The Democratic Alliance (DA) believes that Free State MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Dan Kgothule, needs to resign immediately from the provincial cabinet, after the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court yesterday found him guilty of reckless and negligent driving, for speeding at 235 km/h during the festive season.
Minister of Transport, S’bu Ndebele, should be leading the charge for Mr. Kgothule’s resignation. He has set a terrible example, and there can be no excuse for this sort of behaviour, especially from an elected representative.
There has been a trend of public officials found guilty of crimes not facing any real consequence and continuing to draw salaries from the public purse. This must come to an end. For example, the following high-ranking ANC officials were found guilty of traffic offences and still hold office:
• Enoch Gondongwana, Deputy Minister of Economic Development, was convicted in 2001 of drunken driving, while twice over the legal limit. He also refused to undergo a breathalyser test.
• Playfair Morule, Mayor of Mangaung Municipality, was convicted of culpable homicide in 2008 for a hit-and-run which resulted in the death of a 21-year-old woman.
• Jackson Mthembu, current ANC national spokesperson, was convicted of drunken driving in the Wynberg magistrate’s court last year.
At the beginning of the festive season the Minister of Transport declared that:
“We want to repeat that absolutely no mercy will be shown to traffic offenders as we head towards 2011. South Africa's 'Make Roads Safe' campaign is leading up to the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety from 2011 to 2020, with the key aim of drastically reducing road deaths around the world."
We agree with the Minister’s sentiments, and believe this is precisely why the MEC needs to stand down, or alternatively why his party’s leadership should be holding him to account for his actions, and requiring that he leaves his position.