Our freedom and democracy on the verge of collapse: What is to be done?

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Our freedom and democracy on the verge of collapse: What is to be done?

Statement by Mr. BH Holomisa, UDM President

 

Yesterday, the 5th of April 2016, the ANC members of the National Assembly have once again violated their oath of office and acted in contempt of the Constitutional Court.

Led by the Deputy Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, John Jeffery, they argued that there was no order to impeach Mr. Zuma, knowing fully well that the court would not do that.

Once again and in abuse of their majority, they have refused to hold the Executive to account, by so doing defying to execute their constitutional obligation.

ANC members of the National Assembly must be reminded that South Africa is not a majoritarian democracy but a Constitutional Democracy.

Whilst the national legislature was breaching its oath of office, Mr. Zuma tells South Africans that he has not violated his oath of office, yet the Constitutional Court found on paragraph 103 of the judgment:

“Consistent with this constitutional injunction, and order will thus be made that the President’s failure to comply with the remedial action taken against him by the Public Protector is inconsistent with his obligation to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic;…”.

On Sunday the 3rd of April 2016, Ms. Baleka Mbete, purporting to be speaking on behalf of the National Assembly, said to the nation; “We never violated the Constitution, there is no such statement in the Constitutional Court Judgment”.

Paragraph 104 of the judgment reads, “Similarly, the failure by the National Assembly to hold the President accountable by ensuring that he complies with the remedial action taken against him, is inconsistent with its obligation to scrutinize and oversee executive action and to maintain oversight of the exercise of the executive powers by the President”.

One of the primary functions and constitutional obligations of the legislature is to hold the executive accountable on behalf of citizens.

On Monday the 4th of April 2016, the ruling party announced that it has accepted the half-hearted apology by Mr. Zuma and instructed its members of the National Assembly, to defend a dubious character in our body polity. The ANC therefore has instructed its members of parliament to violate the constitution and disregard the court’s findings. It is an accomplice in this crime.

All of this has confirms, that the ANC has indeed, and as Zuma once said, that the ANC comes first and the country last. It has opened a wide door for a massive looting of public resources, a rule by a mob, an undermining of the Constitution and the rule of law. Our country is surely gravitating towards a lawlessness society.

This is a reality we cannot allow and must be stopped now. The time for South Africans to reclaim their freedom and defend democracy is now.

In defense of our Constitutional Democracy, we need:

A ground-swell of all citizens, from the religious, traditional, academic, labour, business, civic, non-governmental, issue based organisations and all organs of civil society.

A National Movement of the people reclaiming their freedom and defending their Constitutional Democracy, must have a national coordinating structure, duplicated in provinces, districts, locals including in suburbs, townships, informal settlements and villages.

At the center of this movement should be:

·       The call for an immediate resignation of Mr. Zuma;

·       Dissolution of Parliament;

·       Establishment of an Interim Government;

·       Creation of a fair and transparent party funding legislation; and

·       A reform of the Electoral Act.

The Electoral Act has to be reformed in order to:

·       Allow for a balance between the constituency and proportional elected representation system;

·       Allow citizens to directly elect the State President;

·       Ensure that candidates for cabinet position are vetted before appointed; and

·       Enable Parliament to appoint an independent Speaker who is not accountable to a political party.

The role that the civil society can play in building and strengthening democracy is powerful because, it includes the entire range of organized groups and institution that are independent from the state, voluntary, and at least to some extent self-reliant.

Civil society have demonstrated respect for the law, for the rights of citizens, and for the constitution. In this regard, and unlike during the apartheid years, the security forces should refuse to be used to suppress the voice of the people. When people engage in lawful actions, and whose intentions are to build and sustain democracy, they should not be suppressed.

In this way I am of the opinion that the people of South Africa will be able to talk in one voice and in unison and take charge of their destiny.

Let the people reclaim their freedom.

End

2016-10-28T19:51:44+00:00 April 6th, 2016|2016 Archive, Corruption and clean governance, Democracy and electoral reform, Home, Media statements: UDM|Comments Off on Our freedom and democracy on the verge of collapse: What is to be done?