Consequence management? It’s just hot air as long as Mkhize ...

Ideas

Consequence management? It’s just hot air as long as Mkhize stays in office

If such a thing existed we would not have corruption in the top structures of government, universities, big business

Columnist

Ever notice how impressive-sounding terms seep into the public discourse until everyone from tiresome government officials to hustling motivational speakers sap any residual meaning out of them? On this point, if I hear the words “consequence management” one more time I am going to flip. It is a buzzword right now that bestows on the utterer a misplaced modicum of intelligence; I mean, the words sound so grand: consequence management.

It’s actually a load of bull in SA. Sduduzo Mncwabe posted on Twitter this week that “in a country with accountability, we would be waking up to the news of Dr Zweli Mkhize resigning”. In other words, there would have been immediate consequences for the mismanagement of the vaccine rollout. “Alternatively put,” said a responding tweet, “the President has just accepted the letter of resignation from the minister of health. Meaning he was forced 2resign by the President.”

We regularly make headlines in international media for wholesale corruption and gross inefficiency. On CNN this week there was this screaming headline in bold capitals: “South African vaccine rollout called ‘dismal failure’.” But Mkhize is still in his job, even as another scandal should certainly have upended his political and professional career. Imagine, the minister’s friend and former personal assistant benefit from a massive R150m for a communications deal from Mkhize’s department of health, much of which flows into personal accounts of family members of one of the lucky recipients...

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