We have, sadly, become used to political leaders being callow, deceitful, two-faced liars who fill their boots at the expense of the poor people they claim to represent. It is a 21st-century reality.
We laughed at the time, but some of us are reminded of that former Mpumalanga premier Ndaweni Mahlangu. When he was confronted about appointing three dodgy MECs to his provincial cabinet back in 1999, he said, without any shame or irony: “It is acceptable for politicians to lie.”
So last week the Gauteng ANC – which loftily told Jacob Zuma in the run-up to the 2014 election that he was so scandal-soaked and so ethically challenged that it would be best for him to steer clear of the province because he would cost the party voters – voted for Qedani Mahlangu to be part of its provincial executive committee.
Everyone now knows Qedani Mahlangu. Despite howls of protest from her officials she moved hundreds of patients from certified mental health facilities into uncertified, unregistered and inadequate facilities, some of them private homes. The patients died. Some of the 144 patients died of hunger and thirst. Some died of neglect. Some were abused.
Read Malala's full column on Times Select.