Gauteng Premier David Makhura is happy to create enemies in the process of fighting corruption in the province.
Speaking to media practitioners during an informal gathering in Johannesburg on Thursday night, Makhura said he did not want to be surrounded by people who were only looking for self-enrichment at the cost of serving the people.
"When we are dealing with corruption I think I'm pleased to create enemies for doing the right things. There is no value in having friends who stand for the opposite of what you believe is right. There is no value in being nice everywhere when there are things going wrong," he said.
Makhura challenged those in government to stand for something and fight for what they believed in, and added that it did not matter how many agreed with the position one took, but the number one rule should be doing the right thing at all costs.
"It must be the right people with you, it must be people who believe in what you are doing. How many are trying to fight it is quite natural and it comes naturally to me that there will be those opposed but this is a course too long to worry about those opposed. Given where we are I would say from the organisation I come from, we have to take up cardinals on this issue and go all the way. From where we sit and the team of MEC we work with, we will deal with corruption vigorously. If in the process there will be people who will put up and fight back, I'm used to that," he said.
Makhura admitted that there would be those opposed to the notion of clean governance. He further conceded that revolutions were never a bed of roses and there would be those resisting the winds of change at all costs.
"You can't want a revolution and you don't want others to oppose you. If that is the case, then you are not working. Those who want corruption must oppose us, I will be surprised if they don't. They must try all the tricks including coming to the media to sell stories that cannot withstand the test of time," he said.
Makhura indicated that there were people within his organisation who were opposed to his open tender system claiming it would not benefit blacks. He, however, emphasised that it was not only his personal decision but a policy that was backed by the African National Congress to ensure corruption was rooted out of government.
"When we are dealing with corruption I think I'm pleased to create enemies for doing the right things. There is no value in having friends who stand for the opposite of what you believe is right. There is no value in being nice everywhere when there are things going wrong."
Those on the opposite of doing the right thing would be tackled, while those striving for change would be made allies going forward, he explained.
"I want them to go to the ANC and oppose the open tender system there because some are going all over saying this is not empowering black people and only whites will benefit. I said I want them [on an] ANC platform because these are the people we don't want in the ANC who think government officials can run to the ANC behind our backs and say the system will not benefit black people. The open tender system is something the ANC is really proud of. We fought for it and we will achieve empowerment in an open and ethical way and that's the way it should be done," he said.