Ministerial resignation should be seen as a measure of accountability to parliament and the public.
South Africans do not give certain incidents sufficient thought or attention. One instance, where a minister stood accused of misappropriating R14 million, hardly played a big part in our public life.
In a debate organised by CDE, speakers provided inputs on the circumstances under which a cabinet minister should resign. A few key suggestions were made.
A minister or public official should resign if he or she: lacks integrity (enriching oneself at public expense); has sustained differences with government policy; publicly expresses (through media etc.) himself or herself on an issue against government policy; and makes a political statement on an issue outside the area of ministerial responsibility and has had no permission from the president to do so.
Establishing of a code of ethics is one way of dealing with the situation of a corrupt official being voted into power. That way officials will earn the voters’ and their colleagues’ trust and be able to deliver the policies articulated in their election manifestoes.