January 20, 2023
Imagine if South Africa had one or more leaders that resigned because they “no longer had enough in the tank”.
It’s the reason for 42-year-old New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s shock resignation yesterday – less than three years after winning a second term in office.
Ardern, who even gave birth to her daughter during her first term, led from the front through Covid and the 2019 Christchurch Mosque massacre – the country’s worst terror attack. She will step down no later than February 7.
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She said: “I am human. We give as much as we can for as long as we can and then it’s time. And for me, it’s time.”
Ardern added: “I believe that leading a country is the most privileged job anyone could ever have, but also one of the more challenging. You cannot and should not do it unless you have a full tank, plus a bit in reserve for those unexpected challenges.”
While her party’s popularity has waned in recent times, it’s still a decision that needs to be commended.
Many leaders will not leave their office before their term runs out, even if they are underperforming or running out of steam. We can think of a number of our so-called leaders in government that should resign, but they probably didn’t even have anything in the tank to begin with.
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Maybe our “leaders” will get a conscience and do the right thing. But that’s wishful thinking.
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