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Op-eds

Will Ramaphosa really make a difference?

  • Bagraim Michael HOME
There is a generally accepted belief that Cyril Ramaphosa, in his capacity as ANC leader, will finally bring some sanity to Parliament and the ruling party, in what’s been deemed as a case of new brooms promising to sweep clean. However,, with the current impasse over who will present SONA, this new broom does not appear to be meeting the public’s expectations.
by MICHAEL BAGRAIM | Feb 08, 2018

One would have expected that Parliament would finally assume its rightful place as the guardian of the nation. My submission, coming from the official opposition, is a vastly different take on this.

It certainly doesn’t take the removal of one rotting head from a dying body to rejuvenate the entire body. What has become clear to me over the past three years is that the rot has set in right down to the lowest common denominator. The system is riddled with bad appointments, incapable administrators and people who are just unable to deliver. The entire government structure has been set up for comrades, allies and friends. It is rare to find someone who has been appointed for their ability and honesty.

We see this on a daily basis and I encounter some of the most ludicrous appointments. I do not believe that Parliament is taking on its role as the guardian of anything. I do not believe that one man will be capable of routing out the enormous cancer that has spread throughout the ruling party.

ANC spokespeople are telling us that they are not going to be appointing officials on the basis of who they know.

The reality is that these officials have already been appointed, and to try to remove them is going to take years.

Parliament itself has strongly supported Zuma even after MPs had insight into the truth about the corruption. This means that 62% of MPs condoned and/or applauded corruption of the highest order.

The only way in which the DA was able to arrest and expose some of this corruption was by going to court, thereby relying on the efficiency and honesty of the judiciary.

The judiciary has done a sterling job over the past three years. If not for the judiciary, we would not have seen some of the changes that we are starting to see.

This is not an accolade for our Parliament, but an accolade for the opposition parties who, out of frustration, had to spend enormous amounts of money approaching courts across the country on a regular basis.

Already some in the public are saying that the judiciary is taking the place of the legislature. Unfortunately, because of the nature of the democratic system, this has been the only avenue open to the opposition.

Very few ANC members, if any, have chosen to vote according to their convictions. This outcome has not been good for South Africa. And worse, the rot has only been partially exposed and cannot be corrected by the same party that committed the ills. These ills did not start recently; they’ve been building up over 20 years.

It is now very convenient to try to blame just one man, even if he has been at the centre of corruption. This man has been aided, abetted and strongly supported throughout his term of office.

It cannot be said that his fellow MPs were unaware of the epidemic of corruption. This was pointed out to them over the past 10 years both in the Houses of Parliament and through the press, radio, television, etc.

Being merely silent onlookers, they have cheered for Zuma throughout each disaster, egging each other on to continue. I have watched in disbelief for the past three years at close quarters.

On occasion, I have had to pinch myself to remove the feeling of floating down that well in Alice in Wonderland. And, like Alice’s world, our society during this time has got “curiouser and curiouser”.

*Michael Bagraim is an MP for the DA and the shadow minister of labour.His views are his own and not that of the newspaper.

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