/ 10 March 2017

Letters to the editor: March 10 to 16 2017

Crybaby: Some words of advice for Sars commissioner Tom Moyane - running to the big boss is simply not done
Bain & Company was brought in to create and implement a new operational model by suspended commissioner Tom Moyane. (Paul Botes/M&G)

Get real, Mr Moyane

Dear Mr Tom Moyane,

I am writing to you in response to the article Moyane turns to Zuma in his bitter battle with Gordhan, in which it is stated that you have appealed to the president to intervene in the differences you are having with Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

It is my responsibility as a citizen of this country to offer you free advice on this matter. This is informed by my experience in management and leadership positions, which I held in various organisations.

The manner in which you are dealing with this issue is unbecoming of a person in your position, and goes against the protocol required when disputes arise in the workplace.

I empathise with you, and I am also aware how painful your situation is, because I have encountered similar situations in the past. On more than one occasion I have had serious disagreements with my immediate bosses but not once did I ever approach the chief executives of those organisations to intervene on my behalf. It’s just not done.

In the position you are in, you report to the finance minister and he reports to the president, who has enough on his or her plate without having to intervene in the squabbles of his appointees. He expects them to get on with the job.

As someone who previously headed the department of correctional services, you should be aware of the management differences that permeate that department and how they remain unresolved even today. In none of these has the minister or the president been asked to intervene.

My advice to you is to revisit your mandate as South African Revenue Service commissioner, and then set up one-on-one meetings with your minister to determine where he thinks you fall down.

In a further effort to help you, I quote Samuel Johnson: “The fountain of content must spring up in the mind, and he who hath so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts and multiply that grief he proposes to remove.”

I remind you of the tenet repeated frequently in the corporate sector: if you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen. – Ntsikana Tuntulwana

The Constitution does allow for expropriation

Land in South Africa. Is it a question without an answer, as some would like us to believe? Has an orderly manner of dealing with land reform failed? Put differently, is section 25 of the Constitution an enabler in the country’s quest for land reform?

Land is not only an emotional issue but is a conflicted one as well (ANC hits warp speed on land). Our situation is compounded by our history. We waged a just war that was wretched, dreadful and pitiable, and we triumphed. The scars of that war are not just visible but are still painful, which is why we become hot under the collar when the issue of land is mentioned.

Subsection 1 of Section 25 of the Constitution states that no one may be deprived of property except in terms of a law of general application, and no law may permit the arbitrary deprivation of property. What that means is that what happened in the past was wrong and should never be repeated. Sub-section 5 orders that the state must take reasonable legislative and other measures with its available resources.

Section 25 clearly asserts that property must be expropriated. Expropriation must be for a public purpose and in the public interest. There are six requirements that must be adhered to, among them the current use of the property, the history of the acquisition (how the land was obtained) and the use of the property.

Development and empowerment thrive in a stable environment. Section 25 attempts to ensure conducive conditions for rebuilding our country. The government must implement section 25 as speedily as possible. – Thando Wababa, Cape Town

Eusebius’s racist slip is showing

As a white liberal, I have to thank Eusebius McKaiser (Beware the fake empathy of liberals) for explaining my emotional response to the latest wave of xenophobia.

I must admit I was surprised. My first reaction to the story was: “Ag no, man, not again!” The sympathy I felt was for both sides – the desperate perpetrators and the (presumably just as desperate) victims. Then, as we white liberals tend to do, I blamed the ANC government.

I did not “chirp progressively”. I don’t know how to do that. Maybe Eusebius can enlighten me – once he’s freed himself of his racist, anti-white middle-class prejudice.

I can’t do much about being white and middle class. I don’t presume to know how middle-class coloured people feel about xenophobia. I try to make a difference and work towards a better South Africa and resent being the object of other people’s racist prejudice. Go jump, Eusebius. – Helmut Bertelsmann, Johannesburg