the party and slavish recital of the views held by that faction has greater weight than qualification and competence for a state job.

Malema's comments do nothing to dispel this perception. They confirm it and send a message to those who harbour hopes of career advancement in areas over which the party has influence to check with what the party leadership is thinking before speaking their minds.

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