Those in office who failed us all this past year

Johannesburg -This year there were men and women (and institutions) in the public service who impressed while carrying out their duties.

In the same breath, there were those who disappointed while being in office.

Take a look below that left South Africa feeling disappointed: 

Former president Jacob Zuma The former president continued to test the institutions of our democracy.

In March 2016, the Constitutional Court ruled that the powers of the public protector are binding, forcing Zuma to pay for non-security installations at his Nkandla home.

Later in the year, the country’s apex court sentenced Zuma to 15 months imprisonment after he defied its order to appear before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

Jacob Zuma, ANC President. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

In July, hundreds of people marched on the streets of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in the name of Zuma during an unrest that led to the death of more than 300 people.

On Wednesday, the high court in Pretoria set aside Zuma’s medical parole and ordered him back to jail.

Zuma continues to be a danger to our democratic institutions and peace in general.

  • Police Minister Bheki Cele

Cele’s running of the police ministry leaves much to be desired. The July unrest that enveloped KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng reminded us how deep in trouble the police service is under the leadership of Cele and national commissioner Khehla Sitole.

The turf war between the two also exposed the country’s security soft underbelly – that we have a weak crime intelligence unit, among others.

  • Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

De Ruyter was employed as Eskom CEO for one simple reason: to keep the lights on, which he is failing to do.


The mismanagement of the national grid came back to bite the ANC during the recent local government elections when De Ruyter wanted to introduce Stage 2 load-shedding on the eve of the polls.

Although De Ruyter can’t be completely blamed for the mess that is Eskom, he is supposed to shoulder the blame for the chaotic state of the power utility, which continues to be the biggest danger hampering economic growth.

January 21, 2020.Andre de Ruyter CEO of Eskom at the MegaWatt Park in Sunninghill Sandton.Picture:Freddy Mavunda © Financial Mail
  • Former health minister Zweli Mkhize

Mkhize was entrusted with a big responsibility of driving the country’s response to the outbreak of the Covid-19.

For some time, Mkhize seemed to be doing well. That was until it emerged that a company run by his associates, Digital Vibes, benefitted to the tune of R150-million from the department’s Covid-19 tender.

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) concluded that Mkhize had also personally benefited from the contract through payments made to his son Dedani. The former minister has since taken the SIU report on judicial review.

However, the idea that at the onset of Covid-19 a person entrusted with the responsibility of the country’s response could have had his hands in the cookie jar is simply depressing.

Former Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize. (Photo by Gallo Images/Darren Stewart)
  • NPA head Shamila Batohi

President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed Shamila Batohi as the national director of public prosecutions amid hopes that the wheels of justice will turn against impunity.

However, three years on, Batohi’s tenure in office has been characterized by only promises of convictions.

National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Advocate Shamila Batohi. (Photo by Gallo Images)

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