A lawyer and a spook hop onto Sisulu’s jingling carousel of ...

Ideas

A lawyer and a spook hop onto Sisulu’s jingling carousel of patronage

Why does she need them? Just look at the Groundhog Day aspect of Menzi Simelane’s second coming

Columnist

SAA is broke, Pope Benedict and Pope Francis are all over the telly, Disney princesses Elsa and Anna have a pet snowman called Olaf, Lindiwe Sisulu has appointed Menzi Simelane as a special adviser, and the DA is objecting to said appointment. Yes, apparently it’s 2013. 

Of course, some things have changed in the past seven years. Thanks to the terminal shortness of South African memories, Simelane is no longer remembered as the guy who made the arms deal probe go away. Now, he’s the guy who deflected attention away from Bosasa. And this time he’s not the only pet snowman hired by Princess Sisulu: Mo Shaik has also come in from the cold.

Inevitably, the opposition and the media are sounding the alarm. And to be fair, it is slightly concerning that the minister of water and sanitation, who presides over the literal stuff of life, has hired two weapons-grade smoke-and-mirror experts to advise her. Why, some might ask, does a minister tasked with delivering water to South Africans need lawyers and spooks as special advisers rather than, say, engineers or climate experts? And why does she need these lawyers and spooks? ..

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