Bathabile Dlamini’s resignation letter doesn’t make her look good

Bathabile Dlamini has resigned from Parliament, with a rather scathing resignation letter.

The interesting bit of this is the following claim, this is how it appears in the letter:

“Those that made a profit through CPS through their wives are known, but because they are well respected by the organisation, nothing has been said to them. I have been made a scape goat and an easy target.”

What this indicates is that at some point she knew the CPS contract was corrupt – and who exactly was benefiting. This may be known in the organisation, but it isn’t known to the rest of us.

She claims that the courts suggested she was corrupt, but in her own resignation letter she implies that she was aware of corruption regarding a department that she ran and kept quiet about it because the corrupt actors were “well respected by the organisation”.

Looking at the Hawks’ website and their write up of Section 34 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, 2004, I think she’d have had a legal obligation to report this information.

And also, well, in the cost order against Dlamini by the courts, the judge said the following:

The report by Ngoepe JP revealed that the Minister misled the Court to protect herself from the consequences of her behaviour. She allowed a parallel process to occur knowing that she withheld information that would lead to her being held personally liable for the social grants disaster. The office which she occupied demands a greater commitment to ethical behaviour and requires a high commitment to public service.

That clearly indicates at least the suspicion of corruption.

There are a lot of claims in that letter that need to be investigated – her allegations regarding Pravin Gordhan’s relationship with the banks are serious ones for example, but I think there is something else that needs to be said here: She still doesn’t get it.

Corruption isn’t just about money changing hands, it is whatever causes you to not fulfill your duties. This is why nepotism is a form of corruption – because the loyalty between family members can distort decisions in favour of those family members, which leads to worse outcomes for everyone else.

Party loyalty can be a corrupting influence. Her complaints about the provinces taking the national ANC to court illustrate this same problem – she doesn’t seem to realise that it wasn’t the provinces bringing the mother body into disrepute it was the conduct that resulted in the court cases being filed.

One of the things that disgusted me with the Catholic Church and its abuse scandals was the importance placed upon the image of the church being greater than the importance placed upon protecting children from predator priests.

In other words a culture of silence was maintained in order to make it look like the church was cleaner than it really was, and that allowed really nasty stuff to fester within its structures.

If you’re encouraging a culture of silence to protect the image of the organisation, the organisation generally isn’t worth having.

And Dlamini, looking at her resignation letter, maintained that same culture within the ANC. She thinks she’s a victim here, but so far as I can see she was a collaborator.

  • Picture courtesy of GCIS via Flickr.



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