Friday, September 10, 2010

Do our leaders have to be Saints?

At a time when our president has let it be known that he wants "muck-raking" journalists kept out of his personal life, it is perhaps surprising to hear that people at the Nelson Mandela Foundation went out of their way to show the author of a new biography of Madiba documents that suggest that he might have beaten his first wife.

"Mandela's life story has been told many times," David James Smith told me when we spoke a few nights ago. "The story is so well known, I really didn't expect to find sworn statements about domestic violence."

Mandela the wife-batterer? Read the rest.

SHOOT: I tend to agree that the bottom line expectations from our leaders should be good, strong leadership. But it is a double-edged sword. Bad behaviour sets a bad example. And bad behaviour can ultimately interfere with good leadership. So while mischief and good leadership are not mutually exclusive, good leaders - the real good leaders - are essentially good men and women. If they aren't leading with integrity, if that leadership isn't real, we should get rid of them, otherwise we are just fooling ourselves. Take President Obama, President Zuma and Tony Blair. These guys should be ousted because they are all talk - actions speak louder than words. Business pulls the strings, turning elected into officials, but only if citizens let them.

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