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Johannesburg sues Lindiwe Sisulu for R537,000

According to the Sunday Times foreign minister Lindiwe Sisulu is being sued for over half a million rand.

Apparently she wasn’t very good at paying for her utilities – so when she wanted to sell her house in 2015, the then ANC city government cancelled her debt so that the sale could go through.

Now the city is under the control of the DA, which figures that the ANC’s decision was unlawful and she should be made to pay.

According to Business Tech, in February of 2016 Sisulu was earning just over R2.2 million a year.

She also had an allowance of 25% of her salary to buy a vehicle, two official vehicles and a state house at the capital of her choice.

In August of 2018, IOL reported that the ANC had asked the DA to scrap a near R1 million it owed in utilities in Tshwane.

They claimed this debt was inherited from the “white people” who were in the property before them, however records showed that they hadn’t been paying their bills since 2012.

My Take

Lindiwe Sisulu is probably the politician I have the most contempt for.

There is some stiff competition in that race, we have just been through about a decade of state capture and Thabo Mbeki was disaster before that.

Finding out that she was skipping out on her utilities bill, despite earning millions per year with benefits that really removed a huge chunk of her expenses, well that just ices that cake.

But why do I have such contempt for her? Well here’s a quick timeline of her record, just off the top of my head:

  • 2007 saw the The N2 Gateway crisis. Basically the government wanted to move the people of the Joe Slovo Informal Settlement off the land and to the Delft township so they could make way for bonded houses.
    Sisulu said those who didn’t cooperate with this would be removed from all housing waiting lists. The whole saga resulted in the single largest occupation of houses in the country’s history, and thousands of people being moved to Temporary Relocation Areas, or just the pavement.
  • She followed this up in 2008, by hiring a lawyer who wasn’t qualified to practice law and was facing criminal charges of fraud, larceny and petty theft in the US.
  • In 2009 Jacob Zuma made her minister of defence. This was the year that South African soldiers took over the union buildings as part of a protest over a pay dispute.
  • In 2012, she was put in charge of the department of Public Service and Administration. Now we have a state capture crisis.
  • In 2014 she was put back in charge of human settlements – and promptly stated, according to News24, “Our intention in giving free houses was to right the wrongs of the past and make sure that we can give our people dignity. And that group of people is not the people below the age of 40.”
  • According to TimesLIVE, she was one of the figures named in former Bosasa chief operating officer Angelo Agrizzi’s testimony to the Zondo commission.
  • She is currently the minister of foreign affairs. According to the South African in February 2019 the department appointed an 11 member review panel chaired by former Foreign Affairs Minister Aziz Pahad and found our influence had diminished.
    This wasn’t entirely Sisulu’s fault, it had been in decline before she got there, but still.

Since 2001 Sisulu has been minister of intelligence, housing, defence, Public Service and Administration, human settlements and finally foreign affairs.

She’s remained in place for an average of 3 years in each job.

One of the few bright spots in Jacob Zuma’s legacy was getting a handle on the AIDS crisis after Thabo Mbeki collapsed our national healthcare system by putting it in the charge of a kleptomaniacal drunk.

Under Zuma our average life expectancy rose, and while our healthcare is still atrocious, progress has been made.

Aaron Motsoaledi was appointed minister of health in 2009, he is still minister of health.

Generally unless they’re fighting with the president, competent ministers will stay in place because changing the cabinet is a hassle, and why fix what isn’t broken?

Sisulu so far as I’m aware wasn’t fighting Zuma.

  • Picture courtesy of DIRCO via Flickr
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