CR17 Voices: We need leaders of integrity

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CR17 Voices
CR17 Voices Blogger, Venessa Haraba
“In my opinion I would say, an ANC leader should firstly have the best interest of the people at heart. When a leader is aware that whatever they are doing is about the people of the country and not themselves it would somehow tap into their conscience to make sound and rational decisions.”

Secondly a leader should have Ubuntu, a leader who has no values of Ubuntu (akalisabi ihlazo) means he has the capacity of making any decision without worrying about what other people will say or how they will be affected. He has the capacity of putting other people’s needs before his own.

Thirdly I would add integrity as one the the most important attributes of a leader. “Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching” Morals go hand in hand with integrity. So a leader should have integrity and morals. A leader should practice what they preach, when you practice what you preach it means you lead by example and practice what you preach in order to instill those values in the people you are preaching to or the people you are leading.

A suitable ANC leader should also be a good listener. Yes, it is quite difficult to listen to everyone and also to please everyone, but it’s very important to listen to people as your work is based on working for the people. As a leader you must be able to interact with people. Put yourself at their level in order to understand their concerns and challenges so that as a leader you can help find solutions.

As much as what I’m about to say next may be offensive to some people that might read this I have to mention it. Gone are the days when leaders had to have fought in the struggle or been to exile, we live in difficult times, times have changed we need literate leaders not that I’m saying our leaders are illiterate, what I’m saying is educated leaders are able to make sound decisions if our leaders have educational backgrounds they are bound to make informed decisions. They know what to say and when to say it. Well informed leaders will make decisions today which will benefit us tomorrow.

I would like to quote a Zulu proverb “indlela ibuzwa kwabaphambili” and there’s an ancient saying that in the olden days when an old man died “it was as if a library had been burnt down.”

With these two sayings I would like to remind our young leaders that no matter how educated we may be our adults are still the key to helping us build a better South Africa. Some people may say we need young leaders. Yes, to a certain extent I agree. We need young “mature” leaders but with the help of adults who have experienced and have walked the paths of hardship hence (indlela ifuna siyibuze kubo).

Last but not least… “Charity begins at home.” We need leaders who have certain qualities that are fit for being leaders. It starts at the bottom level, some qualities cannot be created once you become a leader. You will never keep up with trying to be something that you’re not just because you’ve been put in the public eye. Leadership qualities are within a person. Leadership needs to start at lower levels such as in our communities, in our homes and our places of work, etc. I’m sure by now my 500 words are up. Choosing leaders should be done with careful considerations. Thank you for the opportunity to voice my opinions.

*This blog has been published in its original format as submitted to the CR17 website. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Cyril Ramaphosa or the CR17 campaign.

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