Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. Picture: Gallo Images/Jeffrey Abrahams
Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. Picture: Gallo Images/Jeffrey Abrahams
Image: Gallo Images/Jeffrey Abrahams

It’s so refreshing — and so rare in SA — to see politicians held accountable for their failings. This week, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern demoted her health minister after it emerged he had flouted lockdown regulations by driving his family to a beach 20km from his home. He wasn’t fired outright, she said, to ensure continuity of leadership amid the Covid-19 crisis.

Would that such leadership was shown in SA, where the dial for political behaviour is so often set to farce.

Exhibit A: transport minister Fikile "Mbaks-FearFokol-MrFix" Mbalula, who periodically emerges from self-aggrandising flights of fancy on Twitter to gift SA with contradictory — and life-threatening — information about the lockdown.

Exhibit B: police minister, millinery enthusiast and guardian of SA sobriety Bheki Cele. He told SA a horrific 87,000 cases of gender-based violence had been reported in the first week of lockdown; three days later the correct figure (2,300) was quietly released — buried halfway down a wordy statement.

Exhibit C: communications minister "God Stella" Ndabeni-Abrahams, the least of whose sins seems to be violating lockdown for a social lunch (documented on Instagram for posterity and idiocy).

Social development minister Lindiwe Zulu must be feeling a bit better about her own Instagram gaffe round about now.

But, really, what do you have to do to even get "demoted" in this country?