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Leadership editor Dr Onkgopotse JJ Tabane is far from happy with the leadership situation in South Africa at present

In July, as we remember the unmatchable leadership of Madiba, we must take the chance to reflect on the state of the leadership in our country. Sadly, the situation after 29 years of democracy is not getting better.

I am not aware of any leader that said the wrong thing about leadership values. Concepts such as ‘people first’, ‘Ubuntu’, as well as ‘consequence management’ have all become buzzwords.

But the actions of leaders at all levels have put a huge question mark in all these good sounding words, in as far as they manifest in opposite action instead of action in line with their good intention.

Over the last few months alone, the following incidents have signaled total leadership crisis—if not collapse:

Failure to implement State Capture recommendations

It’s been more than a year since the State Capture Report was made public. The report names the Chairperson of the ANC, the first Secretary General, the Minister of Arts and Culture, and the Deputy Ministers of Water Affairs and Correctional Services.

These executive members have suffered no consequences nor reprimand, even though it is within the power of the President to appoint or remove them from his cabinet, even if it was until names are cleared. Both from the government side and the side of the ANC, there has been failure to exercise bold leadership against corruption. The ANC set up a committee under Jeff Radebe but failed to present any sensible recommendations. It looks like impunity has already set in.

The Eskom debacle

No need to rehash what former President Thabo Mbeki wrote to the ANC, admonishing them for misusing their majority in Parliament on the rejection of a motion to investigate the corruption at Eskom.

This is an epic failure of leadership given the implosion that is Eskom at the present moment. There is an epic failure of leadership by the parliamentary caucus, from the election of an incompetent speaker, rejection of the Phala Phala Report, the failure to reconstruct the Parliament building burnt down almost a year and a half ago, to the shambolic oversight over parastatals; one is left with a sense of a moral and political leadership vacuum.

The sixth administration is a terrible depiction of the state of our leadership across the service delivery aspects of South African life. Just two of these leave you cold.

The spiralling crime and the collapsing health system makes you wonder. Will we ever lead like Mandela, or must we resign ourselves to the fact that Mandela was a historical flash in the pan?

Dr Onkgopotse JJ Tabane is Editor of Leadership and BBQ Magazines and Anchor of ‘Power to Truth’ on eNCA.

By Editor