Even When Zuma Leaves, SA Still Lacks Quality Leadership – Experts


No bona fide South African will turn blind eyes on the current political turmoil in the country, especially as it affect the state’s economic progress. However, investment analysts blame SA’s current political and economic woes on poor quality leadership.

investment expert Iraj Abedian said SA lacks the quality leadership that is needed to ensure a steady political growth as well as a stable economy.

The investment expert laments the degrading state of South African politics and how it has driven the one-time Africa’s best economy to a deplorable state. He blames the government’s in-fighting for its major role in undermining national interests.

“Whatever ideology you have, quite frankly, it doesn’t matter. You got to have a stability [and] credibility and everyday unfortunately this pillar of our democracy, in one way or another, shows that it has no coherence.”

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The SA economy has since the beginning of the year, been unstable in its growth. The rand has been on the longest retreating streak, falling by 1.2 percent in seven days following the Hawks’ summons of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and investors fear this could further downgrade the economy, leading it to an unexpected recession.

Abedian’s cry for quality leadership for the country echoes Thabo Mbeki, SA’s former president, who suggested that SA is in need of a better leader like Nelson Mandela who was selfless in his service for the country.

“Exactly because we are dealing with this more complex struggle, we need to raise the level of the quality of leadership,” Mbeki said at a memorial service for Mandela at the Calvary Church, in Midrand.

“To accelerate this progress that we need, we’ll come back to this matter about the quality of leadership,” Mbeki said.

More to this, Raymond Suttner, a professor attached to Rhodes University, once noted that South Africa needs a leader who is a good listener and who is consistent among other criteria.

The professor described good listening as important distinction for democratic leaders, which all South African political parties ignore.

“In current politics one has the impression that not only the ANC, but most political parties are reluctant to do this listening. The South African Human Rights Commission is also failing, in some, cases to hear people adequately.”

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He however described Ex president Nelson Mandela as that outstanding leader who repeatedly changed his political understanding over time. This was notably in his attitude to the use of force, taking up arms when it was necessary, and working to build peace when possible.

“A leader must have the capacity for introspection, and consequently be able to re-evaluate modes of operation,” he said.

Suttner also mentioned some other things worthy of note, stating that “Democratic leadership entails dialogue; Democratic leadership has a relational basis; and a good leadership imbibe service culture.”