After 18 years in governance, I continue to be shocked in meetings on hearing the quality of debate.

What is certain is that we have folk in leadership, who have no business being in the arena of service delivery or public representation. In the last Council meeting the words of some made me consider if some Councillor criterion should be introduced. Possibly a post-matric level which includes a mental assessment as we cannot have folk talking without thinking at governance level. While freedom of expression is vital, we have a problem when some Councillors believe that water, electricity, land and housing must be given free upon request. While “levelling the historic playing fields” are required, when leaders believe that the poor are automatic victims of history, we have a problem.

We cannot continue having people govern this nation who are unable to govern their own emotions or family financials. Leaders must, to some degree be more logically advanced than the average folk?

Example, when a person has 3 kids from 3 partners it signifies the person has a discipline problem? Also, what income is required to sustain 3 kids and 3 women? No amount of culture or religious talk will convince me that such a person can be trusted with leadership in this economic day and age.

Thus by studying our past and current political leaders we must develop criterion which suggests that a person is worthy and capable of public office. Standards must be established whereby leaders can be measured before election specially to serve in parliament. We cannot have those with the biggest mouths or those who are most insulting rise into power purely because they are popular.

We must learn from the Zuma and Mugabe experience. Both men, after achieving power tried to destroy nation building and the economic basics of their nations. Currently both men, after being ousted, seek to harm the same political parties that assisted them to achieve authority and wealth.

A worse experience was Saddam Hussain of Iraq and Qaddafi of Libya who preferred destroying their nations instead of handing over authority. Hitler of Germany and Mussolini of Italy killed millions.

In the words of the wise, we must identify nationalists, fascists, dictators and the criminally minded etc. before they rise to power. This requires a mental and a didactic assessment of political leaders.

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress

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