9 November 2017

South Africa: When Pali Goes... Who Will Stand in His Shoes or Indeed His Colourful Wardrobe?

opinion

This month South Africans are in the departure lounge again, bidding farewell to the pioneering, effervescent and long-standing Pali Lehohla, Statistician-General and DG of Statistics South Africa. After two decades at this critical institution, his departure couldn't go unnoticed - a bit like his trademark bright yellow suit.

While the gears of succession may turn at variable speeds, we are never immune to the constant refrains of "what a pity", "good riddance" or "don't tell me... . is next" that greet the departure of eminent or prominent figures in the public service.

In the days before social media, traditional headlines suggested sadness and calamity at the 1999 retirement from government of our founding president, Nelson Mandela. Similar interest greeted Governor Tito Mboweni's departure from the South African Reserve Bank. Headlines went "When Mandela Goes!"

In this phuma singene era, pundits started painting post-2019 scenarios immediately after the 2012 inauguration.

This month South Africans are in the departure lounge again, bidding farewell to the pioneering, effervescent and long-standing Pali Lehohla, Statistician-General and DG of Statistics South Africa. After two decades at this critical institution, his departure couldn't go unnoticed - a bit like his trademark bright yellow suit.

A few months...

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