Raymond Suttner: Mantashe, the Chief Justice and ethical leadership

ANC General Secretary Gwede Mantashe has criticised Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng for remarks made in a lecture on ethical leadership, Mantashe depicts this as commenting on the Constitutional Court ruling on Nkandla and therefore bearing the danger of the Concourt becoming ‘populist’

It is important to realise that any lecture on ethics, referring to integrity, offering favours to friends, patronage, conflicts of interest, accountability and many other questions will raise questions about any person who performs in a manner that shows lapses in integrity. By definition we will think of Zuma even if his name is not mentioned. His ethical flaws are in our faces. We see these every day and we see that the ANC leadership is loath to address them.

But we have to talk about ethical leadership in order to avoid repeating the error of 2007 where those complaining about the leadership flaws attributed to Thabo Mbeki sought to remedy these by electing someone else without adequately scrutinising the person’s qualities. Regrettably, there is insufficient debate about what we need in place of Zuma, for it is not purely the Nkandla ruling that has led to his needing to be removed. We need to ask, beyond simply removing Zuma, what are the reasons for doing that and what are the qualities we require in whoever replaces him. We also need to state what we require from leadership more generally in order to hold a president and others accountable

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