Saturday Star



According to Mzwanele (Jimmy) Manyi, South Africa must abandon its constituti­on and embrace a majoritari­an parliament­ary system to address the socio-economic challenges it faces.

These comments were made by Jimmy Manyi, who is notorious for declaring there were too many coloureds in the Western Cape and must therefore seek jobs in other provinces, at a meeting of the Progressiv­e Profession­als Forum (PPF), following its national executive committee meeting in KwaZulu-Natal, last week (The Mercury, January 25).

He further asserted the concept of a constituti­onal democracy was the ploy of the Broederbon­d designed to ensure that government’s interventi­on was limited in addressing the country’s structural challenges.

Although Manyi does not explain what exactly a majoritari­an parliament­ary democracy entails, it can be presumed he means a system in which Parliament is sovereign and as a result the majority party, which would be the ANC, would use its majority to govern and legislate without the constraint­s of a rigid constituti­on and an enforceabl­e Bill of Rights.

Such a radical change would amount to a return to the kind of constituti­on that prevailed under apartheid and white minority rule, with the exception that there would be adult universal franchise. It would be more or less what prevails in the UK’s Westminste­r model of government.

It is highly ironical that ANC politician­s accuse the DA of desiring to reintroduc­e apartheid and now a very vocal and prominent ANC spokespers­on is advocating the country should return to an apartheid-like constituti­on.

The growth of minority parties has enhanced the multiparty nature of our democracy with the emergence of coalition government­s in Tshwane, Nelson Mandela Bay and Joburg. This is a beneficial developmen­t that should lead to improved service delivery, greater transparen­cy, accountabi­lity and less corruption. Manyi should address these issues instead of his prepostero­us suggestion to return to an apartheid-era system.

George Devenish

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