A lesson in democracy for Jacob Zuma

Senior members of the African National Congress and several prominent business personalities joined President Jacob Zuma for the Progressive Business Forum’s dinner at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand on Thursday night, according to reports carried by the South African Press Association.

Zuma used his platform at the event to drum up support ahead of the local government elections, telling guests “supporting the ANC is an investment that is done wisely”. He also seized the opportunity to hurl a few barbs in the direction of rival parties. “There are some who say that to have a good democracy we need a strong opposition. Democracy must produce results,” Zuma said. Later, in an apparent reference to the Democratic Alliance, he asked potential investors: “Why would you spend money on something that cannot grow?”

Mr President, in light of these comments, let me humbly offer some words of wisdom gleaned from the pages of my office dictionary:

DEMOCRACY: A form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.

Msholozi, a strong opposition is vital to our political landscape. Without it, South Africa’s democracy risks becoming an oligarchy (buy a dictionary and look up that one for yourself).

4 thoughts on “A lesson in democracy for Jacob Zuma

  1. Jacob Zuma and Gwede Mantashe are constantly telling the world about what a great democracy SA is, but I don’t think they know and understand the true meaning of the word.

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    1. Hi Denise… I don’t think they do either. And it’s alarming to think that Zuma’s public comments are more than likely echoed in the various corners of the ANC. But what makes me really sad is that the current crop of “leaders” are so far removed from Nelson Mandela’s vision of a rainbow nation that I’m not sure they’ll ever find their way back.

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      1. I have wondered for some time whether there is anyone waiting ‘in the wings’ to take over who we can be proud of. Sometimes I watch the debates late at night (re-runs usually) and there are some really admirable guys taking part whose names I have never heard of before or since.

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        1. Oh, ditto… But everywhere I look I see more members of the “me generation” – the folks who are out there to make a quick buck, for themselves, their friends, their cronies and political allies. I long for the day when we have elected officials who truly put the needs of the people first.

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