Guest Column

Ronald Lamola | Minority cannot govern the majority through anarchy

2020-02-20 13:22
Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola during Wednesday's SONA debate. (Supplied)

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola during Wednesday's SONA debate. (Supplied)

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We are continuing to avail resources for law enforcement agencies to pursue the perpetrators and beneficiaries of corruption and state capture, writes Ronald Lamola

The State of the Nation Address tabled provides the basis for the nature of reforms required to propel us towards that lofty ideal of a national democratic society.

The SONA also gives full effect to the aspirations of South Africans who have endorsed the ANC and its manifesto during the 2019 elections.

In these elections, South Africans gave the African National Congress an undisputable mandate to lead this great nation into a new era.

At this moment in history, our situation as a nation can be likened to China's situation in the 1960s.

When Deng Xiapong took over, China had to take pragmatic steps and open up the economy, deal decisively with corruption, allow for foreign direct investment in the economy and open up for equity in some of the state-owned entities.

South Africa finds itself at a point where hard political choices in state-owned enterprises and state agencies have to be made.

In making those choices, the demands of the populists will not be met.

As a matter of a historical record, we are taught that whenever reforms are introduced and decisions are made, to press the re-set button of any nation, demagogues, and opportunists will always seek to seize the opportunity to mislead the masses.

They will offer instant solutions which are far from reality.

They do this by apportioning blame on the reformist, by making unguided and misinformed pronouncements on matters of governance in general and the economy in particular.

They do so to project the reformist leadership as sell-outs to the revolution.

In our country, they even have no shame in vulgarising and distorting historical documents and programmes of the ANC like the Freedom Charter, which were set by our forbears.

They even appropriate to themselves resolutions of the ANC and present them as novelty. Some of these resolutions paraded today as novelty, are the intellectual products of the ANCYL.

For example, the idea of a sovereign wealth fund was punted in the ANC-led government's New Growth Path in 2010.

Today the President is said to have stolen this idea, how can you steal your own idea?

It is clear that we are the reformers that this great nation has been waiting for.

Rest assured that we will be robust in implementing the structural reforms required to restore economic prosperity, the rule of law and social cohesion.

The rule of law, equality before the law and the independence of our judiciary are sacrosanct principles of our constitutional democracy.

No one can be spared regardless of their race, class, gender or political affiliation.

Land Reform is also a constitutional imperative.

As a governing party, we have consistently maintained that we will not be haphazard in the manner in which we address this original sin.

As part of our efforts to ensure that there is land justice, we will finalise a bill that will consolidate a land court that operates in a manner that speedily resolves land disputes including expanding the services of legal aid SA to help in the fight against evictions in the farms.

We witnessed first-hand what has correctly been described as a misguided delusion of grandeur ... and this tendency ... as fascists.

We saw what EFF members and ultimately voters are subjected to.

Honourable Malema stood here and held a spectacular monologue within full view of South Africans.

In his monologue, he seems to think he is in charge and that the world revolves around him.

This is just a figment of his imagination in the fantasy of his militarised world. You cannot be in charge in a democracy, the people are in charge.

It is a mystery how his party members allow themselves to be treated like minions and pawns.

The image of him barking commands to his members especially his deputy president captures the individualism.

The refrain, "sit down DP, I have it under control" best attests to the fact that the political disease of MEGALOMANIA does not care about the colour of suit or overalls a pseudo-revolutionary is wearing.

It is clear that in the corridors of the EFF, it is Malema's way or the highway.

For evidence on this, we can simply look at Mpho Ramakatsa, Andile Mngxitama, Litchfield Tshabalala and the latest being advocate Dali Mpofu, Honourable Godrich Gardee, Honourable Hlengiwe Mkhaliphi, Honourable Leigh-Ann Mathys - I don’t want to predict who might be next but all signs are there.

One does not have to be a student of Lenin to agree with his characterisation of what he termed infantile disorder.

He argues that it is a disorder which thrives in an atmosphere where society is plunged into a propagandist's atmosphere, wherein pseudo revolutionaries thrive on disunity, individualism and alternate moods of exaltation.

The minority cannot govern the majority through anarchy - our constitutional democracy allows the minority to contribute through persuasion and superior logic.

The tendency of holding the majority at ransom through disorderly efforts is the greatest exhibition of autocratic tendencies which thrive in the party.

Those who make the loudest noise must never be allowed to drown the voice of reason.

Such kind of minority autocratic tendencies have led in many countries to a reign of terror, political disappearances, and extrajudicial killings.

As a governing party, we concede that implementation has, at times, been a challenge, and for this reason, the President's SONA has made the building of the capacity within the state an urgent priority to speed up service delivery.

It is for this reason that we have introduced the district development model at a local government level to ensure that service delivery is localised and becomes a lived reality for our people.

Law enforcement is also not spared.

There have been calls on the NPA to prosecute those who looted resources of the country.

In this regard, President Ramaphosa has committed government to the rule of law and a reformed and modernised criminal justice system.

This is demonstrated by the various commitments he has fulfilled in helping with the rebuilding of the NPA.

Under his watch, the following reforms have been implemented: firstly, the NPA has been given an additional R150 million for the current financial year to fill vacancies and build an investigative directorate for the first time in nearly five years.

Secondly, a Special Tribunal has been operationalised as of the first of October 2019.

I can confirm that the Special Tribunal has already heard a few cases.

The cases that are due for adjudication amount to R1.7 billion.

We are continuing to avail resources for law enforcement agencies to pursue the perpetrators and beneficiaries of corruption and state capture.

The Zondo commission makes it plain that the project of state capture was a sophisticated and well-orchestrated project designed to enrich a select few at the altar of the national democratic society.

The President will, at the appropriate time, release the report on the commission of inquiry into the PIC.

Perpetrators of various crimes are convicted every day in our courts.

There are still challenges we need to address as identified by SONA and civil society.

I am convinced that, working together with civil society, we will defeat gender-based violence and violence against children. 

Through sexual offence courts we now have made it is easier for gender-based violence to be expedited through the judicial system in a manner that reduces secondary victimisation.

The criminal justice cluster will continue to create a stable environment for economic activities, tourists' safety and dealing decisively with economic sabotage crimes through the NPA and the SAPS.

The opposition fails to digest the obvious fact that the African National Congress is the only organisation which has the capacity to deal with the past, contend with the present and build the future of this great nation.

When some among us create fictitious enemies, we in the ANC know who the real enemies of our revolution are:

- Unemployment and Inequality which affect millions of Women and Youth

- Low Economic Growth

- Lack of market access for small to medium enterprises

- The high number of criminals who wreak havoc in our communities through drug networks, money laundering schemes and rampant criminality

- Those who believe they are entitled to women's bodies and take advantage of minors and abuse them.

- Editor's note: this is an edited version of the speech by Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola on Wednesday during the SONA debate in Parliament

Read more on:    anc  |  eff  |  ronald lamola  |  julius malema  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  parliament  |  sona  |  leadership  |  politics
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