To be used at Guardian Council level:
In consideration of the need for a governmental system that adheres to absolute values as documented in the Bill of Values, and recognising the need for leaders’ conduct to be in keeping with those values, in adherence with the value of self-governance, the following standards should govern the conduct of all servants of the nation:
A leader should be a person with a heart of genuine reverence towards God and his values, and respect and care for all people, irrespective of colour, creed, race, gender or class, who are made in God’s image.
A leader should be a person who is respected and held in high esteem by those who know him, and whose good works over time have earned him a good reputation and high regard from others.
A leader must be honest and transparent and avoid making statements that are not true, verifiable, and actionable.
A leader must be reliable insofar that whatever he/she undertakes to do, he/she will do, irrespective of difficulties or whether that undertaking impacts negatively on his or her own life.
- Beyond Reproach
A leader must be blameless, exhibiting purity of conscience, and be free from scandalous reputation. He must be well thought of by outsiders.
A leader must be moral, the husband of one wife (or wife of one husband), free from any kind of idolatry, or adulterous relationships, and must avoid ‘every appearance of evil’. If there have been past episodes of immorality, he/she must be open and transparent about it and display proper repentance.
This means keeping promises regardless of the cost to oneself, and not being double-tongued. It means maintaining a lifestyle of integrity in homes, offices, in public, and among friends and foes alike. He or she must be seen to be honest, faithful, and a person of his or her word.
No self-promoting, or pursuit of greatness and wealth for self. A leader must have a teachable spirit and be open to correction and advice from whatever quarter.
What makes a good leader is the ability to submit to other people’s leadership and guidance. A leader must be open to listen and learn from others, always mindful that other people’s counsel can only add value to their own, and does not detract from it. He must be willing to admit to his faults and when he is in the wrong.
A leader must have self-restraint, be emotionally mature, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome but understanding, and be accepting of others, even where it may be challenging to be so. A leader must be disciplined enough to do things he doesn’t want to or like when necessary.
A leader must be a person who possesses and displays a composed or serious manner that is worthy of respect, of good stature, and steadfast in doing those things considered noble and praiseworthy. He must be above pettiness.
- A Peacemaker
A leader should seek at all times for reconciliation in conflict situations, not take sides in a conflict, but promote peace between individuals, peoples, and nations.
A leader must be willing to listen to and wait for others who do not have a shared viewpoint. A leader must not be power-seeking, but wait for promotion when it is fitting and necessary.
A leader must at all times obey the laws of the land and comply with statutory requirements.
A leader must lead by example in all areas of life. His behaviour must be one that demonstrates the value of leading a good life to those around him.
- An Instrument of Restoration
A leader must be the first to restore what is in his or her power to restore, and should seek wisdom for the restoration of what is needed in his or her portfolio and in the nation.
- A Nation-builder
A leader must seek to build up people, recognise and develop their strengths, and be giving, serving, self-sacrificing, and empowering of others, particularly those who will serve after him or her.
A leader must not hold grudges and be quick to forgive and serve those who have offended in any way.
Recognising the challenges every leader will face, he/she must be ready to face opposition or adversity of any kind with courage and kindness.
A leader must be diligent in office, to perform his/her duties to the best of his/her capability, recognising that he/she serves at the pleasure of the people.
A leader must be cautious, circumspect, and sober at all times. He or she must not be a drunkard but be careful to maintain sober-mindedness, a responsible attitude, and sound thinking at all times.
A leader must exercise absolute justice and fairness at all times with staff, compatriots, and the public.
A leader must exercise wisdom in all matters of governance, and where this is lacking, to seek the wisdom of others, and in prayer solicit the wisdom of heaven.
A leader must be willing to take responsibility for the wellbeing of the nation and others. He must carry out his duties in a transparent manner, maintaining accountability to those who have elected him, mindful of the duty he has to maintain order and righteous rule.
- Not greedy
A leader must not be an excessive lover of money or greedy for dishonest gain. He must not compromise standards of integrity and accountability by abusing or misusing his position of authority to accumulate righteous riches and/or other lustful indulgences.
A leader must demonstrate good leadership by managing his own household well, with all dignity, keeping his wife and children well cared for. For if a man cannot rule his own house, how shall he take care of a nation? He should have a track record of having visionary capability and good leadership skills from a young age.
A leader must be seen by others to be honourable and praise worthy. Those whom he has led in the past, must herald positive reports of him.
A leader must not be a youth, or unschooled, or inexperienced. He must be one who demonstrates wisdom, and who can hold a position of responsibility without becoming puffed up with pride or arrogance.
A leader must be prepared to take action that others would avoid, to take on any difficulty for the sake of others, and be ready to sacrifice if need be in order to protect his followers or for their benefit. He must have a charitable heart and be willing to take care of others and those in his community in addition to his own family.
- Perseverance and fortitude
A leader must demonstrate strength of endurance and steadfast faith in the face of challenges. They must inspire courage in their followers by their own example of optimism and unfailing hope.
- Caring and empowering
A leader must care for the wellbeing of others, and be sensitive to their needs. He must care enough to want to see others thrive by developing their potential and serving their needs. In other words, he must be an empowerer with a servant spirit.
A leader must be able to take action to bring solutions where they are needed, and to lead the way for others to follow.
NOTE: While recognising that we are all human and have made mistakes and deviated from the above Code, we nevertheless recognise the grace of God and accept openly our need of help in adhering to the above Code and undertake to live in keeping with it, as far as possible, and allow no hidden unaddressed issues to trip us up.
 Recognition for most of the content in this manuscript is given to the document, “In Search of Good Governance,” published by Truth House Publishing (Johannesburg) in 2021 under the authorship of Zandile Vilakazi-Mwenda, Alaythea Hamlyn and Arno van Niekerk.