Former finance minister Trevor Manuel’s tirade against ex-president Jacob Zuma has won him the support of several of the country’s political analysts.
They say South Africa needs more people like Manuel to speak out against systemic corruption in the country.
Manuel made some seething comments about President Jacob Zuma’s presidency during a lecture at the University of the Western Cape this week, describing it as South Africa’s biggest challenge since the dawn of democracy.
“I make no apologies for my views that the presidency of Jacob Zuma was a total disaster for [South Africa],” he said.
Political analyst Dr Somadoda Fikeni warned that the network of corruption in government had not been dismantled.
“Manuel is right,” he said. “The Zuma era has cast a long shadow over this new dawn.
“It will be a struggle to dismantle this massive structural system, and there needs to be decisive and visionary leadership to do this.”
Another analyst, Ralph Mathekga, said it was important for leaders in government and in the ANC to be critical of corruption.
“Whether Manuel only chose to speak after he had left Cabinet, or after Zuma had left, it still does not take away from the importance of what he is saying,” said Mathekga.
“Any way you look at it, the Zuma era was a disaster.”