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Thursday, 31 July 2008

African democracy: a pointless extravagance

South Africa's ANC-dominated parliament is about to rubber-stamp legislation that will disband the Scorpions, an elite crime-fighting unit. The Scorpions are one of the few functional organs of the failing South African state.

Their sin, for which they will now be banished to eternal damnation? Well, they were too effective in exposing the fundamentally corrupt nature of what is still a criminal / terrorist organization masquerading as a political party, the ANC. The Scorpions for example exposed the shady dealings of the criminally incompetent so-called Chief of Police, Jackie Selebi. Selebi was not so much Chief of Police as a consiglieri to the South African version of the Mob.

The regime is constitutionally compelled to call for public participation when it wants to pass laws like this one. Opposition parties were predictably upset about the disbandment of the Scorpions, and went to great lengths to gather feedback and comments. Not only opposition parties, but a majority of the population was opposed to the disbandment, according to opinion polls. These objections were duly presented to the committee tasked with reviewing the proposed legislation. However, without much ado, the committee announced that the Scorpions would be disbanded, regardless of the opinion of the public, because, it said, it was the will of the ANC.

There you have it. The Party knows better than you and me. Your opinion does not matter to the Party. It has decided, yes, amen, and so it shall be.

What was the point of public participation, and what, then, is the real function of parliament?

It is clearly nothing but an organ of the Party, a body whose fat-cat (in all senses of the word) members are there to a) enrich themselves and b) rubber-stamp decisions already made by the Stalinist Central Party Committee. Like their counterparts in other African "democracies" (the latter two words being the ultimate oxymoron), the members of parliament earn huge salaries, but contribute little or nothing in the way of debate, public liaison or in any other field for that matter.

170 kg of useless, expensive fat

This being Africa, there is little or no danger that the ruling regime will be deposed by idiot voters who will continue to vote for a so-called liberation movement, even at their own cost (see previous posts on this topic.)

Does it make sense then to spend R300 000 000 every year on salaries for members of parliament, an amount which excludes their lavish functions, travel expenses and other perks? Why have expensive elections which are nothing but utterly pointless racial censuses, in which most whites will vote for the DA and most blacks for the ANC, 100% guaranteed?

Perhaps Kenya has showed us the way. After a dispute about voting results in the previous election, one of the world's poorer countries came up with a novel solution. It created a bloated cabinet with president, a prime minister, two deputy prime ministers, 40 ministers and 50 assistant ministers. Each of these will obviously have their own contingent of security guards, limousines and the usual perks that go with their exalted rank - gilded toilets, weekly shopping trips to Paris, that kind of thing.

Perhaps it would make more sense for South Africa to do something similar. Seeing that the so-called democracy is a joke and that real debate does not exist inside parliament, let’s disband parliament, get rid of pointless elections, and select 100 or so token members of the cabinet, who don’t really have to do much except travel overseas, attend parties and accumulate fatty tissue.
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