LETTER: McCarthyism and democracy cannot coexist

McCarthyism has no place in any democracy. Last week US President axed, via a tweet, Chris Krebs, a homeland department top cyber security expert. His crime was to speak out against Trump’s lies about the elections.

The news of Sam Mkokeli’s resignation from, or being forced out of, the department of public enterprises is similarly shocking. He has been pushed out of the department for asking hard questions on behalf of ordinary people who demanded accountability from those in power. Is it wrong to ask, does the new chief of staff meet the criteria to be in that position? Even the director-general cannot answer this question but gives long-winded story that leads nowhere.

When one of former president Jacob Zuma’s daughters was appointed chief of staff by Siyabonga Cwele there was a huge public outcry. We demanded answers from the minister. Why was it unacceptable then but not now? Why is it that under President , ministers such as Tito Mboweni and Pravin Gordhan can do as they please?

Mboweni told to us to take a hike when questions were raised about Ranjeni Munusamy’s appointment. As one of the people who spoke out against the EFF’s personal attacks against Gordhan, I am hugely disappointed by this turn of events. For a long time Gordhan represented the best of politics. After the Zuma years politics was a code name for corruption. To me, Gordhan was an exception, a leader who was not in it for the money.

To wake this morning and hear about McCarthyism in his department is a total betrayal by a leader I trusted. What is going on? Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

Dr Lucas Ntyintyane,Via e-mail

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