What we saw at Wits, students booing Pravin Gordhan during a lecture might be a start of a new trend.
Pravin Gordhan

While the government is dismally failing to deliver promises to voters, it's easy for ministers to come out of their offices confidently to address the same people they are failing to provide for.

Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Public Enterprises, was delivering a lecture at the Wits Bussiness School when things suddenly turned sour. What started as a question about Eskom and the load shedding ended with students chanting, "Pravin must fall."

Pravin and his officials failed to answer most of the questions. He also refused to take accountability for state capture, which took place while he was minister of finance from 2009 to 2014 and from 2015 to 2017. This was raised by someone in attendance.

The minister also blamed low-quality coals for load-shedding while his government pointed at ageing infrastructure and illegal connections. His inability to answer questions led to students booing him.

With each department in shambles, it will soon be complicated for these self-centred ministers to venture out of their safe heavens to face the public. What we saw at Wits will soon happen somewhere else because no single minister is better than the next.

On Tuesday, Beki Cele, police minister, had his own fair share of "public interrogation", which ended with a case against him. The rest of the ministers must ask themselves, 'Am I next?' And the answer is simple: they will be next if they continue to rest on their backs doing nothing.

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Another disturbing factor about our current ministers is their mention of nine years wasted under Zuma. Pravin is doing the same, yet he was finance minister for eight years. The rest were also in high positions within the government.

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