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Editorial: And still we wait for a decision on Mkhize

Many people are asking why President Cyril Ramaphosa has not acted on a damning report sitting on his desk regarding the serious allegations against the minister of health, Zweli Mkhize. 

Papers filed by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to the Special Tribunal point to Mkhize’s involvement in how contracts worth R150-million were awarded to Digital Vibes. According to the SIU, some of that money was used to buy vehicle for Mkhize’s son, repair a house owned by the family and set up a hair salon for his son and a nail salon for his daughter-in-law. 

For six weeks Ramaphosa has told us he is following process and Mkhize continues to get a fat ministerial salary as he relaxes on special leave. 

Even parliament can’t conduct its oversight duties and get us answers.

As frustrating as this situation might seem for us, this is neither the first time a president has sat with a crucial SIU report or felt the need to consult and politically plot before making a decision. 

But, what we must remember is that those who voted for Ramaphosa were not voting for him. They were voting for the ANC. Our electoral system doesn’t allow for one to vote for an individual but the party. 

When we were sold the “new dawn”, it was not the party, it was the man. We must also remember that Ramaphosa’s win at Nasrec in 2017 was a compromise and not the win of a man who has the support of the whole party. 

It is the ANC as a collective that makes the decisions. These decisions are made by the party’s top six, the national executive committee and its national working committee after much contestation. 

We have seen how the ANC has become a beast focused on party positions, alliances, slates, backstabbing and corruption and less on policies to govern the country. This distinction will help many understand why Ramaphosa takes an inordinate amount of time to make decisions. 

Some would like to call it Ramaphosa’s long game; others see it as consensus building. But to many, it is frustrating and has eroded the trust new dawners had for a future of decisively rooting out the corruption that is at the core of why this country is at the cliff of a failed state. 

The evidence is there. But because of the system that millions of South Africans voted for and continue to vociferously support we are stuck staring at the same old sunset.

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