Former South African statistician general Doctor Pali Lehohla has warned that South Africa has entered a very precarious phase. He was delivering the Chief Albert Luthuli memorial lecture at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban. Luthuli was the first president of the ANC.
Lehohla says hunger and unemployment are on the rise, while the cabinet is bickering about load-shedding that is seriously affecting the health care system.
The first president of the ANC – Chief Albert Luthuli – was praised for fighting for freedom during apartheid. He died under mysterious circumstances in the 1960s. Delivering the Chief Albert Luthuli memorial lecture, Doctor Pali Lehohla says Luthuli’s contribution needs to be celebrated as he freed the country through his bravery.
“Luthuli found himself in a complicated situation. Looking at the ten commandments of Albert Luthuli suggests to me without any fear of contradiction that it is so easy to admire a person for what he or she stands for.”
However, Lehohla warned that at present the country has entered a precarious state.
“Unemployment is very high and not only poverty but hunger and malnutrition are on the rise. The electricity grid can hardly cope, now that we have stage six but the cabinet is bickering whether they can afford diesel or open new solar,”
“The Steve Biko hospital cannot operate and the health services are collapsing because of lack of electricity whiles the government has decided to close old coal fire stations. The damage of this is incalculable to this country.”
Former statistician General Dr Pali Lehohla delivers the 16th Chief Albert Luthuli Memorial Lecture:
The chairperson of the Public Service Commission Doctor Somadoda Fikeni has added that South Africa is suffering from a lack of credible leaders.
“Non-participation in the election shows a crisis in the political, the believability crisis, somehow the leaders are so alienated from this reality. They can talk about ethics and values or principles and morality and do something different and feel no discomfort.”
“A leader can speak to the full audience about corruption, while the hands are waiting to do corruption after the meeting. That is the paralysis of the credibility of our leaders. We are looking for messiahs under the tables and unlikely places.”
Luthuli’s granddaughter Nana Ngobese agreed that the country has taken a turn for the worse compared to the achievements after 1994.
“I am conveying sincere gratitude to the speakers for challenging us to think out of the box because is not reliable. I think we have to start thinking now where South Africa needs to take itself, and we see that things are breaking apart.”