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Panyanza Lesufi lambastes 'greedy vultures' in leadership

30 July 2020 - 09:15 By Unathi Nkanjeni
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi
Image: Vathiswa Ruselo/Sowetan

“The mistrust between leadership and our people is growing daily. Never in our history has greediness and corruption preoccupied the minds of our people.”

These are the words of Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, who lambasted corrupt officials as he bid farewell to anti-apartheid veteran Andrew Mlangeni on Wednesday.

Lesufi said the mistrust between the leadership and the public was growing, and that the freedom Mlangeni fought for “may lose its character if we can’t act”.

“The sacrifices [Mlangeni] made, if nothing drastic is done, may be fruitless,” he said.

“Never in the history of our struggle that our people doubt us. Never in the history of our struggle that our people, in their numbers, are unhappy with the behaviour and conduct of some of our freedom fighters.”

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Lesufi said Mlangeni, in his last days, saw leaders fighting for positions instead “of fighting for the development of our people”.

“Instead of fighting for the development of our country, we are surrounded by greedy vultures. Instead of fighting for peace and prosperity, our women and children are killed and attacked,” said Lesufi.

In honour of Mlangeni, Lesufi said that the ANC, as a liberation movement, needed to be renewed and be a movement that serves South Africans with honour.

Mlangeni was the last surviving Rivonia trialist and had spent 26 years on Robben Island.

"[Mlangeni's death] should serve as a reminder to our youth that our struggle for freedom was led by people with real depth of character, personality, and a great sense of humanity,” said Lesufi.

Lesufi's statement comes amid allegations of some ANC leaders looting public funds meant for the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced last week that the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) would be investigating dozens of companies and individuals who are believed to have benefited from dodgy Covid-19 tenders.