Trevor Manuel Attacks Zuma: The former minister of finance Trevor Manuel has launched a scathing attack on President Jacob Zuma and the ANC government for all-round incompetence in leadership.
The top politician told participants at the GIBS Ethics and Governance Think Tank in Sandton on Tuesday that President Zuma is not corrupt to the core and incapable of leading South Africa.
In as much as black activists in the country believe Manuel belongs to the monopolising class of capitalists controlling major sectors of the country’s economy, the former minister has severally denied this and continued to blame the present leadership for the state of affairs in the country.
Five Striking Statements Manuel Made
- Previous government in South Africa is different from the present leadership
Manuel said the Zuma-led government is the worst government the country has ever had. Previous governments did not ‘demand favour from people’ but Zuma has made it the order of the day to demand favour from people.
- Corruption must be treated as a violation of law not just as an ethical misdemeanour.
In his speech at the Pretoria University’s Gordon Institute of Business Science, the former minister slammed ‘our own president’ for being corrupt and showcasing his incompetence. He claimed the reason why corruption has taken over the government is that the president himself leads the pack of corrupt politicians in the country. Manuel called for severe punishment for corrupt leaders at various positions.
- South African government is run by incompetent ministers
He said most ministers don’t do their jobs because they know no one would discipline them. Thus, the reason most people in the administration are incompetent and easily get away with what they can. Manuel also alleged that why it is partly difficult for government leaders to deal with the issue [corruption] is that they replaced competent people in administration with incompetence.
- Most men and women in the political structure do not care
He expressed sadness that South Africa’s political structure is run by selfish leaders who do not care about the poor minority. Manuel buttressed that President Zuma needs to believe in a caring government, adding that when he was in government, he was privileged to be part of teams that care‚ teams that have been held accountable for their actions.
- South Africa needs to grow an inclusive economy
Literarily put, an inclusive economy is one that creates an opportunity for all segments of the population and distributes the dividends of increased prosperity. Manuel said South Africa can grow this type of economy by making leaders account for their actions.
In his contribution, AngloGold Ashanti Chairman Sipho Pityana said South Africans are best positioned to challenge the continuous leadership of Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba who was mentioned as a friend to the Guptas in the Gupta leaked emails
Pityana said Malusi should step down for trading his integrity and losing the nation’s support and confidence.
Nedbank CEO Mike Brown was also present at the event.
Trevor Manuel was South Africa’s Finance Minister from 1996 to 2009, during the presidencies of Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe. Under President Zuma, he was appointed the Minister in the Presidency for the National Planning Commission from 2009 to 2014.