The ANC put newly-elected speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula in a difficult position and nullified an essential divide between the executive and legislature, writes Parliamentary reporter Jan Gerber.
Ultimately, the events that unfolded in the National Assembly on Thursday when the ANC flexed its majority muscle to elect Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula as Speaker illustrate how the ANC sees Parliament as subservient to Luthuli House. Not that we needed another reminder.
The whole idea of the three branches of the state, the principle of the separation of powers, is that these branches – the judiciary, executive and legislature – can keep each other in check. One can see them as three pillars upholding democracy. When one of these pillars shows cracks, democracy becomes unstable.