Nehawu: 'Constitutional democracy' not compatible with democracy

Nehawu also hit out at Cosatu, which it’s affiliated to. (Lisa Skinner/M&G)

Nehawu also hit out at Cosatu, which it’s affiliated to. (Lisa Skinner/M&G)

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu)has decried South Africa’s constitutional democracy, claiming it was not compatible with the idea of democracy.

The comments were made by Nehawu president Mzwandile Makwayiba during his opening address at the union’s 11th national congress in Boksburg on Monday.

“The one thing I hate in this country… that is only unique in this country and nowhere else and that is called constitutional democracy,” said Makwaiyiba.

He said few individuals in Parliament turned to the courts when they were not happy with decisions agreed to by a 62% majority in parliament.

“They go to court and 6 men and women decide on behalf of the 62%; that’s my problem,” he continued.

He added that South Africa’s constitutional democracy was not compatible with democracy itself.

Recently, the ANC Women’s League also made similar remarks. The league’s secretary general, Meokgo Matuba, expressed concern that courts and chapter 9 institutions diluted the powers of the president and parliament.

On Cosatu
Nehawu also hit out at the Congress of South African Trade Union (Cosatu), which it’s affiliated to. The union claimed that if Cosatu did not change the way it engaged with its other affiliates, it would face a certain death.“We are not sangomas.
We tell you what we see. We throw the bones of the masses and the bones of masses tell us that if we don’t do something this federation is in trouble,” he warned.

“Don’t tell us about democratic society, things that we don’t know… you speaking a foreign language to us. We’ve never heard of those things,” Makwayiba said to the South African Communist Party (SACP).

He challenged the notion of strengthening the SACP and reconfiguring the ANC’s alliance with both the communist party and Cosatu, asking how they planned to do this.

He also urged the SACP, which goes to its own conference in coming weeks to use plain language when seeking answers to those questions.

Makwayiba also focused some attention on the ongoing debates over Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s findings against Absa bank.

This after Mkhwebane found that the bank and its predecessor, Bankorp, unduly benefitted from a R1.125-billion bailout from the SA Reserve Bank. She then ordered the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to recover the money from Absa.

“The reserve bank must change, Mkhwebane under siege, Absa owes money, Mkhwebane under siege but Nkandla everyone is overjoyed and singing praises, but no one celebrates when they say Absa must pay,” said the Nehawu president.

He said when the public protector directed parliament to look into amending the role of the reserve bank they say she has overstepped her powers. - News24

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