AfriForum condemns Constitution 'plans'

2012-03-04 19:42

Johannesburg - AfriForum on Sunday condemned the ANC for reportedly considering changes to the Constitution.

"The ANC is a dishonest party, apparently prepared to break agreements reached during the erstwhile constitutional negotiations, without batting an eyelid," it said in a statement.

It appeared as if the ANC regarded compromises made by the party during the constitutional negotiations to be mere temporary concessions that had to be made in order to obtain political power, said spokesperson Kallie Kriel.

He said the ANC had misled other participants in the negotiation process by pretending that they wanted to reach a final agreement to the benefit of all in the country.

"The ANC's breaking of negotiated agreements will lay the foundation for renewed polarisation in the country," Kriel said.

City Press reported the ANC was considering dramatic changes to the Constitution, which included doing away with the "sunset clauses", and adjusting the powers of the Reserve Bank and provinces.

Draft policy documents were set to be distributed to the party's branches on Monday in preparation for the ANC's policy conference in June, the newspaper reported.

Economic transformation

In the documents, the ANC said the 1996 Constitution was appropriate for a "political transition", but had proven inadequate for social and economic transformation.

Other topics discussed included:

-- The public impression that the party was seen from the outside as a "neo-patrimonial political machine to distribute power and resources among ourselves".

-- The "crisis of credibility" the party faced in terms of its capacity to deliver social and economic change

-- The principle of ubuntu being introduced into the school curriculum

-- HIV/Aids being made a notifiable disease

-- The introduction of compulsory community service for all university graduates

-- The continued implementation of a media appeals tribunal

-- Introducing a BEE code for the print media sector

The ANC said constitutions were "living documents and reflect the stage of development of a given society", reported the City Press.

The party also questioned whether it could still refer to itself as a liberation movement versus it becoming a political party.

  • Johnathon - 2012-03-04 19:58

    Does the ANC have any right to change the Constitution. Did it receive a 2/3 majority in the last election. I was of the opinion that it did not. I would be grateful if one of the readers could comment on this issue.

      Max - 2012-03-04 20:38

      And all this effort just to protect the majority against the minority, how pathetic. If this is not a clear indication of their admittance of inferiority then what is?

      Graham - 2012-03-05 02:03

      This plan is clearly aiming to steal some of malema's support for Zuma ahead of the December show down. It is a political manoeuvre..

      deabreu - 2012-03-05 07:30

      I watched "Schindler's List" this weekend for the first time (released 1993). It was an incredible eye opener about Nazi Germany and how the Jewish people were treated, through their perspective and the perspective of one German man. Although Nazi Germany is very different from South Africa, the similarities are there because I as a white man am being treated like a chess games' pawn in a racist game by the ANC to get votes, I wear the star of David, mine being my skin colour. How far is the ANC willing to go? Will they reach the same level as the Nazis? That is my question, I cannot see into the future but I can read up on the PAST and COMPARE. It all start with small things and then all the citizens gets oppressed more and more, this government wants total control and obedience from everyone. If even one person is discriminated against, the entire nation is in danger of oppression.

      Harry - 2012-03-05 08:28

      They need 75% of the vote to amend the constitution. The constitution cannot be amended by the ANC even if they get smaller parties behind them. Our constitution need both the DA and the ANC to agreed to the amendments. I am not worried about this issue. The ANC can produce documents and discussion papers all they want. It is just a waste of time. This is just a red herring to attract readers now that Juju seems to be on his way out. Cannot blame them as Juju was really good for the news companies.

      Spyker - 2012-03-05 10:41

      Harry, Your "confidence" is misguided, in fact delusional.., The ANC represents near 2/3rds of SAcans. If the (near) 2/3rds do not want the constitution of their country, then we have one of the most unique situations in the world - viz nowhere in the world do you have a situation where the vast majority of the people of a country do not want its constitution. The alternatives are infinite - consider the following (hypothetically at this stage): - The ANC calls a referendum, they get 51% support for a change in the constitution and they 'just do it'. What will you and I do..? There will be sanctions as eg in Zim, but China will ignore it.., perhaps just what the ANC really wants. - The ANC does it by stealth. There are a plethora of secondary laws thay can change. They "invade" the courts and the Constitutional Court simply becomes a puppet of the regime (as in Nazi Germany). Life in SA will become unbearable for any rational citizen - they will leave, commit suicide, be thrown in jail, etc, etc. Eventually the ANC will get the required 3/4e. - The ANC functionally nullifies the DA, Eg by effectively removing the 'powers of the provinces'. The DA's status is largely a product of their performance in the Western Cape. The ANC have (already) got the power to make the WC impossible to govern. We simply cannot grasp what we are dealing with. Its time to admit that the '92-'94 negotiations were a farce. We need a comprehensive attack strategy.

      Harry - 2012-03-05 16:07

      @spyker_may You call me delusional yet your response is full with conspiracy theory crap. Please deal with the facts and not sensational statements.

  • Jeeves - 2012-03-04 20:00

    I am usually an extremely optimistic person, giving everyone the benefit of the doubt. In this case however, I must admit that I am somewhat nervous. I want to believe that there are high level ANC representatives who actually want things to go better in SA but when a party with chronic corruption in its ranks starts fiddling with the Constitution... Just a little bit scary.

  • Ben - 2012-03-04 20:01

    I thought they needed a two-thirds majority.

      TheJaydedKing - 2012-03-05 07:54

      I think they already have it.

  • Themba Mbuyisa - 2012-03-04 20:04

    OMG! They're dumber than we thought.

      kgomotso.radise - 2012-03-04 20:18

      If this is their way of protecting their cadre then I foresee nationalization as a policy soon than expected and how can we trust them?

      lhfick - 2012-03-04 21:29

      The expelling of melema just a diversion and so might this be one too! The media must be able to report on corruption, because if that goes we will never see light again, but just darkness!

  • Renier - 2012-03-04 20:07

    There "goes" our World Renowned Constitution!

  • Dave Prinsloo - 2012-03-04 20:11

    being a politician should be a notifiable disease Politicians should also do compulsory cummunity service before they stuff their pockets

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-03-04 21:42

      They should also be required to have a certain IQ (ie. >100 at least) to be able to serve office.

      Juan - 2012-03-05 01:15

      Well that's their jobs, to serve the South African community.

  • Adam - 2012-03-04 20:17

    Seems to me they are once again making promises to the stupid people that vote for them, that they cannot keep. Where are the houses they promised? Where are the schools and hospitals?? Where are the Middle class blacks??? WHERE IS ALL THE MONEY ????? They know that they are on their way out,and will NEVER get two thirds majority. The anc is a party on its way out..good riddance to bad rubbish. Peace prize...should be given back by mandella. I wont use upper-case on his name again.

  • Nkosinathi - 2012-03-04 20:18

    The constitution was always be ammended. The important thing is why, how and for what purpose. I believe it is better for the process to play out in parliament than on the streets where Malema had taken it. The call for nationalisation and appropriation of land calls for a change inn the constitution. This is the clarion call of Malema and like minded people in the ANC and this call resonates very much with the poor who happen to be a significant voting block. The constitution is going to be amended whether certain sections of the populace like it or not. The important thing is for the process to be open to public scrutiny and approval. opposition parties have to be given full participation as the constitution is for the country, not the ANC, COPE, DA, business etc. If the ANC is stymied in parly and the ConCourt, I can foresee them calling for a constitutional referrendum, then the poor and disenfranchised will reaaly get to have their say. For in as much as this is a democracy, shouldn't the people now get a chance to say what they want in the constitution? Is that not the foundation of democracy? The majority calling the shots. The first constitution was obviously a compromise to end conflict. Its now time to get a constitution thats in tandem with our current economic and political fundamentals.

      Georg - 2012-03-04 20:27

      Nkosinati "shouldn't the people now get a chance to say what they want in the constitution?" ----- And if they want the death sentence back - something they often take into their own hands - will that be OK? Just asking.

      Nkosinathi - 2012-03-04 20:38

      Should we all dance to the tune played by a few politicians in parliament? Are they demigods? Indications are already strong that if its left to the politicians we all lose. Where are the scorpions? Soon the media won't be able to report on corruption. If these important decisions had been put to a referrendum would the ANC have disbanded the scorpions so easily? If the people want the death sentence and democratically vote for it, whats wrong with that? Are we saying that a few so called experts are too decide our destiny? Who is to say these self-important people do not have ulterior motives? Are they angels descended from heaven? The changes are definitely coming. The important thing here is for any ammendments to be open to public scrutiny and approval.

      Nkosinathi - 2012-03-04 20:47

      The argument about a 2/3 majority is a valid and good one. What happens if the ANC goes into the next election using constitutional impediments as an excuse for their corruption and lack of delivery? To put it simply, "you don't have land because the constitution and Mulder say it belongs to the white people". "You are poor because the constitution stops us giving you wealth" etc. Coming from that rally, how many votes do you think the ANC will get? I say tackle the issue now with cool heads than let the ANC use the constitution as an election gimmick. Other liberation parties have done this when they had their backs to the wall.

      Nkosinathi - 2012-03-04 21:04

      @Frank, this is Africa. How many times have we political and legal due process being thrown out of the window? Do you honestly believe that SA with its high levels of poverty, unemployment etc is going to go a different route? The ANC is reacting to the Juju phenomenon. Juju has already taken nationalisation, appropriation of land without payment to rallies and we all saw the response the people gave him. The ANC is in the business of winning votes. Do you think they will hesitate to campaign along the same lines if they can smell the votes? I am afraid you are applying the same Western logic that was applied in the Mbeki-Zuma showdown. If a politicain in Europe were to be accused of rape, corruption etc, their career would be history overnight. Where's Zuma now? THIS IS AFRICA. KEEP THAT IN MIND!

      Nkosinathi - 2012-03-04 21:17


      theandystokes - 2012-03-04 21:36

      @Nkosinathi - As much as I hate to admit it, your comments are quite correct, as soon as they realise the votes dwindeling away, all this will be thrown to the poor to try get them back. Unfortunalty african leaders repeatedly fail to plan for the future, instant gratification wins the hearts of the poor for a short time - after everything has been taken, distributed and destroyed they will be far worse off than before. For some reason every african leader thinks if they go down the same path then somehow they will find a different result and as histroy has proved time and time again, this can't happen. Take from the wealthy and give to the poor means taking the means to wealth in most cases. Every country needs the rich because to become rich (If done honestly) you would have to have a good idea which creates employment. Imagine taking someone like Ackerman away before he had a chance to build up his huge empire, how many jobs would never have been created?

      Juan - 2012-03-05 01:21

      @Nkosinathi this is anything-goes Africa. I keep on forgetting that. Thanks for the "heads up" buddy. Now I will keep my bags packed, I know where we are headed.

  • Lacrimose - 2012-03-04 20:18

    From our friends @ Wikipedia : an amendment the Constitution can only be passed if at least two-thirds of the members of the National Assembly (that is, at least 267 of the 400 members) vote in favour of it. If the amendment affects provincial powers or boundaries, or if it amends the Bill of Rights, at least six of the nine provinces in the National Council of Provinces must also vote for it. To amend section 1 of the Constitution, which establishes the existence of South Africa as a sovereign, democratic state, and lays out the country's founding values, would require the support of three-quarters of the members of the National Assembly. Should we worry? Of course! Democracies are only successful if all citizens are vigilant. But there's probably no need to panic - just yet :)

  • Geronimo - 2012-03-04 20:22

    A 2/3rds majority is required to amend the Constitution. After the heights of 1999 I cannot see the ANC ever achieving such a majority again. The elected governing party follow the Constitution, not the other way around. Indeed what this country really needs is a strong black-supported opposition to provide a alternative government and keep the governing party in check (in much the same way the Democrats and Republicans and Conservatives and Labour do in the US and UK respectively). Re "economic freedom", in every country I have visited across the world (I have visited many) there are many, many poor people and a small number of extremely wealthy people. The ANC are confused if they believe this is a solely South African circumstance. "Economic freedom" has already been achieved as far as I am aware. No longer are certain citizens deprived of opportunity. Every citizen of this country is able to go to school, work hard and hopefully make something of himself or herself. All it takes is a little bit of hard work and less of a "this world owes me something" attitude.

      Lacrimose - 2012-03-04 20:37

      Hear Hear! Meanwhile all citizens need to keep the govt in check. Not by burning stuff but by exercising their rights bestowed on them by the Constitution. One way is the vote. There's legal recourse, the media and if you can organise yourselves to riot you can certainly organise yourselves to take the evil-doers to court - speak up. As for this mythical economic freedom, well it seems R9million a year is the benchmark :p We need less of this "all or nothing" attitude and a more excellence and pride in everything we do and stand for. In *all* spheres of life, public and private. We have a world-class constitution. It takes world-class people to ensure it survives.

      Thabo Mabotsa - 2012-03-04 21:00

      Geronimo (u are a coward for commenting using a fake name ) u have a valid point , but realise this whether you like it or nor there is no strong opposition, the ANC competes with its self, don't fool yourself thinking the ANc won't get a two thirds again ,never under estimate the potential of this movement(note I did not say political party !) I agree with you every citizen is able to make something of him or herself but remember something, white people had over 300 years of a head start , its time now to give those less fortunate a opportunity and environment to become the best the can be ,just as the national party government did , (let's equal the playing field a bit)

      Geronimo - 2012-03-04 21:20

      @ Thabo. The fact that there is no strong opposition now does not mean that there won't be one at some stage in the future. The ANC is a rough shod marriage of convenience with labour and the relatively minor Communist Party and you would be naive to consider this union lasting forever. For now the average South African voter votes with a life debt of gratitude to the ANC but there will come a time in the future with a younger generation when a credible break away party emerges.

      Leon - 2012-03-05 07:15

      @Thabo. I disagree with the 300 year head start. I understood it was agreed to be 1913 (81 years). But i think your talking about more than land owenership and institutionalised discrimination, so lets take into account the voortrekkers only moved north in the 1830's. still not 300 years. please dont pull numbers out of a hat without an explanation.

  • Tony - 2012-03-04 20:35

    what did the 75% of the whites that voted YES in the reforedum expect from a terrorist organisation that they would keep their word . I just hope that there is enough voters out there that want this country and it's people to be on par with the best in the world with ,security,health and education with good will in our hearts. we must stop this corruption in every sphere of or society because it's plain knowledge that this goverment has not got the right leaders to lead such a versitily,dynamic and young country.They have to inforce discepelin in schools the age groups must be set ,the law must have a detering sentencing very hash.our borders must be properly propected if a public servant if caught been dishonest they must be procecuted and not with full pay and a golden handshake.voters this is a sign that the anc is very restless and they will do anything to get the votes of the carefree young voters.this thing of them not achiving the 2/3 majority means nothing because the have the majority in parliment.the constituion means nothing if you or your family are hungry and cold, it's only paper.

      Tony - 2012-03-04 21:07

      You basically lack the ability to debate critical political issue in a matured manner. If you continue to critise in the ruling Party in derogatory fashion; there is simply no way that you can pursued intelligent to sway the ANC in the correct. You conveniently forget that you a member of the notorius Apartheid Gang which killed and terrorized black family in every corner where you found. You conveniently forget how you rape and underpaid our mothers whilst the laboured for you. So please Tony approach you debates with a sense of maturity that it deserves. We do not have a short memory of the evil deed which you instituted with impunity of the a period of almost 80 years.

      wehan.victor - 2012-03-04 23:55

      @ 2nd Tony, You seem to lack the basic ability to put your thoughts into words in the correct fashion.

  • Charles - 2012-03-04 20:36

    seems like mischief making with a youth league stench to it. Discrediting the leadership of the ANC is entry level reactionary tactic. Using the media to create discord and roping in Afriforum almost sounds like inteligent politicking. Long shot but who knows?

  • Atholl - 2012-03-04 20:37

    The 1996 Constitution was drafted and signed by people who had trust, credibility and respect. The next time the Constitution is changed it will have to be done by people with equal or better trust and credibility and respect. .... which is never.. because :: .... the Constitution (Section 38) has a self-protecting mechanism to lawfully remove (including impeachment) anyone who infringes or threatens a right in the Bill of Rights.

  • Piet - 2012-03-04 20:37

    This has all to do with inflation on luxury german cars!

  • lhfick - 2012-03-04 20:40

    Now you know why they wanted to silence the press and other media! If this is true and they succeed we have a problem. It is like every where they(those involved here)walk nothing grows again!

  • Mehluli - 2012-03-04 20:44

    compromised constitution should be reviewed to reflect the will of the majority not minority groups.

      Brett Bruce - 2012-03-04 20:53

      The constitution should be amended to reflect the will of the most productive and law abiding group of people in the country.

      Rudi - 2012-03-04 21:11

      I thought we have done away with racism and apartheid, and South Africa is for everyone in it, not just the black people living here. With our attitude this country will never be a great country it will just become worse.

      Alex - 2012-03-04 23:16

      Mehluli, do you understand what the purpose of the Constitution is? Have you ever even read the preamble? The government is put into power by receiving the majority of votes in an election, the government in power reflects the will of the majority. The government is then required to act in the interests of ALL citizens, not just the majority. This is known as Democracy The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It is ENTRENCHED. it establishes the structures of the country and the rights of ALL it's citizens. Every person, organization, government and even the president are all answerable to the constitution. The Constitution PROTECTS citizens from abuse of State power and injustice. It ensures that ALL are equal despite their differences.

  • Blessed Ndlovu Maratuza - 2012-03-04 21:59

    What is Afriforum afraid of? There's nothing wrong in revisiting the constitution. As long as this is done with the people of South Africa in mind..

      lhfick - 2012-03-04 23:02

      Then you tell me why many things that the people requested to be changed did not change. Let me give you one example. Before prisoners where thought skills while doing time. Some were used to clean and maintain government property, like courts and gardens of these places. Now all they do is lay in bed the whole day. If I had to go to jail I would at least want a trade, say fitting and turning or welding behind my name so that one can get work or start your own thing and not fall back into crime. The inmates want this but the constitution prohibits this.

  • phathuchicos - 2012-03-05 00:01

    Like I said where there is smoke there's our Afriforum that lives on parallel worl, oops they forgot to clear the mess they created at the University of Pretoria's SRC elections...

  • phathuchicos - 2012-03-05 00:06

    I think constitution should adapt to the changing world like in other countries. For example egypt, tunisia, zambia, kenya etc...just because its a blackman implementing it doesn't mean heaven and earth has to come crashing...Australia and Newzealand are freely available for people who can't rest on their birth country.

      TheJaydedKing - 2012-03-05 07:56

      you are correct, a constitution needs to be reflective of the times but it should not be to the detriment of the country. much of what is being discussed has already been carried out in zimbabwe and you can happily see how that has turned out.

  • Grant - 2012-03-05 06:11

    If the electorate knew back in 1992 what they know now they wouldn't have given De Klerk a mandate. The problem the ANC has is that they have failed to deliver on their promises to the poor who make up most of the voters. I doubt if the ANC will ever deliver on nationalisation or land seisures but they can stall things and win votes. Heres a theory of mine : Since Malema got suspended the Rand has improved. Any serious moves to change the constitution will cause a loss of confidence by investors and the Rand will fall.

  • frank.hartry - 2012-03-05 07:29

    This whole country and the changing if this constitution is centred around protecting from the possibility of the hundreds of corruption charges being reinstated against this man Zuma. Notice that there was little or no talk of changing the constitition during the terms of office of Mandela and Mbeki. This man Zuma is very very frightened that he will possibly join his pal Selebi in jail. This is why a second term is essential to him. He was forced in good time by the pending finding of the constitutional court to open up an inquiry into the arms deal, even though he was undoubtedly involved. By the time the inquiry is finalised, the info cover up bill and constitutional amendments that the TRUE findings will not be revealed to the public. The ANC is possibly the most cunning devious and corrupt organisation in Africa, indeed the world and will stop at nothing to avoid revealing its disgraceful deception.

  • Johan - 2012-03-05 08:04

    The change in the constution is but the first step towards a one political party state which will lead to a dictatorship We are being reeled in!

  • duncan.gill1 - 2012-03-05 21:30

    Any political party will,when facing its own failures,find reasons to enhance itself in the public eye.The A.N.C. has now fallen into a trap of its own making,but this doesn't change the fact that it needs to find ways to keep it in power.I see the rising of the youth a real challenge for what stability this country has enjoyed for the past 17 years..we all know agreements can be broken and normally are.The minority groups in this country will have to raise to the challenge even though so much is inevitable that is to come,the only question is will this country survive as it now stands..I doubt it! Much political unease is to follow,perhaps the only hope is that the majority of people are sensible and common sense will prevail.Its not strange that the A.N.C.blames the current constitution for its difficulties,it desperately needs a scapegoat in order to remain relevant!

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