Zille not surprised by rejection of APRM report

The rejection of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) report by South Africa has come as no surprise as it is consistent with the government’s “depressing habit” of shooting the bearer of bad news, says official opposition Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille.

Writing in her Friday internet column,

The report was written by Nigerian economist professor Adebayo Adedeji.

Provincial and Local Government Minister Sydney Mufamadi also said the process provided for the country under review to comment on the report.

Zille, who became leader of her party earlier this month, said the report “singles out precisely” areas which her party “alongside many in civil society and the media, have long identified as grave areas of concern: crime, the skills crisis, threats to judicial independence and parliamentary efficacy”.

She suggested that one of the key reasons for the government’s failure “is the appointment of party loyalists to key positions, thus compromising the integrity and the effectiveness of these organs”.

“The irony of course, is that the [African] Peer Review Mechanism is almost entirely of our own making. The institution of the APRM is pivotal to President [Thabo] Mbeki’s vision for a rejuvenated Africa, marked by democratic practice and sound governance. Yet when these self-same Africans deliver a critical verdict on these areas of our national life and find them wanting, we just don’t want to know.”

Citing an example of government’s “refusal to face facts about dereliction in its own back yard”, Zille said seven months after receiving the Donen report, Mbeki had yet to make public the findings of this commission into the alleged involvement of senior ruling ANC members in the United Nations’ oil-for-food scandal.

“By contrast, authorities in France and the US began arraigning their implicated nationals as long ago as 2005,” she charged. ‒ I-Net Bridge