South Africa

Dipuo Peters would be fired in an ethical democracy

Deputy Minister Peters faces parliament wrath

Even though our Code of Ministerial Ethics must be one of the shortest books in South Africa, if not the world, Deputy Minister Dipuo Peters nevertheless went to town racking up violations of its rules.

In her role as transport minister, back in the state capture heyday, Peters failed to appoint a group CEO of the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa), leading to wasted spending of R1.7 million on a recruitment agency to fill the position.

Then she fired the Prasa board – seemingly because it had revealed R14 billion of irregular expenditure and set in motion an investigation into corruption.

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Finally, she allowed the use of Prasa buses to transport people to an ANC event.

That’s all serious, we would have thought. So did parliament when it suspended her for a full term with no pay.

But for our Defender against Corruption – who is also known as President Cyril Ramaphosa – Peters’ conduct was only awful enough to attract a one-month suspension (without pay, though) from her government job.

Is it any wonder, then, that comrades within the ANC are willing to send out hit squads to eliminate rivals for openings in the cadre deployment programme?

In a functioning, ethical democracy, she would be fired.

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