FIGHT CLUB Part 4: Zuma is unfit for democracy says Zille


Democratic Alliance (DA) leader, Helen Zille, has said that last week’s chaos during Parliament’s final debate on the upgrades at President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla residence, provides a clear “illustration that he is unfit to lead a democracy.”

“In order to defend Parliament, we are making it clear that the National Assembly, the highest forum of South Africa’s elected representatives, is not the ANC’s playground. Jacob Zuma does not have the option to refuse to answer questions in Parliament. He has a constitutional duty to do so,” Zille wrote on the party’s website.

“He was recently quoted as saying (to journalists, no less) that he did not have to come to Parliament because he is the President, not an MP. If he was quoted correctly, this is a mind-boggling statement. It shows his complete ignorance of and/or contempt for our Constitution and the core principle of accountability that underlies it”.

Zille stated that the debacle was a clear indication that the ruling ANC is in crisis and that it had reached its zenith under former president Thabo Mbeki, but that everything had been going downhill since then.

“Politics for the ANC has become a bitter internal battle for control of the levers of power, which includes an attempt to hijack all institutions of the state to serve the interests of the dominant ANC faction,” Zille said, adding that the deployment of riot police in the National Assembly was a perfect example of ‘state capture’, a process common in most developing democracies and not dissimilar to what happened in Zimbabwe.

“We are now witnessing President Zuma deploying his personal and political cronies to control all our institutions, from the SABC, to the National Prosecuting Authority, to the South African Police Service, and now, Parliament itself. He must control them all in order to stay out of jail,” she wrote.

She also added that preparations are already being made for Zuma’s State of the Nation address next year, and that her party will not allow “Parliament to degenerate into a crass fashion-parade and ANC propaganda platform on prime time television.”

“Unless we see fundamental reforms in Parliament, involving the programming authority, the Chief Whip’s Forum, the replacement of the Speaker, and the regular appearance of the President to answer questions, it will not be business as usual.

“As the ANC disintegrates its leaders will seek diversions and scapegoats, but this will be in vain. And whatever the ANC does, it cannot change the fact that South Africans go to the polls again in 18 months’ time, to elect town and city governments across our country.”


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Read more on this story here:

Fight Club Part 1: Parliament Descents into Chaos

Fight Club Part 2: Punches Thrown In Chaotic Parliament Session

Fight Club Part 3: Parliament Chaos: Parties Blame Each Other