Not in our name: A letter to Thami Ka Plaatjie - LEBO KESWA
Date Released: Wed, 3 September 2014 09:54 +0200
I have always admired your work and your ability to stir up debate in public, but to use over ten superlatives that simply show your fake disgust at the protector - and this I choose to believe - is unlike you.
Lebo Keswa is CEO of her holding company, Leboswa Investments. Within this
there are other companies, Wall2Wall Murals, Bokamoso Research Consultancy
and My Own Cup. She also consults for a number of other companies and
Lebo was Research Executive at the SABC, where she was responsible for
conducting a feasibility study in 14 African countries. She was appointed
Business Development Manager for Vutha Advertising and Marketing. She was
then appointed as Business Development Director at Saatchi and Saatchi South
Africa. Lebo subsequently joined Semeka as Business Development Director,
later becoming Executive Director.
She received a BA (Journalism and Politics) at Rhodes University in
Grahamstown, South Africa. She is currently with GIBS on the programme for
Among other things Lebo has been a Chairperson of the Patrick Ace
Ntsoelengoe Foundation (PANF), and Managing Director / Editor for Blink
Magazine and a Reporter for the South African Press Association.
Thami Ka Plaatjie wrote an open letter to the Public Protector, and its
contents were so offensive that it moved this writer - who had sworn off
open letters forever - to write back.
Robert Sobukwe must be turning in his grave, following your sycophantic
article in the Sunday Independent of 31 August, where you insulted one of
the brightest minds and staunchest corruption busters this country has ever
Coming at the end of women's month, the article was pathetically
chauvinistic and must be condemned on behalf of all ANC members whose
research leader you are meant to be.
This abusive article - aimed at a woman leader - exposes that you are not
even half the leader that Madonsela is, and your tirade against her work is
shameful defence of the indefensible, in the face of a scandal that even the
ANC seeks to find a solution to.
For the life of me, I cannot imagine what possessed you to so openly insult
someone who has only done sterling work in the fight against the cancer of
corruption that is drowning our movement. What makes me angry is that you
have done this banal act in the name of those of us who support the ANC.
In the introduction of your patronising article, you state, "I have lauded
your work to hold our nation to account.but my views have changed over
Nkandla..." Yet without any twist of irony you later state with glee that
those who praise Madonsela are so-called "liberals" and "killers like De
Klerk". It is clear that you do not think you were so liberal after all when
you "lauded [her] work". Because she now demands accountability on Nkandla,
which is a proxy for criticism of Zuma, this changes your mind about her
good work which you used to laud. This makes it ok for you to call her a
spoilt brat and a child throwing her toys on the floor - because she dares
takes on Zuma, she deserves your string of unadulterated insults?
Do you really need to go to this gutter of intellectualism to show that you
have now turned over a new leaf as an ANC Apparatchik? Do you really have to
stoop so low to sing for your supper? Can someone who advises a minister
spew such bile against another institution of the state? Surely even if
there are disagreements, as there should be in any democracy, the conduct of
someone who assumedly speaks for the ruling party or its government has to
have some modicum of dignity? This is worse than your erstwhile "one
settler, one bullet" days of pseudo-activism. It is out of sync with the
dignity that the ANC as a leader of society is expected to display in public
discourse. Your letter is a shameful piece of work, Abuti Thami Ka Plaatjie.
Please let it not be in my name.
I have always admired your work and your ability to stir up debate in
public, but to use over ten superlatives that simply show your fake disgust
at the protector - and this I choose to believe - is unlike you.
You can't possibly claim not to understand what work she is doing for our
society. What can possibly be wrong with activism against rampant
corruption? Why is it something that you "invite us to pour scorn over"? How
else are we supposed to raise consciousness about this cancer of corruption,
if institutions of the Constitution - that are meant to champion such a war
against corruption - are supposed to play dumb and not raise their voices
when they smell its stench? You expect them to simply close their noses just
because it is the president that is being questioned. Such head-in-the-sand
politics must not be in my name.
The brouhaha about the leaked letter is a red herring - I believe that with
the kind of public interest on the shameful Nkandla matter, there is every
reason for such letters to be public in the first place. This will prevent
people like you, Abuti Thami, seeking sensation in turning such letters into
a cloak-and-dagger affair where they accuse the Protector of being
oppositional. This is an old trick, by the way - anyone who dares speak the
truth to power is labelled, whether it be COPE or now the EFF! Abuti Thami,
your letter is a terrible shame, man. I read it twice and was disgusted ten
times over. I did not even know where to begin. I had sworn never ever to
write an open letter, but I just could not resist.
I am glad that the Public Protector did not dignify your brown-nose nonsense
with a response. Your letter is designed to achieve the lowest form of
self-aggrandisement. I am sure you were expecting an excited call from the
Deputy Secretary General, who this week has taken it upon herself to label
Madonsela a populist. A lot of right-minded South Africans have found your
letter terribly foul, however. I have no time to rehearse all the gratuitous
insults save for a few points that cannot go unchallenged:
1] The Public Proctor Must learn to wait
Now you wait a minute. Do you really believe that this office was created to
wait around for politicians who do not have any sense of shame or urgency?
Do you really believe that the Public Protector should resign her duty to
follow the president to Parliament after releasing her report as early as
March? Do you really believe that the Public Protector should not ask the
question just because the same question has been asked by the opposition?
Ponder on these questions, and other than the lapping up of patronage I am
not sure what on earth can make you ignore this glaring logic. The fact is
that the PP is not beholden to politicians and quite frankly, my brother,
she should not give a damn about the snail's pace at which politicians move
when more looting of the public purse could be going on.
2] The Mandate of the Protector
A little bit of reading will reveal to you that cases of sensation such as
Nkandla are only a fraction of what the PP deals with daily. She is out
there intervening every day for ordinary people. You obviously find this
fact an inconvenience. It is better for you to give the impression that
every case she is busy with is for the express written purpose of
embarrassing the president. These total lies about such an important office
are a shameful display of the worst kind of hypocrisy.
The Protector is not established to deal with private sector corruption - as
a head of research this should have occurred to you naturally.
3] Impugning those that praise the protector
Apparently the work of the Protector that you have previously lauded is
doing the bidding for the opposition. This is a flawed and lazy argument
indeed, assuming that everything that the opposition does must be dismissed
with contempt. The reality is that the stench of corruption is becoming too
much even for people who are true members of the ANC, and not
Johnny-came-lately types like you who need to be on the extreme of
praise-singing in order to be noticed. All I am asking for is a little bit
of analysis, instead of defaulting to the lowest form of selling of your
4] Stooping to the lowest form of insult
You say of the Protector: "Your actions bespeak a troubled mind and a
restless soul seeking redemption from itself.You are becoming a danger to
you[rself] and your office. You maybe of the view that you are the best
thing that ever happened to South Africa after Nelson Mandela." These
gratuitous insults reflect less on the Protector and more on you, Abuti
Thami - are you that desperate to receive recognition from the ANC that you
think nothing of denigrating someone of the stature of Advocate Madonsela?
Shame on you to do this in the name of those of us who support the ANC - and
on the last day of Women's Month, nogal.
Shame on you to use your platform granted by the ANC to stoop so low and
expose your political chauvinism.
Shame on you to bring the movement into such utter disrepute.
Shame on you for spitting on the graves of even your own political
Shame on you to associate the ANC with such unbridled buffoonery.
Please don't do this again in our name, Abuti Thami Ka Plaatjie. Just
Source: The Daily Maverick