DA's Maimane Polarizes Democracy

2015-09-03 18:41

Today the Democratic Alliance, (DA), launched yet another plan as usual a set of attitude polarization points against the democratic settlement enshrined in the constitution.

The new plan is titled; “DA tables plan to defend our democracy by firewalling key institutions”.

In the plans the DA claims will defend democracy are in fact amendments to the hard won supreme laws of the land that are hailed liberal and democratic by the entire world. Legal scholars and public service administration experts globally have named South Africa’s Constitution one of the best in the world in protection of democracy, rights of minorities, separation of powers and protection of the values of democracy.

Mmusi Maimane in this plan starts with alleging that Judge Mokotedi Mpshe, who was acting head of NPA when the NPA decided not to prosecute President Jacob Zuma, is an ANC cadre. In a clear attack on the NPA's independence Maimane proceeds to prosecute and impugn Mphse and the ANC of abuse of power. This accusation is made whilst a court of law is busy with the case where the DA is seeking to have the dropping of the charges reviewed and reversed irrespective of very clear gross prosecutorial misconduct. In this instance the DA is applying its political pressure on the courts to decide the matter as the DA sees it politically. This is a classic form of political interference on the matter before court.

Maimane's investment into a vengeful former NPA staffer, now DA MP who has an axe to grind with her former bosses, she has forced him into a blind and hateful space. Her introduction into politics has is the Main reason the DA has become a lynch mob for the NPA. Matters of politics are viewed from the lenses of this former NPA staffer who is on the job to look at politics or parliament as her prosecution desk to get her former colleagues. In essence the DA has appointed itself a shadow NPA causing a constitutional crisis on the NPA's independence as politics is injected on its running by the DA.

The stakes are that low, the country's justice system is being managed through vengeance by a former employee of the NPA who now is a DA politician and parliament is being used to settle scores with Maimane as a tool. What the duo has been busy with is no longer oversight but outright political interference and pressure on how this constitutional body runs itself.

Maimane further tarnishes democracy by maligning democratic process of peaceful voting inside the legislatures where political issues are debated, democratic voting, a constitutional mechanism is deligitimized by the DA where in its plan it says; “Meanwhile the ANC used their majority in Parliament to absolve President Zuma of the theft of public funds at Nkandla” he writes.

This does not only malign a democratic method of voting on matters but further casts aspersions on the Office of the Public Protector, Advocate Thulisile Madonsela who found that; “there was no political corruption on the part of President Jacob Zuma on the upgrade in Nkandla”. Maimane instead seeks to make a finding of “theft” whereas no organ of the democratic state including constitutional organ ever found that Zuma had conducted “theft” in the matter.

On one hand Maimane demands the Public Protector be respected, on the other he himself ignores her findings that Zuma was not corrupt or unethical but civil servants slacked and violated laws.

In fact the state and government are pursuing legal claims to recoup the overcharges the contractors did. Maimane and the DA have not placed criminal charges against the contractors identified by all investigations as corrupt on Nkandla. Instead Maimane, a man of the cloth is solely focused on a Zuma Inquisition ala Spanish Inquisition. He has decided beyond reason and credible investigations that Zuma is personally guilty even ignoring what Mandonsela found.

Maimane’s plan of inserting the judiciary into operations of the intelligence community through the Office of the Inspector General of Intelligence will not only interfere with the architecture of separation of powers but will in fact course to challenge democratic architecture as the last course of rights defense are courts yet an officer of the court would be an actor should a retired judge be made Inspector. There is naked lack of constitutional law understanding on the part of Maimane. Unless resigned, a judge is a judge for life, retired or not. This matter was canvassed during Mandela administration wherein it was ruled a judge cannot be head of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) as such 'stare decisis'.

Another matter under court review is that of al Bashir and the persistent political noise Maimane is making on the matter only seeks polarize the judiciary and democratic systems as he is not giving courts freedom to review the case without the DA political demands. This also is political interference by a political party.

As for the so-called cadre deployment, the DA speaks in forked tongue as it has deployed most its cadres in key positions in government where it rules. At least three DA MPs from parliament resigned to pursue cadre deployment jobs within government.

Maimane’s flawed processes do not stop there but he continues in his ill advised plan to dismantle democracy and make a mockery of why people vote for the party of choice to rule on their behalf. We ink our fingers for a purpose.

The so called safeguards Maimane proposes do not aim to strengthen democracy but dismantle it to the bone by getting unelected people perform political functions the constitution and people have bestowed to their representatives.

Maimane aims to remove the poor and indignant from power by installing the elite to make decisions on JSC and the likes. That is not making democracy better but giving it to the elite in our country to rule over the ‘stupid people who know nothing’ as liberal elites would say. It is the same demand Helen Suzman made that for blacks to vote they must first have a particular level of education.

The plan to water down the most admired constitution and the periodic attack on it by the DA with its slew of constitutional changes it often suggests must not go unchallenged.

Interfering with the constitution weakens it. The DA must stop trying to subvert the will of the people through systematic erosion of the constitution and the powers it bestows on all organs.

Indeed, as Maimane alludes, "this democracy was hard won", unfortunately not by him as such he has no real idea what that he says means.

As the BBC's HardTalk host Ms Zeinab Badawi pointed out to Maimane, "You keep making these allegations but are repeatedly proven untrue by credible bodies".

Bo Mbindwane twitter: @mbindwane

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