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17 July 2011 at 20:15 - Posted by Anonymous

Time for decisive action


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President Jacob Zuma. File picture.
Image by: GCIS

Sunday Times Editorial: Jacob Zuma faces the biggest decision of his presidency: whether or not to act against those accused of maladministration and unlawful conduct over the irregular leasing of police buildings in Pretoria and Durban for R1.6-billion.

Zuma has failed to act to date because he has been waiting for the report of the public protector, Thuli Madonsela.

Now that she has signed off on her final report, he has run out of excuses.

What he does now will send a strong signal to the country about his attitude to grave misconduct within his administration.

He has an opportunity to show that he is, whatever his critics might say, in charge and in control.

He could make a statement to the public service that he is drawing a line in the sand when it comes to free-wheeling spending and dodgy dealings.

Or he could do nothing and entrench the growing perception that he has no taste for tough decisions and the leadership duties of a president.

The second option will have real consequences. Many traditional supporters deserted the ANC at the polls because they were disillusioned with corruption and the abuse of state resources.

The actions of government are under closer scrutiny than any time since the advent of democracy in 1994, because there is concern that the state may be taking a wrong turn on corruption and nepotism.

There are no short-cuts. Only tough action by Zuma, followed by a new desire to root out maladministration, will restore public confidence in the government.

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