Is the DA dying?

Has the DA lost touch of the grassroots or have they ever understood it? One can see that their voices are now divided and in-fighting is leaving them no longer a strong opposition. The EFF, is very close behind them awaiting their position. So whilst they sleep walk through the wilderness as a lost voice, other parties are aspiring to take their place. Organisations like IVOTESA are being warmly welcomed as the hope and integrity of the common South African – not just minorities.

Does the DA actually have a chance? One after another the leadership are dropping like flies. Have they come to the end of their journey? There is no longer a Zuma to blame or the pointing of incompetency, for they themselves have shown to be equally inadequate.

The DA was referred, during the leadership of Musi, to be a White party… and indeed it has shown its true colours. Once social reform at its herald cry to now LBGTI rights and minority issues. The people don’t have water, electricity, education and on it goes, but it’s new leader has decided that they would pursue lobbying for the minority issues – ignoring the plight of the many. Is it because they no longer are able to see or reach those in townships? Or could it be true that they are a White party?

Has the DA lost touch of the grassroots or have they ever understood it? One can see that their voices are now divided and in-fighting is leaving them no longer a strong opposition. The EFF, is very close behind them awaiting their position. So whilst they sleep walk through the wilderness as a lost voice, other parties are aspiring to take their place. Organisations like IVOTESA are being warmly welcomed as the hope and integrity of the common South African – not just minorities.

So are we waiting for the gravediggers to collect the DA or can we not watch the spiraling of the vultures encircle its carcass? The DA is dying and a few words of obituary and a moment of silence would be required for they did fight a good fight.

Service Delivery Protest -locals set town ablaze.

As the country pauses to remember the landmark election in 1994 yet another reminder remains that many lives are yet to change.

Schools, foreign-owned tuck shops, a clinic and a shopping mall have been forced to close in Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg,  due to a service delivery protest. Residents of the township blocked the Golden Highway with burning tyres and rocks on Monday morning, demanding that their ward councillor step down.

Protesters accuse ward 4 councillor Simon Motha of failing to deliver houses, tarred roads and water.

In addition to those grievances, Gogo Hilda Ngubane had pinned much hope on the vote that brought her freedom.

Her material conditions have not improved much in over two decades.

“Let them celebrate there on TV those who attained freedom let them celebrate. We who have not benefited from freedom will sit here,” says Ngubane.

Neither Gogo Hilda nor the Orange Farm community are willing to abandon the fight.

On the eve of freedom day residents say there is little to celebrate.

They have vowed to continue their protest action as the country marks 22 years of democracy.

 

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source:(picture)https://www.enca.com/south-africa/protesters-shutdown-orangefarm(2)http://www.sabc.co.za/news/a/62cf8b004c8bdde9918d972e33d6c236/-?

Politics in South Africa today is devoid of political content.

democracyDriving from the international airport, I was struck by the sheer wretchedness of Cape Flats: the series of black townships, comprising mostly shacks with corrugated steel roofs, that stretch from the highway almost to the horizon. Few people — tourists or locals — want to talk about the Cape Flats. But there is no better starting point for a discussion of the state of contemporary South Africa.

I was shocked by the degree to which the predominant emotions, 21 years after the end of apartheid, are not of hope and expectation, but of fear and despair.

“It’s not rosy,” a leader of the United Front opposition political movement in the eastern Cape city of East London told me, “but it’s not yet totally bleak.” That was about the most optimistic view I heard.

For much of the black population, fear and despair arise out of the sense that while South Africa became a democratic nation after apartheid, in many ways very little has changed.

Khayelitsha, the largest township in the Cape Flats, was established in 1983 by the apartheid government to house about 200,000 black workers. According to the 2011 census, almost double that number now live there. More than half live in “informal housing” — shacks, in other words.

IMG_1707Almost four in 10 people are unemployed. Barely one-third have piped water in their dwellings; a quarter have no flush toilets; about one in five has no access to electricity. Many of these figures are worse than they were under apartheid; others are little changed.

Apartheid had an immensely dehumanizing impact. But it also caused communities to forge powerful social bonds and channel anger into resistance and liberation movements.

The destructive effect of contemporary policies has led not to the creation of stronger bonds, but to the unraveling of the fabric of society. The social anthropologist Leslie J. Bank describes it as a form of “fractured urbanism,” in which traditional social organizations have collapsed and forms of social control have dissolved, creating a political and social vacuum.

Unlike under apartheid, there is no obvious target for people’s rage. There are protests, almost daily, against housing conditions, police brutality and political corruption. There is considerable anger against the ruling African National Congress, in both national and local governments. Yet the relationship of people, even of critics, to the A.N.C. is complex. It remains, for most, the party that brought about liberation, and so retains considerable moral legitimacy.

The confusion about whom to blame for conditions that seem little improved from the days of apartheid has often led people to turn on one other. The explosion of xenophobic violence, directed against migrant workers from other African nations, that swept through South Africa in 2008, and again this year, is one expression of this. So is the growing conflict between apartheid-defined categories of people, like “blacks” and “coloreds.”

New conflicts have also emerged, like the one between longtime residents of Cape Town’s townships (who call themselves “borners” — people born in the townships) and immigrants from elsewhere in South Africa. Such divisions have been exacerbated, even exploited, by sections of the A.N.C. As the failure to transform the lives of the poor has eroded support for the party, many A.N.C. politicians have turned to the politics of ethnicity and identity to strengthen their base.

It is a development that has long been evident, but that has really gathered strength under the leadership of South Africa’s current president, Jacob G. Zuma. Mr. Zuma has unashamedly exploited his Zulu identity — “100% Zulu Boy” read the slogan on supporters’ T-shirts before the 2009 general election. And to shore up his support, he has promoted supposedly traditional African values, enhancing, for example, the powers of unelected tribal chiefs.

Last year, his government attempted to pass the Traditional Courts Bill that would have created a separate legal system for millions of people living in the former Bantustans, allowing local chiefs to act as judges, prosecutors and mediators, with no legal representation and no right of appeal.

“Let us solve African problems the African way, not the white man’s way,” Mr. Zuma proclaimed in defense of the law.

“It’s shocking how the language of apartheid now comes out of black mouths,” one former activist said to me.

The situation has been made worse by the issue that dominates South African politics today: corruption. Almost daily, there is a new scandal. Accusations reach up to the highest state office — Mr. Zuma himself has been embroiled in a long-running scandal — and threaten to besmirch the integrity of institutions like the National Prosecuting Authority.

Corruption expresses the way that state patronage has come to define politics. Politics in South Africa today “is devoid of political content,” in the words of a former A.N.C. activist, Raymond Suttner. Instead, “it relates to who is rising or falling, as part of ongoing efforts to secure positions of power and authority.” Using corrupt resources to win favours from different social groups and factions has helped entrench a dangerous cronyism in national politics.

While sections of the political elite have tried to manipulate the politics of ethnicity to bypass democracy, many at the grass-roots level have opposed these moves. Popular opposition killed the Traditional Courts Bill. Last month, a community in the Eastern Cape won a court battle to elect its own leaders, rather than have them imposed. It cannot be right, the court agreed, that the people of the Transkei region “enjoyed greater democratic rights” under apartheid “than they do under a democratically elected government.”

It is a telling comment on the state of contemporary South Africa that the government can be chastised for being less democratic than it was under apartheid. If the future of South Africa is not to be totally bleak, it is in such struggles for democracy against the corrupt elite that hope must lie.

Written by Kenan Malik, he is the author, most recently, of “The Quest for a Moral Compass: A Global History of Ethics” and a contributing opinion writer.

The Evolution of Democracy, introducing the “Rogue Government”

The definition of “democracy” is “rule by the people”. Hence if the people are deceived, kept secrets from, cheated and mistreated and ignored by their representatives and otherwise kept out of the democratic process, then democracy no longer exists.

demoDemocracy is dependent upon truthfulness, information, and transparency by its elected and appointed officials, as well as those candidates aspiring for office. This in itself is the fundamental basis for democracy’s ideology.

Failure to satisfy that premise results in the officials functioning under the veil of secrecy. To which results to lying, cheating and stealing, and even if they do not engage in such activities, their veil of secrecy invites suspicion that very well be.demo

The definition of “democracy” is “rule by the people”. Hence if the people are deceived, kept secrets from, cheated, mistreated and ignored by their representatives and otherwise kept out of the democratic process, then democracy no longer exists.

So, when the Minister of Parliament/ Senate no longer is truly represent the people or when the people are no longer “ruling” – then what do we have? Many have coined the phase, “a failed democracy”.

I would go on to mention that this form of government somewhat hijacked from its mandate from the people’s purpose takes on the system of a “rogue government”.