PLEASE NOTE:

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

 
Mark Whelan
 
Comments: 4
Article views: 1170
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all Mark Whelan's badges.
 

Was Mangosuthu Buthelezi Right?

05 May 2014, 18:30

Years ago, long before the so-called Born Frees, now eligible to vote in South Africa's fifth democratic elections, former chief minister of Kwa-Zulu, Inkhosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi had rejected repeated calls by successive prime ministers to accept apartheid-styled home rule, much like the former homelands Transkei and Ciskei, amongst others did, while Nelson Mandela languished on Robben Island and Steve Biko was murdered by the apartheid state's security police.

Today, the ageing leader of the near-defunct Inkatha Freedom Party would appear to be a pale shadow of his former self. But, to me, he is still a very wise man, say what you will.

But in the violent years leading up to CODESA and South Africa's first democratic elections, Mangosuthu Buthelezi advocated for a federal dispensation which essentially devolves power, cultural, economic, municipal and political, from the ground up, and not the other way around. In light of the violence mainly between factions of the Inkhatha movement and that of Harry Gwala's factions of the then-banned ANC, there were widespread and understandable fears that Buthelezi's motives for a Federal South Africa were devious and a means to entrenching his Zulu hierarchy within the borders of KwaZulu-Natal.

And so, at the conclusion of CODESA, led by the ANC's deputy president, Cyril Rhamaposa and the National Party's Roelf Meyer, a centralised form of government was agreed to. Buthulezi and the IFP were not in agreement, entering into a very uncomfortable alliance with the right-wing sectors of the white minority political movements, including the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging.

In the interests of a peaceful transition to democracy, specifically through the one-man one-vote system, Nelson Mandela persuaded Buthelezi and his party to participate at the eleventh hour.

Twenty years on, rampant corruption, incompetence at most levels of government and widespread unaccountability towards the very people that voted for the ANC, leads me to ask the question once more, would federalism not have been a better and more pragmatic option for a country as large as South Africa?

For various historical and even cultural reasons, various models of federal government have been tried and tested, and while it certainly is experiencing abuse, these models are working. The United States of America under Barack Obama is probably the best example today. As a Democrat-elected president, Obama's movements are continuously kept in check. That his predecessor, Republican George W Bush was able to persuade an ignorant Congress and Senate to wage war against the Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein has nothing to do with the workings of federalism.

Most states today have pressurized their legislatures into affording equal human rights towards minorities, from African-Americans to today's gay and lesbian communities. And while Bush's Texas state still uses the death penalty, however ineffective it has been proved to be, most other states have abolished it. Hollywood movie star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, can even be credited for presiding over the most progressive environmental laws in a highly polluted Californian state.

In the aftermath of the second World War and the defeat of Hitler and National Socialism, then-West Germany evolved into a fully functioning federal state which now boasts one of the world's strongest economies. Cultural and religious rights are fully protected, even neo-Nazi's, however dangerous, are allowed to promote their evil cause. Germany's environmental laws stand head and shoulders above most other nations in the world today.

Australia, too, is both a young and federal nation, progressing and evolving culturally and economically. Federalism, like centralised power and even communism, has its faults, but the balance of power always seems to tilt in favour of the nations' diverse populations where politicians are not able to abuse power to the degree that Jacob Zuma and his ANC are doing today in South Africa, and neighbour, Robert Mugabe has already done.

Nigeria's federal model arose out of colonialism and not through the people, by the people and for the people, so it is easy to understand why there is so much ethnic and religious tensions there at the moment.

It is only now that the system of constituency-based elections is being discussed amongst politicians in South Africa, but, sadly, the day that the electorate can fully and powerfully hold their politicians accountable for their actions is still far off.

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.

 

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
4 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Rinuz
The king of Nkandla: Farewell to ...

Silence hangs in the empty corridors of the presidential palace. Not a stir or a sound. The great hall littered with documents strewn all over the stained white marble floor. The gold plated throne left vacant. Read more...

0 comments 8137 views
Submitted by
Mlondi Mdluli
Zuma recalled but there's still a...

It is without a doubt that Wednesday was one of the most intense days that many South Africans ever witnessed.  Read more...

0 comments 377 views
Submitted by
Nirshan Harryparshad
My enemy’s enemy is my friend

The departure of JZ is classic politics. That’s it. No two things can be more powerful at uniting a country (or political party) than sports and a change of leadership. Read more...

0 comments 623 views
Submitted by
Mdy Chauke
Now let's focus on the future

While the nation is at peace with Zuma's resignation, we need to focus on the future. Read more...

0 comments 174 views
Submitted by
Wouter de Vos
Jacob Zuma: the end of an error

Come hell or high water, Jacob Zuma would by close of business on Thursday, February 15 no longer be the head of state. Be it through resignation, or a MONC, his time was up. Read more...

0 comments 1726 views
Submitted by
Lesego Setou
Zuma's recall, the illusion of vi...

As we welcome the removal of Jacob Zuma, I would like everyone to do introspection. If the spotlight was to shine on you, how would you look? Read more...

0 comments 4455 views
 

services

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2018 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.