SA politicians could learn from Olmert

Ehud Olmert, the beleaguered Israeli prime minister, has announced his resignation and plans to leave office in September. The Economist neatly wraps up his corruption-related problems:

Mr Olmert’s reputation was irreparably eroded by the recent lengthy courtroom testimony of Morris Talansky, a New York businessman said to have made improper cash contributions to him for a decade, before he was prime minister. Allegations of double-billing for flights and hotels were also made. And there are long-running police inquiries into his appointments when he was minister of trade and into his purchase of a flat in Jerusalem, apparently at a knock-down price. Mr Olmert insisted his hands were clean. Yes, he made mistakes in his long years in politics, and regretted them. But they had been blown out of all proportion by “self-appointed crusaders for justice” bent on ousting him as soon as he had taken office.

I only wish that South African scandal-smeared politicians had the political maturity to do the same.

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