Letters to the editor: June 2 to 8 2017

Opposition parties must hold a Codesa 2019

It is increasingly common cause that the ANC government is the single biggest stumbling block to any improvement in the desperate state of our nation.

Jacob Zuma has constructed a reusable template for a “lock-up-and-go Parliament”, with all key state institutions and state-owned enter-prises thrown in as the victor’s spoils – a road map for the permanent takeover of the government and economy by corrupt, criminal groupings.

Nothing less than a “Codesa 2019” stratagem, outlined below, can change our downward trajectory. Some 25 years after the original Convention for a Democratic South Africa, we again have circumstances – this time in the form of a corrupt-to-the-core, dysfunctional ANC government destroying our economy – that create significant converging political interests.

The one thing the ANC has done with great passion is to perpetrate corrupt practices. In their arrogance and their greed, they have unwittingly handed us a master class in what we need to fix.

With this in mind, in the run-up to the 2019 general election, all parliamentary opposition parties wishing to be party to the initiative should meet as soon as possible to draw up a declaration of intent to the effect that, should they together constitute a parliamentary majority, they will immediately initiate the Codesa 2019 process. This will state objectives as being to ensure :

  • MPs and the national president are chosen by the electorate, not by political parties;
  • Heads of key national institutions and state-owned enterprises are not appointed by the president or by the Cabinet, but by select committees comprising appropriately qualified people;
  • Procurement procedures, at all levels of government, are redrafted by professionals to ensure appropriate, enforceable anticorruption measures; and
  • An economic Codesa, now long overdue, will be a highly significant component of Codesa 2019.

By virtue of its inclusion in each party’s election manifesto and being subsequently submitted to a referendum, the initiative will enable and achieve its own political legitimacy.

And so, this rallying call represents a win-win solution for the millions of South Africans with a genuine love for their country. – Sandy Johnston, Nelson Mandela Bay


Make party donors known

The recent political events that have unfolded demonstrate the extent to which the ANC has shifted from its primary purpose. The toxic relationship that exist between the Gupta family and some ANC leaders is proof that a deep party funding crisis is unfolding in our country.

South Africa has not enacted any legislation that regulates funding for political parties from external donors. The faceless donors often play a critical role in setting policy agendas and many political parties lean towards loyalty to party funders and disregard addressing societal issues.

The relationship that exists between the Guptas and President Jacob Zuma goes beyond party lines to state institutions and even some ANC leaders as the party finds itself in the deep pockets of that family. The lack of transparency in party funding extends to state capture.

The lack of transparency in party funding will see more funders taking charge of state institutions to further their interests by proxy. This paralyses the political legitimacy of the current governing party.

As is the case with the ANC, state capture is coupled to internal factional battles and this shifts the focus from addressing key societal issues.

The results of this were visible in the 2016 local government elections when the ANC lost critical metros. If this continues, the ANC will find itself on the opposition benches after the 2019 general elections. – Itumeleng Ntsoelengoe Aphane


ANC risks its credibility for the greedy

Thank you for a well-put-together newspaper. I am truly grateful that the Mail & Guardian exists during these troubled times in South Africa.

The fact that business confidence is as low as it was in 1992, when the country was preparing for civil war, should place it in context – albeit that we are collectively much poorer than in 1992, with fewer prospects.

The ANC is squandering its mandate: to build a nation with tolerance and respect. It is shameful that the ANC will jeopardise its credibility for the sake of selfish interest.

Just as the National Party is not remembered for the highways it built, so too will the ANC be remembered for destroying a country. – Louis Serfontein, Wilderness

Keep the powerful accountable

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