Best of Voices: Political irrationality is ruining SA

2017-07-27 15:55
The Guptas are Zuma’s family friends and business partners of his son Duduzane. (GCIS)

The Guptas are Zuma’s family friends and business partners of his son Duduzane. (GCIS)

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Democracy, and by extension good governance, presupposes the capacity of political leadership to engage in reasoned debate, informed decision making and measured judgements. In the South African context, it’s assumed that this will all happen within the framework of the Constitution.

In this way democratic governance is premised on rationality. It appears to be unthinkable without it. But is this true?

No. And certainly not in South Africa now. Irrationality is the term frequently used to describe the country’s political landscape. This is clear from the coverage of the embattled government of President Jacob Zuma, and its leadership.

The growing anxiety and uncertainty in the country is aptly articulated by the news headline:

Has Zuma checked reason and rationality at the door, asks Lyn Snodgrass.

Read more.

Things are the way they are

Corruption under the ANC has become pervasive. One way of countering corruption in the ANC is for public figures and business to withdraw their support from the party. But reform of the electoral system is also necessary, as this would strengthen the accountability of parliamentarians to voting constituencies rather than to corrupt party headquarters.

The immense power of party headquarters means that the South African political system has become “Sovietised”, in that Parliament and the Cabinet are both accountable to party headquarters in Luthuli House rather than to the electorate, writes Sara Gon.

Read more.

#Guptaleaks expose lack of business ethics SA can't afford

As individuals working in companies and purchasing goods and services from companies, we also have a significant role to play in refusing to accept unethical behaviour from companies.

By rounding on Gupta PR firm Bell Pottinger, effectively causing the company to lock its Twitter account and issue a formal and unprecedented apology to the country (even though they also blamed the fiasco on bad apples rather than the system), South Africans have shown the power that they can wield when united against wrongdoing, writes Mills Soko.

Read more.

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