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The African National Congress is reputed for churning out lofty documents which they regrettably do not live up to.
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We are at the beginning of the near year, a leap year, 2012; we have to bid the past year goodbye and reflect on what we learnt from it.

On the national scene we witnessed the extent to which the President, Jacob Zuma, during his presentation of the State of the Nation Address proved to be a real descendant of Ananias. He promised 500 000 jobs and nothing came out of it. In fact there job losses.

The national government was at pains to extinguish fires when the Public Protector showed her fangs to protect the public when she exposed misuse of office by politicians in government and some line functionaries in departments.

It has come as no surprise that the bloated cabinet of President Zuma would cost the tax payer much in respect of their official residences. Some residences are reported to be unoccupied even after being purchased at exorbitant prices.

The chief clown in government turned out to be the department of Justice and Constitutional Development. Blunders in respect of appointments came one after the other. The ill fated extension of the term of office of the then Chief Justice Ngcobo showed that advice given to the president was not well thought out.

The appointment of the successor to Chief Justice Ngcobo was another headache for government. Though Mogoeng Mogoeng is squeaky clean, he found himself on the receiving end. His appointment and the questioning thereof made one feel as if we were in America. The criticism levelled against him was unprecedented in the country. He however gave a good account of himself at a two day long interview conducted in the glared of television coverage.

The removal of Willie Hofmeyr as Head of the SIU proved to be a headache for government. His supposed successor, Adv Heath, made history by holding office for only 17 days before he resigned because of his own indiscretions. Besides it was surprising that somebody aged 66 years could be appointed in a Public Service post.

After Heath’s resignation Adv Jiba was appointed to the post and before she could take her seat she was removed and replaced. While the public waited with bated breath Adv Simelane, the National Director of Public Prosecutions, was reported to have requested to be placed on special leave because the Supreme Court of Appeals ruled that his appointment was improper. Adv Jiba was called upon to hold the fort while the Simelane issue is being sorted out. The question is what is going to happen in respect of cases that Simelane had sanctioned should the Constitutional Court uphold the ruling of the SCA.

For President Zuma, 2011, is one year that proved to be more demanding even in his political party (but we shall not dwell on the latter).

All the above prove that the constitution of the country has checks and balances and cannot be taken roughshod. All that remains is to ensure that ministers in government

live up to their calling. They should answer questions set to them and not rely technicalities. Their term of office is at the half way mark; they have another 30 months to go.

For us as a party, the deaths in quick succession of the former Deputy President, Mr Ditshetelo and Mrs Mavis Matladi, the President, have left us astounded but we have to soldier on and say 2011 was not a good year.

Let us hope that 2012, the leap year, will see the UCDP grow in leaps and bounds so that those who lost their lives in pursuit of the goals and ideals of the party may rest peacefully.

Sipho Mfundisi

Acting President: UCDP

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