Taxpayers suffer again

WE HAVE to object to another case of the conflation of party and state as typified by the taxpayer now having to bear the cost of Julius Malema's perceived threats to his life.

WE HAVE to object to another case of the conflation of party and state as typified by the taxpayer now having to bear the cost of Julius Malema's perceived threats to his life.

It has been revealed that it costs you, the taxpayer, R300000 a month to provide Malema with blue lights and bodyguards.

It is not so much a question of whether we like Malema or not. States must be governed by institutions that must have credibility long after the incumbents have left them.

There are already too many instances where Malema has mistaken himself for a statesman, such as when he "welcomed" athletes from the world championships when that should have been the province of the Minister of Sport and Recreation.

As it is there are allegations that Malema pulled rank on traffic officers who stopped him when he was driving at double the allowed speed limit and sought the intervention of Limpopo transport MEC Pinkie Kekana.

The many instances of graft and impunity among the politically connected are born of the feelings among those close to state power that they are more equal than the rest of us.

We must be vigilant that we don't create powers that run parallel to the state.

If the ANC is comfortable showering its leaders who are not in government with authority that is equal to those of members it has deployed to the cabinet, let it. But it should not do so at the cost of the taxpayer or national institutions.

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