Sunday, 18 November 2012

Could Zuma become another Mugabe?

Liberals in South Africa fear that another seven years of Jacob Zuma as president of the republic will lead to disastrous economic and political consequences. The Democratic Alliance has moved to remove him and his cabinet from office. A South African news site reports:

The DA has filed for an urgent court interdict to allow the motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma to be debated in the National Assembly, the party said on Saturday.

Parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said the Democratic Alliance would never allow the ANC to defeat the aims of constitutional democracy. 

"That is why yesterday [Friday] I filed papers at the Western Cape High Court to seek an urgent interdict to compel the Speaker of the National Assembly to uphold the constitutional right of the opposition to have this motion debated." Mazibuko was speaking at the DA's Gauteng North Regional annual general meeting in Tshwane. She said the African National Congress was blocking the motion of no confidence against Zuma because it was scared that its own members would vote against him. "The ANC parliamentary caucus is blocking it because they fear, rightly, that their own members will side with the opposition to vote against the president," she said 

She said the Constitution allows for the motion to be considered in the National Assembly. "It is indeed a sad day when a member of Parliament must seek an order of the court to compel the legislature to respect the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, and our rights to hold the President, that we elected accountable," said Mazibuko. A motion of no confidence in Zuma was tabled on November 8. It was brought on the grounds "that under his leadership the justice system has been politicised and weakened; corruption has spiralled out of control; unemployment continues to increase, the economy is weakening, and, the right of access to quality education has been violated". 

On Thursday while answering questions in the National Assembly, Zuma said he felt "aggrieved" by media reports that the government had paid more than R200 million for his Nkandla home. Mazibuko said the public was hurting too and questioned if Zuma knew that. "How does he think the millions of people who have no work feel when their president lives in such grand splendour? How does he think the parents of children who never received textbooks... feel?" asked Mazibuko. "How does he think the widows and children of the 34 police and security officers, and mineworkers who were gunned down in cold blood at Marikana feel?"

While we are rightly concerned about the Netanyahu government's cynically timed military action in Gaza, and its effects on peace in our region, we should also be aware of the threats to democracy south of the Sahara. It should not be forgotten that the tentacles of past ANC corruption reached into the City and the last Labour government.

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