Poor people are more easily bought
Some poor people are more susceptible to corruption when placed in leadership positions because they have not learnt how to handle money, DA’s Johannesburg mayoral candidate, Herman Mashaba said.
“In a leadership position, we really need people who understand finances and who know what they are dealing with. If they are saying that I am saying poor people cannot lead, what nonsense is that?”
The Black Like Me founder was responding to criticism on social media after he said, during an SABC interview on Monday, that poor people could not be expected to lead.
“It is interesting that you can expect poor people to be the leaders. That is looking for trouble, in any given situation,” he said.
Mashaba said making someone, who had never seen R100, responsible for a large budget of a city for example, was putting temptation in their way.
Corruption was not peculiar to South Africa and leaders had to make sure that they appointed knowledgeable and competent people to strategic positions. He said the SABC interviewer had said the DA was perceived to be a party for the rich and had nominated him, a rich man, to head its Johannesburg campaign.
Mashaba said he had invested millions from his business to make a difference to the lives of the poor. He was an unapologetic capitalist and had spent his 30-year business career building communities around him.
He claimed that those who criticised him on Twitter had probably never helped others.
“You can look at everyone who is tweeting about this, if they have done anything for their community and family members,” he said.
One Twitter user commented: “Herman Mashaba equates being poor to poverty of leadership capabilities. He believes the rich are entitled to lead the poor with capitalism.”
Another tweeted: “Hairman [sic] Mashaba is an idiot wasting valuable TV airtime on SABC. Being rich doesn’t guarantee having common sense.”
Mashaba said the country was in a dire situation and perceived to be one of the world’s most corrupt because of people who could not handle finances being appointed to top jobs.