Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has slammed “self-serving” leaders and has called for “functional” leadership that struggle stalwart Oliver Tambo believed in and strived for.
“You must be very afraid of any leader who is prepared to do anything to become a leader.
“We must avoid becoming positional leaders‚” said Mogoeng.
He said Positional leaders are only after the privileges that come with the positions they hold or are to hold.
Mogoeng was speaking at the OR Tambo memorial lecture at Turbine Hall in Johannesburg on Thursday.
“You can be an effective leader without occupying any position.”
“We need to become our little ORs in our own operational spaces. The difficulty is human beings like positions‚” Mogoeng said to loud cheers and applause.
Mogoeng said Tambo was a functional leader who chose to put former president Nelson Mandela ahead of himself.
“He chose to profile him [Mandela] over himself.”
“I wish‚ particularly we South Africans‚ have the appreciation of that selflessness [of Tambo]…and be happy with the little that we have.
“Please stop this insatiable hunger for money and position. It will draw you to kill and we won’t hesitate to lock you up…‚” Mogoeng said.
The current political and economic situation in South Africa is more challenging than bad‚ Mogoeng said.
He called on all South Africans to make any contribution they can “to improve the situation in our country”.
“We always have to reflect to when last certain developments took place in our country and why.
“When last did we see so many students rise up in the manner they did last year and this year‚ demanding of the powers that be to intervene in the challenges that concern them.
“All of us need to step up … to take whatever action we’ve been taking with a view to improving the situation to a higher level.”
Mogoeng said the country would achieve more if it followed the Constitution.
“The Constitution covers everybody and just about every aspect of importance in our lives.
“Whatever we do‚ let it never carry the potential to send the unintended signal to the investors and the business sector that one of the pointers to instability‚ one of the pointers to an emerging market‚ that you need to think twice‚ or five times‚ to enter meaningfully in business in South Africa.”
Mogoeng said a need to engage “meaningfully” with students cannot be over emphasised.
“None of us should ever give them the impression that because they are young‚ they are students‚ we think that their views count for nothing‚ they are confused and think they can be ignored‚” he said.