SONA was explosive. It demonstrated that Jacob Zuma and the ANC are willing to use force, ban communication and all round break the law to get their way. If a psychiatrist were ticking off a checklist, he or she would undoubtedly diagnose Dictatorial tendencies.
I’ve always found opposition’s end game to take power to be diluted as i doubt that the ANC would give up power if it lost the vote. What happened at SONA suggests that’s true. Ironically, this incident will provide the opposition parties never-ending Never Forget What the ANC Did slogans – the ANC will lose votes over this.
Hopefully there will be people within the ANC who will use SONA as a crowbar to deepen cracks within the party. The ANC splitting from within is South Africa’s imperfect yet safest bet for a wobbly rather than fall-down future.
One of the greatest tragedies of human attentiveness to what matters most was South Africa forgetting the Marikana Massacre. I hope that you will not forget SONA.
I particularly appreciated the Daily Maverick’s intelligent yet easy to read reporting on the matter. I suggest you read these articles and share.
Stephen Grootes: When the Rulers Decided on the Night that Might is Right
On Thursday night, a group of burly men, acting on behalf of the speaker and the chairwoman, the executive, the ANC and, what seemed to be our establishment, physically removed a group of democratically elected MPs from our Parliament. The people who were removed had committed no violence, threatened no violence, and have no track record of serious violence. All they had was their voice. And if those in charge had had their way, no one would have been able to see it, or actually know it had happened in real time. A large part of our democracy died last night; the ANC can never again claim that it is ruling for the benefit of all of us. Read the full article.
Pierre De Vos: The Legal Side of the Moon
One’s response to the events from Thursday night may well depend on whether you are an EFF supporter, an ANC supporter or whether you judge events according to the principles of open democracy in our Constitution. But it is never good for Parliament, or for a democracy, when unidentified individuals (who may or may not be police officers or soldiers) use violence to physically remove rowdy elected members of Parliament from the National Assembly Chamber. Read the full article.