Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi has issued an apology for making “insensitive” and threatening comments towards a cabinet minister.
The incident occurred during a meeting of the South African National Civic Organisation in Johannesburg, where Lesufi was speaking in his capacity as the ANC’s provincial chairperson in Gauteng.
In a video that quickly went viral on social media, Lesufi can be heard expressing frustration and issuing a veiled threat, stating, “your days are numbered.” The Premier believes that the leaked video was intentionally released without full context.
Lesufi clarified that the video was captured during an internal political presentation, where he was providing an update to one of the ANC’s alliance partners regarding the progress and challenges in implementing the 2019 ANC Manifesto commitment to fight crime in the province.
He acknowledged that the content of his presentation, as seen in the leaked video, came across as insensitive and threatening towards a government minister.
In a statement released on Monday afternoon, Lesufi took full responsibility for his words and offered a sincere apology.
He explained, “Passionate internal political deliberations among comrades and allies, laced with frustration, delivered in haste, and with little tact, can cause harm when none was intended.”
Lesufi emphasized that the frustration expressed in the leaked video stems from a genuine desire to make a difference in the fight against crime. He expressed his commitment to addressing the issue by actively seeking a meeting with the relevant Ministers to clear the air and make amends.
It is important to note that the Premier has been actively working towards his commitment to fight crime in the province.
In April, 6000 young people were recruited as part of a program to strengthen the existing law enforcement officials in the fight against crime at the ward level. These individuals underwent a three-month training program and were subsequently deployed to target hotspot areas in crime prevention operations.
Lesufi’s apology demonstrates his willingness to take responsibility for his words and actions. It also highlights the importance of context in understanding the intentions behind statements made in internal political discussions.
While the leaked video may have caused concern and raised eyebrows, it is crucial to consider the broader efforts being made to combat crime in Gauteng.
As the Premier seeks to mend any damage caused by his comments, it is hoped that the meeting with the relevant Ministers will provide an opportunity for open dialogue and a renewed focus on collaborative efforts to address crime in the province
Lesufi’s commitment to making amends and his acknowledgement of the unintended consequences of his words are positive steps towards fostering a more constructive and inclusive political environment.
In conclusion, Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi’s apology for his “insensitive” and threatening comments towards a cabinet minister demonstrates his willingness to take responsibility for his words.
It also highlights the importance of considering context in interpreting statements made in internal political discussions. As efforts to fight crime in Gauteng continue, it is hoped that the Premier’s commitment to making amends will lead to constructive dialogue and collaborative action.