President Jacob Zuma, who suffered two setbacks last month; first with his failed bid to extend the tenure of Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo and a humiliating Constitutional Court judgement that deemed unconstitutional his attempt to keep Ngcobo much longer has an opportunity to redeem himself. While it seems that the president, since he was elected 27 months ago cannot do anything to the satisfaction of everybody, he has an unenviable task of choosing the next Chief Justice. Consensus already deems Judge Dikgang Moseneke undesirable to some powerful people.

But this being Women’s Month the ball falls squarely into Zuma’s court to utilise August to affirm women for the role they have always played in first; fighting for this democracy and second; to consolidate its gains. South Africa has proven in its few years of universal franchise that woman can lead key institutions and be effective.

It’s not hard to tell since most foundation phase stages of education (primary schools) are headed by women principals and they produce quality learners who are later lost to high schools when some male teachers start sleeping with the female learners. The abuse of female learners is a story for another day. However the high school drop-out rate suggests this is quite alarming.

One would see political and social capital accruing Zuma’s way if he can spring a surprise and appoint either Judge Bess Nkabinde or Sisi Khampepe to replace Ngcobo as Chief Justice. Both these two women are jurists of repute who have served the bench with integrity. Both these women have little baggage compared to the men who are touted to take the position.

If in less than twenty years the Public Protector’s office can mature from a lukewarm tenure of Advocate Selby Baqwa, a cold controversial one of Lawrance Mushwana to a robust and engaging incumbency of Adv Thuli Madonsela, one needs not look further for the positive role that women can play to re-instil confidence into institutions which are losing value by the minute.

Madonsela has restored the image of the public protector being a protector of the public from abuse not politicians from public scrutiny. Madonsela, Monhla Hlahla (ACSA), Siza Mzimela (SAA), Futhi Mthoba (BUSA), Helen Zille (Western Cape Premier), Maria Ramos (ABSA), Gill Marcus (Reserve Bank), Mamodupi Mohlala (Consumer Council), Manto Madlala (Golden Arrows) and many others in key industry positions have proven time and time again that it’s not the gender that determines excellence but the heart.

Speaking of the heart; that’s why it was worrying when a few years ago there was no women buy-in when we started an investigation into girl-child abuse in Bushbuckridge schools. The first people who accused us of having a hidden agenda by fingering suspected paedophile teachers were women. The first people who advised us to drop the investigation were women in teacher unions who could only see as far as their ambitions to become managers in the department of education.

These women blocked at every corner an investigation into that corrupt behaviour until the regional office in Bushbuckridge dropped it and the conduct flourished. Where was the beautiful heart of matriarchy?

Believably, looking the other way is not something the women mentioned above would do in the same situation. Also worrying is the fact that while Zuma can do well by giving this country its first woman Chief Justice, there is so much silence on the part of women organisations to openly lobby for this groundbreaking possibility. Women’s voices are just not being heard because women are not saying anything about the direction this country should take.

So, like all other years, Women’s Month (less Zuma flipping a surprise) will be just that – a month were we see women factions in political parties acting as if they have self-love, men in different forums acting as if they really care about women only to drop the baton on September 1. Malibongwe!

TO COMMENT ON THIS POST GO TO OUR FACEBOOK PAGE: THE Kasiekulture BLOG & write your comment on the wall

No comments:

Post a Comment

Dear Commentator

Kasiekulture encourages you to leave a comment and sensitize others about it. However due to spammers filling this box with useless rhetoric that has nothing to do with our posts we have now decided that to comment you have to go to our Facebook Page titled THE Kasiekulture BLOG. We will not authorise any comments. Apologies for the inconvenience.