DINA Pule has been suspended from parliament with what can be seen as a slap on the wrist.
The disgraced former communications minister may not take part in parliamentary debates for 15 days and will have a month's salary docked for using public money to enrich her boyfriend.
Witnesses in a case being made against her were intimidated and one even had to hire bodyguards after he received death threats. Really? Banana republic?
For those who don't have Google or Wikipedia close by, a Banana republic "... is a term for a politically unstable country.
"It typically has stratified social classes, including a large, impoverished working class and a ruling plutocracy that comprises the elite of business, politics, and the military ..."
Going back to Dina Pule, she apologised for her conduct after receiving a dressing down from house Speaker Max Sisulu. He found that she had "betrayed her oath of office and brought parliament into disrepute".
She then made an attempt at an apology saying, "if in the course of me doing my job I made a mistake, I am sorry, I apologise". If?
After this half-hearted attempt, which really reflects her stance that won't allow others to hold her accountable, the ANC MPs applauded her.
Sadly enough, this is our very own South Africa, and our citizens are becoming used to this "Animal Farm" approach.
Anyone who has read George Orwell's book Animal Farm will remember the phrase, "all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others".
Although Orwell wrote this book between November 1943 and February 1944 and addresses the corrupt leadership of the Russian Revolution, he could well have been writing about present-day South Africa. If one has "connections" in the new South Africa, one really has a free getout-of-jail ticket.
Jackie Selebi served about seven months of a 15-year sentence for corruption.
He lost his appeal on December 2, 2011, but was granted medical parole in July last year.
On March 3 2009, Schabir Shaik was granted medical parole and has thus been out of jail for over four years.
He was apparently at death's door. Death has obviously been kind to him. I'm sure there are many more to quote, but the latest incident has been provided by Dina Pule.
You and I, South African citizen, would probably have received a jail term for these sins.
All South African citizens are equal (we have a great constitution to prove it), but let us not forget that some South Africans are more equal than others.
S Haswell via e-mail