PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Tseliso Mohlomi
 
Comments: 72
Article views: 1424
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all Tseliso Mohlomi's badges.
 

Do Not Blame The ANC For The Failure Of Democracy in South Africa.

07 March 2014, 13:51

This year’s election is marking 20 years of democracy for our country. This is a milestone in an environment and a continent defined by instability, coups and concerted efforts to undermine democracy. The atmosphere towards these elections should be marked with great celebration as we have managed to sustain democracy despite all the challenges we have. Democracy as a concept is subject to debate as it is perceived and defined differently by many people. The question is; what is democracy? Does routine elections define this concept? Free and fair elections as we have experienced since 1994 is the hallmark of democracy, but not the whole picture of what democracy is. Democracy is built upon many layers of theories and principles. However, central to the concept is “competition”. In one of their journals, the University of Chicago defines a perfect political democracy as; “an institutional arrangement for arriving at political decisions in which individuals endeavor to acquire political office through perfectly free competition for the votes of a broadly based electorate.” One ought to understand and define politics within the contested spheres of limited resources and thus the political power and control over those resources. The definition used by the Chicago University deals both with the environment and the dynamics of the competition itself. Therefore, from the South African perspective one will have to agree that the environment is conducive for a healthy competition. Our constitution not only guarantees but protects people’s rights to; association, political freedom and freedom of a choice. Then our electoral act guarantees that our elections are free and fair through strong legal stipulations and framework.

Looking at how democracy was curtailed and subverted in many countries we can ask ourselves this question; is democracy indeed under threat in South Africa? The answer is categorically, no. South Africans are still enjoying the fruit of democracy. We are still enjoying media freedom irrespective of how negative the media houses have been on the ANC and the ANC led government. In some countries this could have led to the change in constitution and a serious crack down on the media. That has not happened. We have seen civil societies going toe to toe with the government on issues they feel strongly about. But there has never been a time where the ANC or the ANC led government tried to subvert the rights of the civil society movement. We have seen countless times, the courts of law ruling against the government. Yes, there has been shouts here and there calling the courts anti-revolutionary, but that has never been a resolution of any of the ANC conference. The ANC has not flirted nor tempered with the constitution to subvert the principles of democracy. Yes, we can talk about the unfortunate incidents of Meqheleng, Marikana and other places, but we cannot accuse the ANC for the incompetency of the police. Therefore, the talks of democracy under threat are misplaced and electioneering noises rather than the truth. Throughout our 20 years history of democracy, there is no iota of evidence to show that the ANC tried to influence the environment outside the parameters and provisions of democracy and the constitution.

The second element with the definition is the dynamics of the competitions itself. Within the democratic system, competition is a reflection of political parties’ ability to rally the masses around the issues they feel strongly about. It is actually funny how people are talking about the ANC hegemony and its effect on democracy. Hegemony in a politics system can be legitimately or illegitimately gained. In an undemocratic environment it is gained through banning the opposition or changing the electoral system. In 1994, as a country we adopted the current electoral system which is based on party-list proportional representation. It was adopted to help opposition who in any normal circumstances would not even have made it to the ballot paper. Despite all the efforts that were made to level the playing fields, opposition parties have failed to assert their presence in South African politics. If there is anybody to be blamed for the mutation of democracy, it is the opposition parties. Since the advent of democracy we have seen not only the mushrooming of political parties but the death of the traditional opposition parties. We cannot blame the ANC for this death. Any success or failure of a political party is based on their ideological inclination and their ability to sell their policies to the masses. The issue of ideology only does not sell, but sound policies have the ability to draw the masses to you. The question is; have our opposition been able to develop policies that are superior to those of the ANC? The answer is no! What the opposition have been able to make is an intellectually sounding noise which has and is failing to draw the people to them. Opposition parties either don’t know how to play politics or they misunderstand their roles in a politics system. Opposition politics have scored many own goals and that have rendered them a laughing stock among the electorates.

It is therefore, disingenuous to blame the ANC for what opposition is calling “the death of democracy” or “an attack on democracy.” Opposition have failed to capitalize on the environment created and protected by the constitution to build a strong force which can compete within our political system. Secondly, opposition have failed to understand, define nor articulate their role within this competitive environment. They therefore, cannot blame the ANC when it uses the majority they have legitimately gained. It is safe to say that under the ANC led government democracy is safe. Celebrating 20 years of democracy is not a farce but the reality of a good story and a success by the African country. Among the good stories that we should be telling, it is the story of a thriving democracy.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
72 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Journalists in the firing line

Western media has abandoned the integrity that journalists once stood for. Western media is no longer based on truthful , accurate, honest and fair reporting.  Read more...

15 comments 432 views
Submitted by
Lisa MacDonald
Why women cheat

Males and females are wired differently. After all, didn’t we learn 20 plus years ago that men are from Mars and women are from Venus? Read more...

37 comments 6729 views
Let's talk about xenophobia

As a concern SA citizen, one day I sat down and thought of how we treating foreigners in our country. Read more...

16 comments 387 views
Submitted by
Arthur Harding
Crime is not going away

I hate to break it to you but no matter how many times we agree on the matter it’s not going to change a damn thing. Read more...

19 comments 462 views
Submitted by
Sarah Firmin
I want a pet hippopotamus

Just the idea of having a pet hippo fills me with emotions from my distant home. Read more...

14 comments 424 views
Submitted by
Warren Holman
Open letter to Mr Zuma Part two

Mr President, I have not received and answer regarding the first part of my letter..... maybe you don't read News 24, or your data bundle on your 3G card is used up. Read more...

6 comments 1172 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Pre-order the Xbox One

Get this all-in-one entertainment system with live TV, movies, social networking and gaming. Pre-order now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.