The Crooked Comrades Monitor
The 'Crooked Comrades Monitor' is an archive of those people appointed to key positions in the public service in spite of a dubious track record which suggests them unfit for public office and, often, at very large salaries. In most cases the evidence would suggest they were appointed as a reward for their political support for a particular faction or agenda in the ruling party; at the very least, as a result of an inability to act against the corrupt or set the appropriate precedent.
TO DATE THE MONITOR CONTAINS 16 COMRADES WHOSE COMBINED SALARIES COST THE TAXPAYER APPROXIMATELY R13.8 MILLION A YEAR.
The constitutional principle of accountability is much maligned in South Africa. There is a detachment between oversight and the consequences that should be inherent to it: the former is touted as a democratic imperative and the institutions designed to achieve it championed as models of good governance; but the latter is almost never forthcoming.
Typically a public servant will be found guilty of corruption, maladministration or wrong-doing but face no consequences and, with time, any indiscretion will be swept under the carpet or overlooked by the ANC administration, as that individual is not only allowed to carry on in the civil service but, very often, rewarded and promoted.
This attitude - of rewarding the crooked - has become a hallmark of the public service under the ANC. Political solidarity has come to trump merit and expertise and the result is collection of individuals in key positions of the power and influence who have neither the proper ability nor the requisite integrity to best represent and uphold the interests of South Africa's citizens.
The consequences of this are profound: on the one hand, the ability of the public service to deliver is undermined; on the other, and as a result, its integrity is eroded away, to the extent that the public itself no longer has any faith in it.
WHY THE MONITOR
Against this background the DA has created a 'Crooked Comrades Monitor' - an archive of those people appointed to key positions in the public service in spite of a dubious track record which suggests them unfit for public office and, often, at very large salaries. In most cases the evidence would suggest they were appointed as a reward for their political support for a particular faction or agenda in the ruling party; at the very least, as a result of an inability to act against the corrupt or set the appropriate precedent.
The purpose of the Monitor is two fold.
- First is designed to inform the public about the qualifications of those people that are ostensibly supposed to represent their interests. As it is public money that pays these people's salaries, the public deserves to know how much it is costing them.
- Second, it is designed to demonstrate that the ANC government very often does not have the interests of ordinary South Africans at heart, rather the consolidation of its power and the rewarding of people with the right connections in the corridors of power at the expense of best democratic practice.
When the ANC announced its 2009 lists for parliament, it stated that those people elected to represent the ruling party, "…have been told that their organisation, and the people they represent, will hold them to the highest standards of integrity and accountability." President Zuma too, has made such a commitment. When he launched the Presidential hotline he stated he wanted to create an "ethos of accountability".
Increasingly, these kinds of promises are ringing hollow, as the ANC's actions contradict its public undertakings. The Monitor below is evidence of this.
HOW IT WORKS
The monitor focuses only on those appointments made since Jacob Zuma came to power. It includes the person's name and the position they now hold, as well as their salary. Where it is not possible to determine the individual's exact salary, for the purposes of the totals column, the smallest figure was used. In order to qualify for the monitor, the person must have been found guilty of corruption or wrongdoing by an official mechanism, be it a court, a commission of enquiry or a disciplinary hearing and occupy a position in the public service or as a public representative.
We will update the monitor on a regular basis.