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To Mangaung and beyond

So what happens after Mangaung? What happens to the main role-players whose names are being bandied about in the media and their supporters? How will the results affect the contesting leaders, the ANC itself and most importantly how will it affect SA?

There are only two results that can emerge out of Mangaung if the widely reported contest does indeed materialise. Kgalema Motlanthe as the new ANC president or Jacob Zuma remains president. But for good measure let us also look at what happens if there is no contest as seen at the Cosatu congress taking place in Johannesburg.

Let us say Motlanthe emerges victorious. My prediction is Zuma will retreat back to his Inkandla home to enjoy his retirement in comfort — courtesy of the salary for life that former presidents enjoy. He will ingratiate himself with his community, which will be grateful to him for the fast-tracked development he brought while president. I see him also getting involved with the Zulu monarchy and its affairs, attending traditional ceremonies, advising etc. All in all, a good retirement. I don’t see corruption charges being reinstated by a Motlanthe government.

Those who stand to lose the most in a Motlanthe victory is not Zuma himself but those around him. Do you think Motlanthe supporters will allow him to retain Nathi Mthethwa, Blade Nzimande, Free State premier Ace Magashule, Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza, Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane and many others. I think not. There will be a purge of Zuma supporters based on the fear that they will destabilise the Motlanthe administration from the inside, in the same way the Zuma administration is being destabilised from the inside.

If the Motlanthe camp carries the day at Mangaung there’s a chance that Julius Malema could make a comeback to the ANC via a motion from the floor but I doubt it. Not all who want to see Zuma gone necessarily want Malema back. He is too much of a liability and is unpredictable.

The ANC itself will emerge in tatters. Divided by successive brutal leadership contests at Polokwane and Mangaung. The ANC has surprised us with its resilience and Motlanthe will need to woo and charm (if he has any) all factions to unite and save the organisation. But for the ANC’s benefit we might see the return of some Mbeki-ites from self-exile and Cope. We might possibly see the likes of Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Penuell Maduna, Sydney Mufamadi, Jabu Moleketi and others make a political comeback.

No good news for the general public though. I don’t think much will change in vision, governance and accountability. Corruption will continue at its rampant pace. Fighting for positions and tenders in the ANC will continue under Motlanthe as it did when Zuma took over from Mbeki.

So what if the Zuma camp carries the day? I must say this is a tricky one since Zuma can be unpredictable at times. But in my view this will prematurely end the political careers of many promising leaders in the ANC.

The biggest casualty will be Motlanthe himself. If he contests and loses, his political career is finished. Totally. His only chance is to succeed Zuma from the deputy presidency whether it’s at Mangaung or at the next conference but he can only catapult himself from that position. Two factors unofficially dictate that. One, it’s been a tradition of sorts that the deputy president rises up to the throne. Secondly, Motlanthe, though a bit younger, is regarded as coming from the same generation as Zuma and Mbeki. This means there’s a growing list of younger leaders eager to move to the next level of leadership. The Paul Mashatiles, Zweli Mkhizes and many others.

Other casualties will include the very young and vibrant Fikile Mbalula, Mashatile, Limpopo premier Cassel Mathale, North West premier Thandi Modise and Malema’s fate will finally be sealed.

The ANC itself will emerge no better than it would have in a Motlanthe victory. Deeply divided and in tatters. And for the general public, things will continue as they are but at least without the leadership paralysis we’re faced with now en route to Mangaung.

Two curious survivors of both scenarios will be Tokyo Sexwale and Cyril Ramaphosa, we don’t have to ask why.

But what if there is a no-contest? Well, both Zuma and Motlanthe will benefit immensely from a no-contest. Zuma will get a chance to retire with some dignity at the end of the second term and Motlanthe will be assured (as far as those go in politics) of his ascendancy to the throne in 2017.

The ANC itself will benefit to a certain degree because it will be saved a brutal battle, worse than Polokwane. Will there be a benefit for broader South Africa? Surely there will be a much stronger and united ANC going to the 2014 elections. The question is, will that be good for South Africa?

I honestly don’t think Motlanthe will challenge Zuma unless he is absolutely sure of winning, he has far too much to lose. He also doesn’t seem too comfortable to be elected on a perceived Malema/youth league ticket. On the other hand Zuma also doesn’t have an appetite for a contest, it will be too embarrassing if he loses.


  • Despite his full-time duty of being a father to two girls and one boy, Nco Dube spends ample time fulfilling his passion for reading and writing. He is not a journalist but he writes from the heart, from an ordinary "man on the street's" perspective. His views are shaped by what's in the public domain and his analysis informed by his extensive reading and interaction with other ordinary South Africans from all walks of life. Dube is a marketer by profession who runs an experiential marketing company and is also a freelance events producer. He went to Catholic schools including St Francis College in Marriannhill and studied at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and Unisa. You can follow him on twitter: @ncodube and on Facebook: Nco Dube


  1. bernpm bernpm 18 September 2012

    As interesting as debating if i will win the lottery.
    Too may “what if” to seriously contemplate the roles of all the names you mention. Most of them are unpredictable, incompetent or corrupt.

  2. proactive proactive 18 September 2012

    Speculating about ANC’s positions seems the preferred task and hobby within the ruling cadres and supporters.

    A pity, since some concerned citizens are waiting for the “how and what plans” are devised to fix the endless education & performance crises, the failing health care system, the municipal malaise, upgrading the performance levels of employees in all departments.

    Any hint to utilize any available and needed skills- free from any restrictions?
    Halt and reverse the ever dropping standards, stop rewarding failures with bonuses- denying and celebrating them!?

    Lift the veil from Trevor’s Marshal plan- under construction for a long time now- details of infrastructure development, actual beneficiations, dirty and green energy. Replace needless chinese imports by proud SA manufactureres. Create new work & jobs, utilize and increase local capacity- not export it to China!
    No, we do not need “assistance” by them- stop our companies having to emigrate to find work outside!

    Some of us are actually not interested to follow this destructive cadre cult- but want to hear about plans and workable programs to uplift this country by deeds not rhetoric!

    Nco, any chance to read a rectification of your previous “criminal” & wild 4k figures and conclusions? “Fact checking” for any Jurno or serious blogger- a pre requisite- or proud to have received the stamp of approval from Harris- the usual ilk?

    We all have some bad days!

  3. Sterling Ferguson Sterling Ferguson 19 September 2012

    @Nco, you failed to mention that this system in SA is far from being a democracy. You never mention one word about the electors having a voice in the party decisions. What you are talking about is a group of kingmakers getting together to decide who will be king.

  4. Tofolux Tofolux 19 September 2012

    @Nco, why this pre-occupation with Mangaung? It serves no purpose to speculate on speculations. Not only do we get a totally incorrect analysis on the speculations, it becomes extremely perverse to discuss non-sense. Case in point, the leadership of Cosatu. Media was hell bent with their hidden sources to create an environment that was non-existent at this conference. Commentators, interviewers drilled Vavi on leadership squabbles. They, who know nothing about democracy, maintained that there was division, this according to their inside sources. What happened, NOTHING, nada! Now is it the aim of media and social commentators to create conditions on the ground that are divisive to society in particular. Does media and social commentators have the right to do this? This is the real issue. Instead of building social cohesion, we see unwarranted division created by forces which should be the agents to heal and build cohesion. We cannot come from a divided past and allow these forces to maintain those divisions, it is simply wrong. Personally, Mangaung will do what it should. There is no need to create fear. What happens thereafter will be an outcome of responsible consequences from responsible decisions. What about this, do we fear, noting that the ANC in particular has never posed any danger to our society.

  5. Peter Joffe Peter Joffe 19 September 2012

    The only way that Zuma is going to stay out of court and possibly out of jail, is to retain his position of power. If that goes so will he and the truth will come out on all that he is accused of doing. That is, of course if there is still any evidence left!Perhaps he will still have time to grant himself a presidential self pardon or develop an unknown critical and life threatening sickness, and so join Shaik on the golf course. For him this is a life or death scenario and so too for all of us. If he stays it is life for him and death for us. If he goes it is death for him and life for us?

  6. Sterling Ferguson Sterling Ferguson 19 September 2012

    @Joffe, Nco doesn’t mention anything about reforming the elector system in SA to give the people a voice in the government. The system in SA is a fake democracy and the people have no voice in the government. In a democracy the only weapon the people have to protect themselves is their vote and this was taken from them by the ANC. When the people are not doing their job the electors can’t kick them out of office in SA because they didn’t elected them.

  7. Sterling Ferguson Sterling Ferguson 19 September 2012

    @Tofolux, there are divisions in the labor movement in SA and this is why you see the wildcat strikes in the mining industry. The media and commentators have a right to point out these divisions in the labor movement in a so called democracy. The union leaders were all elected unopposed doesn’t mean there isn’t a division in the labor movement because, the delegates votes can be manipulated by the union bosses. The US help setup the labor movement in SA and they taught them all the dirty tricks of running a crooked union. Zuma had set in play an attempt to kick out the current leadership in COSATU but, Malema got involved so, they changed plans. Vavi is not loved by the current leadership in the ANC because he speaks his mind about how the ANC is running the country.

  8. Jack Sparrow Jack Sparrow 20 September 2012

    @Nco, I tend to agree with your “No good news for the general public”. I was originally really disappointed in Jacob Zuma but now I see that the ANC’s slogans should be “I didn’t join the struggle to be poor” and “Now it’s my/our turn to eat”. Virtually no ANC leader is untainted by either incompetence or corruption, or both. My conclusion is that most of their statements are just lip service platitudes. Their attention is focussed on increasing their personal wealth by any means possible. Marikana just cemented my view.

    So no change – just a different crook as the boss.

  9. Brian B Brian B 20 September 2012

    In the absence of inspiring leadership , speculation, intrigue , corruption despotism etc. thrive.
    Zuma will not face any charges again. There is too much complicity..
    Cynically historically situations become worse until the discomfort forces change. Mangaung will not be a watershed just a talk show..

  10. Tofolux Tofolux 20 September 2012

    @Sterling, I dont know how you come to the conclusion iro wildcat strikes when I was quite specific in what I said. But let me explain the wheels of democracy. If someone nominates a candidate at an elective conference and there is no opposing candidate then that person is elected unopposed. Fact, the entire Cosatu leadership was elected unopposed. Secondly, how do you reach the conclusion that the whole labor movement is ”crooked”? Thirdly, I think that you believe too much of what you write (Heheheh). The one about Zuma and Vavi is quite funnee and laughable because you have absolutely no facts to back up these wild claims. Just a short note of advice, conspiracy theories can make you mad especially when one becomes bored. Hence I would suggest a hobby of some sort. But let me leave you with this, its would be of no use dreaming about undemocratic practises. In Africa, the majority will rule till Jezus comes.

  11. Sterling Ferguson Sterling Ferguson 20 September 2012

    @Tofolux, in Africa the majority of the people have no voice in the government and this includes SA. Speaking of the democratic practice of the unions, at these conferences they can keep the nomination off the floor by using undemocratic means. The manipulation of the delegates go on in most of the unions because the delegates are bought off. The contracts that COSATU are signing are nothing but, sweetheart contracts. Vavi has just spoke about the trend of the locals going on wildcats strikes and not listing to theleadership. So, he knows more about the union then you for to make this statement.

  12. MLH MLH 20 September 2012

    You are effectively telling us that another term under ANC rule will completely destroy the country. That’s cheerful.

  13. Jens Bierbrauer Jens Bierbrauer 20 September 2012

    Tofolux, I am certain I would read more of your comments if you could find it in your heart to show us the mercy of paragraphs.

  14. Sterling Ferguson Sterling Ferguson 20 September 2012

    @Tofolux, in professor Achilles Mbembe’s book “PostColony” he speaks about how the ruling parties in Africa have succeeded in zombification of the population. You are an example of what he is talking about in his book. The leaders of COSATU are saying one thing and you are saying another thing about,the division in the unions. The unions do not let the rank and file vote on the ratification of the contracts that they negotiated for their members. SA is not the only place that this was happening, in the US this was a common practice until the government force the unions to let the members vote on the contracts. There have been a report by union leaders that most of the union locals have never had their book audited and nobody knows how the money has been spent in these locals. You are blind as a bat and I am sadden by your behavior.

    What one sees going on in SA is something good because the people are demanding a voice in decisions about their lives. The next step the people will demand a right to directly elect the president, members of parliament and the mayors. The kingmakers days are numbered in running SA.

  15. ntozakhona ntozakhona 21 September 2012

    The ANC is a democratic movement that has its own processes open to all its mambers. It is a voluntary organisation and a force that unites all South Africans committed to thre principles of the Freedom Charter. The ANC has no policy of punishing any of its members for exercing in a disciplined manner their democratic right. Nco article is no different from the predictions read from the bones of a fake sangoma.

    He Sterling Ferguson how does one manipulate votes? Ag shame, thinking must be a painful exercise in some shores.

  16. ntozakhona ntozakhona 21 September 2012

    ”cynically historically situations …” writes Brian B. Whatever that means!

  17. michael michael 21 September 2012

    tofolux, you say “In Africa, the majority will rule till(Jezus or Jesus) comes.” I fully agree but it aint going to look pretty.

  18. tshediso tshediso 21 September 2012

    I dont agree that Zuma is weakened by the factors inside his goverment. Any institution will and must have difference of opinion if it is realy healthy. Mangaung will not be different to Polokwane,unless the current leadership is despotic.We must embrace change if we have to move forward.Mbeki did,so must Zuma.

  19. Tofolux Tofolux 21 September 2012

    @Michael, I think in Africa of late, we have been spoilt with sound leadership. eg N Dlamini-Zuma who will now head one of the most important structures in Africa. This whilst we are engaging in extremely narrow politics and a dim appreciation (eg Sterling) of the ruling party’s contribution to our continent. Emotional intelligence demands objectivity and a balance in ones cognitive ability. No amount of politiking ignores facts. My prediction is that Africa will become a powerhouse. It is producing responsible leaders who have integrity. This bodes well, much to the disappoint of the West simply because their domination will cease eg the influence of emerging economies India, China, Brazil etc.on Africa. For us as South Africans, noting that we are one of the most sophisticated in terms technology, infrastructure etc etc, we can only improve and enhance under progress. The point is, that this continent will never revert to a colonial system where certain people believe that their superiority over another is based on the colour of their skin. As youth, we have tasted freedom, we are tasting globalisation and we are tasting progress. Hence the chances of changing these conditions, are slim. Majority rule is the norm and some amongst us need to deal with that reality.

  20. Sterling Ferguson Sterling Ferguson 21 September 2012

    @Ntozakhona, if the ANC was a democratic organization there would be open primaries and the members of the party could vote for their candidates. In SA a group of kingmakers meet and decided who will lead the party and the members have no voice in this decision. The parliament is appointed and the people have no voice in electing the members to parliament. If you call this democracy, I pity you. The SA speaker of parliament, when asked about letting the people vote to directly elect the president,members of parliament and mayors, he says the population was too ignorant to make rational decisions about the government.

    You asked how does one manipulate votes at the labor conference, very easy, by buying off the delegates. This was going on in the US for a long time until the government forced the unions to let the membership vote for the delegates and for the officers of the unions.

  21. ntozakhona ntozakhona 21 September 2012

    Sterling Ferguson seems to have a penchant for abusing the word ‘manipulate’. I am not sure a brief explanation on trade union democracy would disabuse him of his apartheid tainted thinking that tells him that workers cannot take own decisions.

    Union members volutarily join unions of their choice. These members then at the shopfloor (workplace ) elect shpstewards. Shopstewards operate on the basis of mandates from shopfloors. They take this mandate to shopsteward council until a decision is reached at national level union by union. It is quite an elaborate process foreign to spawns of a colonial, oppresive system. It is thus not surprising that they shout manipulation at the slightest consensus amongst workers.

    One wonders in which dreamworld does Sterling and his ilk live. Vavi has never spoken about disunity in COSATU unions but attempts to sow disunity amongst workers. AMCU is not a COSATU union.The workers in Marikana have, as it turns out, rejected AMCU as their representative in talks facilitated by the SACC.

    As for COSATU, it has despite the normal different perspectives (not divisions but PERSPECTIVES) emerged from its national congress with a common approach and boasting about its unity. I hope I rescued you from a further slide into darkness.

    Amicah Cabral has adviced that none are so blind as the ones refusing to see. I hope Sterling and his ilk are not THAT blind. I remain inspired by Mandela and Tambo that the even the deaf deserve a hearing …..

  22. Sterling Ferguson Sterling Ferguson 21 September 2012

    @Ntozakhona, all of the problems with the services deliveries are caused because, nobody is elected to office and accountable to the people of SA. In a democracy the weapon the people have is their vote and their vote allowed them to vote people out office, that’s not doing their job. In SA the PR system only allowed the people to vote for the party and not the individuals who will be running the country. If the mayor of a city in SA is caught stealing from the government, the people of that city can’t kick him out of office, only the party can removed that person. The president spend most of his time trying to keep the kingmakers happy that put him in office and the people are neglected.

  23. ntozakhona ntozakhona 21 September 2012

    Eish, Sterling Fergurson you have much to say about absolutely nothing. Our electoral system was agreed upon by political parties representing all those who vote. An unhelpful simplistic formulation will be to say 100% of the electorate.

    Who the parties nominate as their representaives is an internal party matter. If the electorate is not impressed with the nominees paraded by a party, they may
    CHOOSE another party amongst a wide variety of political parties.

    Granted that there may be individuals in the lunatic fringe who may not agree with democratic processes. That however does not mean the processes automaticaly become undemocratic. Democratic processes in different countries are not similar, not even in Western Europe and North America.

    There is clearly nothing that difficult about the above to agitate you so much! Take a breath, relax and there will be some cerebral activity up there.

  24. Brian B Brian B 21 September 2012

    Ntozakhona, Let me elaborate. throughout the history of mankind in various environments and cultures, there is a tendency for things to improve and then decline. The Roman Empire, Greek Civilization, The Ancient Egyptians and many more. Sadly what has happened in South Africa is an expectation of much better things with the demise of apartheid (the rainbow nation concept) followed by a deterioration in the form of increased n corruption, deceit greed , incompetency and sloth. The victims are the everyday people who work hard and keep going.
    The danger is that as people become more and more demoralised they become more and more desperate and eventually will say enough is enough. The ruling party still have the support of the masses and can l arrest the situation if they change their ways. The question is “Do they want to?

  25. ntozakhona ntozakhona 21 September 2012

    The ANC subsribes to the Freedom Charter which pledges that there shall be houses, security and comfort. The ”discomfort forces” Brian B supports are evidenty against that. What a shame. Good always truimphs over evil.

  26. Tofolux Tofolux 21 September 2012

    @Brian, the only ones who are demoralised are you guys. Also, the major contradiction is that you are still mistreating us. There is no outcry from your side when human beings are being shot at, at point blank range because someone ”thought” that we are animals. There is no outcry when the judge gives this criminal a ”soft” sentence. Point is, what have you done to build cohesion in this very society you now claim is on the brink of disaster. Maybe we should make it clear, despite all your dreaming, SA is not and will not be a failed state despite us inheriting a ruined state from the previous apartheid system.

  27. The Creator The Creator 21 September 2012

    To get back to the subject-matter instead of Sterling Ferguson’s threadjacking fantasies, the problem is that the only way we could have been spared five more years of disaster would be to get rid of Zuma. There’s no way the ANC is not going to win in 2017, so the only way to escape the Lords of Misrule currently running that party is to replace them. It seems clear that the only individual strong enough to challenge Zuma was Motlanthe.

    Rather stupidly, Zuma decided to replace Motlanthe with Nzimande — who is possibly the only person in the Cabinet less qualified than Zuma. This is what has been driving Motlanthe to threaten Zuma with a challenge. It does seem that Motlanthe is rather disgusted with Zuma, but what really got him going was the fact that if Zuma was going to purge him, he had nothing to lose from launching a challenge.

    But it now seems that the challenge is failing; COSATU has sold out to Zuma, and most probably after this Zuma will be able to cobble together so much support that nobody will even dare to challenge him at Mangaung. In which case our policies will continue to be bad, our leaders will continue to be incompetent, corrupt and tyrannical, and our future will continue to be bleak.

    That doesn’t mean Motlanthe would have saved us. But five more years of Zuma and we are truly screwed.

  28. Sterling Ferguson Sterling Ferguson 21 September 2012

    @Ntozakhona, you don’t have a clue what democracy means and what’s going on in SA is not democracy. To me democracy means by the people and for the people and when the people have no voice in how the government is run, in my book this is not a democracy. When a political party doesn’t allow the people to vote for the leader of the party then, this isn’t democracy. What you are trying to do is redefined the word democracy to fit a certain need and there can’t be a democracy when, the people have no voice in the government. Stalin,Mao and Castro all called their government democratic and staged elections where they received ninety five percent of the votes.

    Speaking of the Freedom Charter, this was written fifty years ago and the people of SA never voted their approval of this charter. SA needs elector reforms to give the electors a voice in electing the people to office and holding them accountable and you will see a change in how things are done in SA. A good example of what I am talking about is Ghana, this country allows the president and parliament to be directly elected by the people. The leaders in the ruling parties fear the voice of the people in SA and this is why they setup a controlled democracy. We will give you the freedom to vote for a party every five years and this is it.

  29. Sterling Ferguson Sterling Ferguson 21 September 2012

    @Ntozakhona, the electors were never given a chance to vote for this system that one sees in place in SA today. There was thinking by the ANC and the DA that the people in SA were too ignorant to be given a voice in the government and this is why they setup a system to limited their voices. The worst fear all of the parties have is a Malema could take over the government by offering the people a pie in the shy.

    You should read the interview by the MG of Vavi and he contradicts everything you are saying about him. He also thinks there is a crisis in the government when only five percent of the government department in SA passed their audit. Once again direct elections by the electors will hold government officials accountable for their behavior in office because, they know the people can kick them out of office. When discussing an issue, one should not get emotional but, used facts to justified their claims.

  30. Brian B Brian B 21 September 2012

    ntozakhona “The ANC subsribes to the Freedom Charter” I suggest that the ANC pay lip service to the Freedom Charter. if only they would make it their working strategy then they would satisfy those who support them by improving living standards. Yes good always triumphs over evil but sometimes a lot of uncessary pain and hardship endures before good succeeds.
    Tofolux,You are full of assumptions
    Who are “You guys” and how are they mistreating you?
    Yout racialise random acts of violence and debauchery. Inadequate policing and a clogged up legal system do not act as a deterrent to evil people who commit crime and violence.
    Stop seeking solace in tired old stereotypes, open your eyes and see what is taking place.
    Of course things can change for the better if there is a change of heart from us all.

  31. Sterling Ferguson Sterling Ferguson 22 September 2012

    @Creator, it doesn’t make any difference whether Zuma stays or go the whole system in SA needs to be reformed, to give the people a voice in the government.

  32. ntozakhona ntozakhona 22 September 2012

    My grandmother warned me that entering into an intellectual discourse with the less gifted but priviledged is an exercise in futility. Brian B is clearly a native speaker of English language yet he writes some gobledegook about “cynically historically situations”‘ which he later explains with some more twaddle. Maybe the problem lies in the language and understanding of concepts than in a vision for our beloved country.

    A similar problem to a different extent seems to afflict Sterling Ferguson. He is so obsessed with the direct election of Mayors and President that to him anything else is not democracy. He ignores the fact that heads of government in countries such as Britain and Germany are party appointees. He is besotted with primaries system used in the US and fails to see that our system allows for freedom of association. You may form a party that runs primaries if you so choose and test your fringe obsession in the marketplace of ideas.

    If you will I can also explain to you the difference between electors (as misused by you) and electorate ( as used by me). Your allegation that workers are bought to vote in a certain way is insulting and typical of the colonial mind. In any case what you are alledging is fraud not manipulation. English is not as difficult as my native Setswana, I wonder why its native speakers cannot use it properly.

  33. ntozakhona ntozakhona 22 September 2012

    Brian B you have dismally failed to explain what you mean by the strange concoction “cynically historically situations”! You instead chose to waffle with more twaddle. Perhaps the problem lies not in your political orientation but in your grasp of your native English language and concepts.

    A similar affliction seems to be debilitating Sterling Ferguson thinking. It is quite rich to claim I have no clue what democracy is. A system of party primaries is only used in the US and in your warped logic the rest of the world is undemocratic. Heads of government in Britain and Germany are not directly elected, does that mean there is no democracy?

    The allegation that workers are bought to vote in a certain manner is insulting and typical of a colonial mind. In a case the word you are looking for is fraud not manipulation. I have tried to keep my demonstration of what democracy is as practical as possible as I think the unbudling of the concept will beffudle you further.

  34. ntozakhona ntozakhona 22 September 2012

    Brian B if you look at the context you will realise that I was contrasting your “discomfort forces” with a clause from the Freedom Charter.

    Sterling Ferguson people all over the world do not vote for particular poliicies but for political parties and politicians proposing a better package of policies. No one claimed that the Freedom Charter was voted for but fact remains that its compilation was the most inclusive process in world history. A pity your political forebears excluded themselves.

    Ferguson it must be really lonely where you are. Even malcontents who will support anything anti-ANC do not seem to buying into your notions of democracy.

  35. Brian B Brian B 23 September 2012

    Ntozakhona, I seem to have lost the thread of your meaning somewhere along the way. Peace be on you brother.

  36. Sterling Ferguson Sterling Ferguson 23 September 2012

    @Ntozakhona, democracy to me means government by the people and for the people. In SA the people are not allowed to take part in running the government in this country. The people can’t elect the officials running the government and hold them accountable for their behavior in the government. When the services are not delivered, the only thing the people can do is take the government to court or burn building down. There is no elected officials that the people can go to have their problems addressed.

    In your comment you said that in Germany the heads of state are appointed, this is far from being true. The members of parliament are appointed by the parties and the other members are elected. The mayor and local officials are all elected by the people and accountable to the people. In North America, Brazil and France all of the people are elected by the people. This is also true in Ghana where the president is directly elected to office. Until the government in SA start letting the people participate in the government, it shouldn’t call itself a democracy. Democracy is supposed to come from bottom up and not top down like in SA. I have a dream that SA one day will let her citizens participate in the government but, she hasn’t arrived yet.

  37. Sterling Ferguson Sterling Ferguson 24 September 2012

    @Ntozakhona, you said that people in SA can form their own party and hold party primaries, this isn’t true. There are no laws in SA that permits party primaries. You mention that I was obsessed with party primaries and direct elections, yes, you are right, I am obsessed with freedom and not fake freedom. On one side of your mouth you said the ANC was democratic and the other side of your mouth you said that the ANC had the right to be undemocratic. After reading your comments on this page, I think you are a fake democratic and don’t believe in democracy.

  38. ntozakhona ntozakhona 24 September 2012

    Peace on you too brother Brian B. i still fervently hope and have faith that we can this beautiful country into an oasis of human relations harmony where there is no black and white. Stereotyping jokes and converstions at dinner parties are not assisting the process.

    If we could free Mandela from 27 years in the dungeons then anything is possible.

  39. Tofolux Tofolux 26 September 2012

    @Sterling, you are being pedantic. The wild accusations and obsessing on non-issues indicate a lack of understanding and intolerance. Democracy is not an exact science and it has its natural contradictions. But in this instance, you clearly misunderstand democracy and majority rule. I mean, since when does the minority interest supercede the interests of the majority in a democracy? That is not a contradiction, that is basic understanding of democracy. Also, the fixation of the American model to be imposed on Africa, shows how little one acknowledges the fact of the glorious failure of imported “USA democracy” on Afghanistan, Iraq, etc etc. It is rather patronising to declare that our freedom is fake and that the outcome of elections has not been accepted by the citizens of SA. But I have concluded that you are extremely unhappy and I would like to ask a simple question as to why you havent headed to your favorite country to participate in their democracy?

  40. Sterling Ferguson Sterling Ferguson 26 September 2012

    @Tofolux,the majority rules as long as they respect the constitution of the state and this means the rights of the minority. When a government doesn’t respect the right of the minorities under the constitution, this government is no longer democratic. This is why three thousandth years ago everyone wanted to be a Roman because the government guaranteed everyone protection under the law. Even Zuma got that wrong the other day and had to backtrack his statement when he came out with the majority rule.

    When I said that SA isn’t a democracy, it’s the people in SA are not allowed to participate in the government. The president,members of parliament and the mayor are all appointed by the parties and the people can’t hold them accountable. Dr. Pityana just made the same speech about this problem the other day when he says nobody in the government is accountable in SA.

    The big myth is the US is the only country that have people serving on the local level directly elected. Brazil is having an election this year to elect governors and people to congress. The word Democracy means government by the people and the people in SA have no voice in the government so, this is not democracy. When the mayors of SA aren’t doing their job, the people should be able to vote them out of office. Power to the people and not kingmakers.

  41. Tofolux Tofolux 27 September 2012

    @Sterling, if the preamble of our constitution clearly states that this govt is a democratic govt and you claim that this govt is NOT democratic then the argument you make becomes a constitutional argument. If you feel that your argument is strong then why havent you fought for this in the constitutional court?
    I think that we should stop making wild accusations and if you counter that it is not wild then test it. Also, all of those who do not understand democracy, even as you now claim the President as well, then again, make a case in the court of law, about this ”abuse”. Also, Dr Pityana is a poor eg, this guy has an axe to grind and I am really not interested in listening to bitter people. They teach you very little other than bitterness and that is just simply bad soul food.

  42. Sterling Ferguson Sterling Ferguson 27 September 2012

    @Tofolux, the preamble doesn’t mean nothing because the constitution in the US said that all men are created equal and there were millions of people in chains. So, what’s in your constitution doesn’t mean anything if isn’t practiced in SA. I said in my comment that if the people have a problem in SA they couldn’t go to their elected leader, these people would have to go to court or burn building down. This is not democracy by a long shot so you should stop fooling yourself that it is.

    When people write books in SA the extreme left always claimed that these people had an ax to grind because they are bitter, without reading their work. When Moesetsi Mbeki wrote “Architects of Poverty” many left wingers and this includes Malema, were saying this guy was a bitter man and had an ax to grind. Now, most of them are running around quoting him like they created these ideas. You are always quoting Western writers and are you aware that many of them were bitter and had an ax to grind? You should read about Fanon growing up in Martinique in the Caribbean and why he had an ax to grind.

  43. Sterling Ferguson Sterling Ferguson 28 September 2012

    Tofolux, I hate to disagree with you but in 1994, the new government was setup so the masses would not be able to participate in the government. The thinking at that time that the masses were too poor and uneducated to make rational decision about the government. The other reason was that direct elections would lead to tribalism and violence that one sees going on in other African countries. If there were direct elections in SA, there is a chance that a Malema style person could become the president.

    On the down size of this government, the people can’t vote for their leaders and hold them accountable for their behavior. Corruption has become the order of the day, people are caught stealing in one town, they are redeployed to another town.

    It would be interesting to see what would happen if the civic groups would bring a case before the Concourt for direct elections.

  44. Tofolux Tofolux 28 September 2012

    @Sterling, you are disingenuous. The preamble is a statement of intent. It is the supreme law of this state and you should acknowledge that you live in a sovereign and democratic state. That is clearly defined therein, so how can you possibly argue the alternative? But I have noted of late that there are some amongst us who are now the ”fighters” for the constitution and misusing our Madiba’s name for their ”cause”. Not only is this opportunism to the extreme but it shows how lost some of you people are. My question however still remains. If this sovereign state is not what it should be as per the constitution, why havent you fought this in the constitutional court?

  45. Sterling Ferguson Sterling Ferguson 28 September 2012

    @Tofolux, I know what the word preamble means. However, the example I gave you is that SA isn’t living up to this intent of creating a free country. The Freedom Charter was copied from the US bill of rights that they didn’t live up to it because, slavery went on for one hundred years after this document was written. In SA the people can’t elect their officials to office so, this isn’t democracy.

    I gave you the reason why the ANC and the DA didn’t want the masses to participate in the government and you didn’t respond to that but, you are beating around the bush with my statement. Should the masses should be involved in the government?

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