Democracy may not be the best form of government; however, it is the best that we have at this interval in history. Democracy is an idealistic phenomenon that requires constant care and caution.
No matter what the gurus, analysts and opposition leaders want to proclaim, President Zuma won again. So, why did he win? What most people do not understand is that the representatives seated in parliament do not represent South Africa or its people. Parliamentarians, strictly speaking are selected by their party leaders to represent specific interests. Thus ANC reps owe their allegiance to President Zuma as it is he and his allies who appoints, upgrades to Ministers and removes MP’s. All the talk of branch nominations and vetting is “twaddle”. In the end, a few decides the fate of many.
All the talk of “voting with your conscious” is also “drivel” unless you know that your position is safe. MP’s voted for their private survival as only a fool or a martyr sacrifices R1 million salary with perks.
What must happen is that are democracy must evolve into two votes per ballot. Thus 50% of MP’s must be elected by constituencies, like Councillors and a second proportional vote for the party. This would give MP’s freedom, safety and the ability to vote with a conscience without being martyrs.
This would allow transparency as MP’s would be accountable to the community that elected them instead of their political master. Example, how many people have ever met or talked to their current assigned parliamentarian, where are they located and what value do they add to a constituency?
Currently there is limited relations between MP’s and their constituencies, thus no report back etc.
Pres Zuma and his allies will continue to “capture the state” and enrich themselves because they understand how the rules of democracy can be subverted. In truth President Zuma “captured our democracy” in a manner that is utterly legal and above board. He may lack morality but he is crafty.
Opposition leaders must stop talking popular nonsense about impeachment and early elections as this suggests a lack of insight, foresight and reflects intellectual laziness. Heal the problem at its roots. This is not about Zuma or short term corruption this is about the strength of our democracy.
Cllr Yagyah Adams
Cape Muslims Congress