Constitutional Hill

Blame politics, not communists or the Constitution

The bizarre and, quite frankly, often uninformed speculation by some of the so called doyens of South African “liberalism” – including Tony Leon, Ken Owen and RW Johnson – that former Chief Justice Arthur Chaskalson might have been – gasp! – a member of the Communist Party and that he might be to blame for some of the alleged design flaws in our Constitution, says more about the sad state of a certain version of liberalism in South Africa than it says about any faults on the part of either Chaskalson or the Constitution.

I have no idea whether Chaskalson was a communist or a so called “fellow traveller”, as RW Johnson (as usual relying on gossip instead of on facts) suggests. Quite frankly, I could not care less (although, perhaps unreasonably, I tend to believe the denials of Chaskalson and of all those who knew him well, rather than the contrary speculations of those who have an ideological axe to grind). I imagine Chaskalson would have been amused by the paranoid speculation that he was a communist, but he would have been deeply offended by the suggestion that he lied about it.

Others, I am sure, will continue to point out the many factual errors in the arguments of Leon and his fellow travellers and will continue to demonstrate why this whole debate about Chaskalson’s previous political affiliations is utterly irrelevant, both when considering Chaskalson’s legacy as a jurist and in evaluating the alleged flaws in our Constitution.

However, there is one specific argument, raised by Ken Owen, which I would like to take issue with. Owen criticises the Constitution because it has resulted, he claims, in a system in which “government and Parliament are answerable not to the people but to Luthuli House”. He continues:

The sovereignty of the party, the bunkers and armed guards that protect leaders from people, the burgeoning kleptocratic state, the subservient Parliament, the party-assigned civil servants and commissars, are all features which make South Africa very similar to the Soviet Union, and many South Africans now believe we are heading for a Soviet-style collapse. How did this happen? Did Judge Chaskalson plan it, or blunder into it? Did he have another agenda? Amid all the indignation, the necessary debate on how we landed in this mess gets nowhere.

Setting aside the rather overblown rhetoric for the moment, I find Owen’s reasoning more than a bit muddled. However, I will give Owen the benefit of the doubt and assume that he is arguing that the Constitution has created a “Soviet Style” system of party government, partly because of the pure proportional representation electoral system and partly because the Constitution has allowed ANC members of Parliament and ANC leaders in government to show more loyalty to the ANC leadership in Luthuli House than to the state or to the electorate. Moreover the Constitution is said to have allowed civil servants to be loyal to the ANC instead of to the constitution.

Unfortunately these arguments are parochial, uninformed and a-contextual, seeking to blame the Constitution for the failings of the political process. What Owen does not understand is that one cannot judge the text of a Constitution in the abstract and that such a text will operate differently depending on the political context.

Yes, our political system is not working as well as it could. Yes there has been a problematic blurring between the ANC and the state. Yes MP’s are not as accountable to voters as they should be. Yes, the civil service has been politicised. But to blame the Constitution for these failures would be like blaming the weatherman for a heat wave.

There are many democracies in which some version of our electoral system are in use. In a recent survey Pippa Norris pointed out that 57 of 150 countries surveyed had a proportional representation electoral system like South Africa. In some of these countries – Norway, Finland, The Netherlands, and Italy – the party list are open and voters can vote for their preferences of representatives on party lists. In many other countries – Israel, Portugal, Spain, and Germany – lists are closed as in South Africa and voters can only select the party, and the ranking of candidates on the party list is determined by the political party. Somehow none of these countries are said to be heading for a “Soviet-style collapse”. This is because electoral systems do not cause the pathologies set out above. The political dynamics in a society plays a far bigger role in determining whether MP’s will be accountable or whether the civil service will become politicised.

It might well be that an electoral system in which a large number of MP’s represent individual constituencies stands a better chance of weakening the power of party bosses and increasing the accountability of MP’s to voters than the system currently in place in South Africa. But an electoral system on its own cannot guarantee accountability. Even in countries where the electoral system allows voters to directly elect their representatives, this choice is often illusory as candidates are often imposed on voters by the political parties who dominate specific geographical areas.

In South Africa, at local government level, half of all elected representatives stand in individual constituencies but by and large this has not weakened the power of party bosses to impose discipline on their cadres and to control ward councillors. It has also not made ward councillors particularly accountable to voters – as widespread service delivery protests at local government level have shown.

This is because the political parties still choose the candidates to represent the respective parties in each ward. The ANC, for example, exercises considerable power over those ward councillors who might think of defying Gwede Mantashe or Jacob Zuma – even though the ward councillors were directly elected by voters. Just wait and see what will happen to the ANC councillors in Thlokwe whose political stunt led to the election of a DA mayor in that town. I guarantee that the political careers of most of these councillors will soon come to an end – unless they have a dramatic change of heart and do some serious brown-nosing of party bosses at Luthuli House.

Because of the political dominance of the ANC and the concentration of ANC and opposition voters in certain geographical areas, a purely constituency based system is not going to change the political dynamics in South Africa in the near future. Because neither the candidate of the DA or any other party would currently stand much of a chance of winning an election in a constituency in Khayelitsha or Soweto (just as the ANC will have no chance of winning an election in a constituency in Newlands or Houghton – given the fact that most white voters will never vote for the ANC), even in a changed system the ANC and the DA party bosses would in effect still decide who represent us in Parliament and the MP’s would largely remain loyal to the bosses who selected them as candidates and not to us voters who voted for them purely because they represent the party of our choice and not because of the personal qualities of the individual MP.

Our problems relate to the consequences of one-party dominance. All the alleged ills referred to by Owen has just as much to do with the fact that the ANC has managed to convince the vast majority of voters that it represents their values and interests, as it has to do with the fact that the so called “liberal” opposition has so far failed to convince the majority of South Africans that it does not only represent the interests of the privileged white minority. The political problems we face – which can almost completely be ascribed to the lack of electoral checks on the ANC – are therefore arguably also caused by the ineffectual opposition, whose policies, statements or actions continue to alienate the vast majority of South Africans.

Because the ANC has dominated the lives of the vast majority of South Africans over the past 20 years, no Constitution in the world – at least not a progressive and democratic one – would have been able to prevent the pathologies associated with one party dominant democracy, including the politicisation of the civil service. Given the fact that 66% of voters cast their ballots for the ANC in the last national election (down from 69% in the previous election), and given the fact that opposition voters are disproportionately members of the professional classes, the civil service – at all levels – was always going to become staffed by a vast majority of ANC supporters.

Section 195 of the Constitution states that public administration must be governed by the democratic values and principles enshrined in the Constitution. These values include the need to retain a high standard of professional ethics and to provide services impartially, fairly, equitably and without bias; to be accountable. Despite these provisions, the political dominance of the ANC has inevitably led to transformation of the civil service from a pro-apartheid, National Party supporting institution, to an institution now dominated by ANC members or supporters. This would have happened no matter what was written in the Constitution.

People like Leon, Owen and Johnson who point fingers at Arthur Chaskalson and/or the Constitution, should rather look in the mirror and ask why the vast majority of South Africans would rather vote for the ANC (or increasingly abstain from voting) than to vote for the supposedly liberal DA. Could it be that Leon’s 1999 “fight b(l)ack” election campaign as well as the strident opposition of people like Owen and Johnson to any forms of race based redress measures have so tainted “liberalism” in South Africa that the vast majority of voters, continuing to make rather rational choices, choose not to vote for or associate with the “liberal” opposition party so fatally tainted by the whiff of white arrogance and self-interest? 

  • Zoo Keeper

    I largely agree with you.

    It is more a problem of the ANC’s policy of cadre deployment than a failure of the constitutional text. The proportional representation must also be viewed in the context of its origins.

    What the ANC has done is left the facade up and gutted the inside.

    It is the ANC’s fault we’re headed to a Soviet-style collapse, not the constitution. As OB has pasted here, not all of the USSR constitution was bad on paper, but in a one-party state its just a piece of paper – a bit like “peace in our time”.

  • Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (

    As for RW Johnson and Ken Owen, filling the space created by Juju is not so shrewd!

    On Wednesday, justices Pius Langa, Laurie Ackermann, Richard Goldstone, Johann Kriegler, Yvonne Mokgoro, Kate O’Regan, Albie Sachs and Zak Yacoob, who is due to retire next year, all said they were “dismayed” that Chaskalson’s “integrity and candour” should be in question at this time.

    They said they were the “surviving judges” of the Constitutional Court who sat in the famous South African Rugby Football Union (Sarfu) recusal application, in which former rugby administrator Louis Luyt asked for the recusal of a number of justices, including Chaskalson, because of alleged political ties to the African National Congress (ANC) and its alliance partners.

    Chaskalson himself said in a letter to Sarfu’s attorney that, apart from membership of the Liberal Party during the 1950s, he had never been a member of any political party.

    The court’s judgment confirmed that he had never been a member of the ANC or related organisations.

  • The Grape

    see also the response to Leon and Owen by Geoff Budlender. Leon should retract and apologise.

  • Robert Brand

    You culled two important sentences from the quotation from Ken Owen’s letter (the first and the last): “All this obscures the important question: How has it happened that the constitution which Judge Chaskalson’s devotees all admire, and readily attribute mainly to Judge Chaskalson, has resulted in a system where government and Parliament are answerable not to the people but to Luthuli House? … Let’s curb the indignation and start the inquiry.”

    His question is whether the democratic centralism that resulted from the PR system was an unintended consequence or whether the system was designed to have that result. In all fairness to Owen, that is a legitimate question, as is an inquiry into the role and motivation of the constitutional negotiators who gave us that system, including Chaskalson. Or are some legacies untouchable?

  • Mike

    Maggs – why would Chaskalsons integrity and candour be in question if he belonged to the SACP.
    The issue here is not membership per se but what were his leanings.Chaskalson presided over the constitutional court ruling that the Bill of Rights does not apply to young white job seekers with the result that they constitute the biggest group of emigrants since 1994 (refer South African instute of race relations)
    Was this what was agreed at CODESA or simply as I believe Chaskalson marching to the tune of the ANC as he was predisposed in doing.

  • Oupoot

    I still belief a PR system is best at national level, where policy development is primary responsibiity. But a PR system itself work best when there is effective political competition. Those countries you listed with PR systems are mostly coalition governments, where govt is held accountable (yes to party bosses) with the threat of a coalition partner walking away if they are unhappy with the govt.

    But a PR system is not the ideal system at provincial level where there is little to no policy development. In most cases, its about service delivery (education, health, social development, economic development, housing, etc). It is here where a constituency based system may serve us better: direct election of provincial premiers (either person or party behind the person), and then direct election of constituency representative to provincial parliament. To make the (constituency) representative to provincial parliament even more responsible to their constituents (and less to the party), maybe their term of office should be limited to 2.5 years, with their elections held with both national & local elections.

    This will help ensure provincial departments deliver services to most constituencies in their areas, as Representatives in Provincial Legislatures will be able to ensure delivery in their areas.

  • Gwebecimele

    If indeed he was a communist then he was very poor at it. I hope all will learn a lessson of how globally accepted terms such state ownership, communist, nationalisation, capitalists etc are viewed as insults in SA.

  • Gwebecimele

    Soon we will be hearing that communists are responsible for global recession.

  • Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (

    December 12, 2012 at 15:39 pm


    “Maggs – why would Chaskalsons integrity and candour be in question if he belonged to the SACP.”

    See :

    Chaskalson himself said in a letter to Sarfu’s attorney that, apart from membership of the Liberal Party during the 1950s, he had never been a member of any political party.

    The court’s judgment confirmed that he had never been a member of the ANC or related organisations.

  • Gwebecimele

    Is this another unconstitutional bill in the making while we are enjoying christmas pudding??

  • Mayaya


    No judge ever said the Bill of Rights does not apply to young whites job seekers. White South Africans need to study the Employment Equity Act and our Constitution to understand the basis of affirmative action. Thereafter, they must read a number of cases on unfair discrimination and affirmative action to understand that theirs in wholly whinging and misunderstanding of redress mandated by our constitution.

    In actual fact, the constant whinging and whinning by white South Africans is an indication of their lack of analysis and/or changing facts to suite their whinning and whining.

  • Mayaya

    if they see this as competency then it is indication of their incompetency

  • Dmwangi


    I’m happy to see you’ve been persuaded to my line of thinking: political competition, not a constitution, is the sina qua non of democracy.

    We’re all Schumpeterians now!

  • Vuyo

    Pierre, I can’t fault this article. The opposition parties must simply either embrace the majority of South African voters or continue their decline as a result of their desire to retain their core electorate. As for the DA, I find the party noxious, but find the self-importance, arrogance and igorance of its core constituency even more noxious. There’s nothing objectively good to say about either.

  • Mike

    @Mayaya go and study that judgement in the constitutional court first before commenting.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ PdV

    “the vast majority of voters, continuing to make rather rational choices, choose not to vote for or associate with the “liberal” opposition party”

    Pierre is right.

    I say only the ANC can represent the aspirations of our people, who are rather rational. I would vote for Mr Zuma again, if I only had the chance. Mr Malema, although young, has by now learned what he needs to learn to be a better leader than Mrs Zille. (Thanks Ozone!) It is racist to suggest that Mr Zuma does not needs a well-secured dwelling. No one complains that Mr Obama has the “White” House, Mr Cameron has 10 Downing Street, Mr Putin has the Kremlin, Mr Chavez has the Bolivar Palace, and M. Hollande has the Louvre!

  • Mike

    @Maggs – 85% of voters are not members of the political party that they vote for.

  • Lisbeth

    Certain political parties – such as the ANC – require their MPs to vote according to the wishes of their party bosses (or else!), rather than their individual consciences. Would I be correct in assuming that our constitution explicitly condones this?

    If so, that would be a shame. After all, MPs are there to represent us, the citizens, even if we don’t vote for them directly. They even have putative ‘constituencies’!

  • Pierre De Vos

    No political party in SA generally allows its representatives to vote according to conscience. That is why on almost all highly politically contentious Bills all DA members vote one way and all ANC members vote another way. Doing something else would be severely career limiting. It’s called party discipline. Before 1994 in the apartheid Parliament the same principle applied. This is the culture of our party politics and the electoral system will not, on its own, change this.

  • pekkil monta

    @mr Fassbinder

    Thank you for clearing this up for me. I didn’t get this before – so, by drawing the completely important parallel with the White House, the Kremlin, the Bolivar Palace, 10 Downing Street and the Louvre (although I’m sure you meant the Elysee Palace, not the Louvre), it has become clear to me that I was under a misunderstanding. I understood that Zuma gets to keep the quarter-of-a-billion monstro-city at Nkandla – you’ve cleared up for me that he, like the occupants of the palaces you mention, will vacate this place once it’s someone else’s time at the trough? That helps me a lot. The thought of this clown simply appropriating (and keeping) the 250m, plus the presumably considerable cost for permanent upkeep, was offensive.

    Thanks broer

  • Blue Ozone

    “I have no idea whether Chaskalson was a communist or a so called “fellow traveller”, as RW Johnson (as usual relying on gossip instead of on facts) suggests. Quite frankly, I could not care less”

    That sort of summarises Liewe Pierrietjie de Vos. He has NO IDEA and he COULDN’T CARE LESS.

    The Huisgenoot is more informed than him.

  • Blue Ozone

    Oh Christ. The worst thing possible is to be a COMMUNIST. Rooi Gevaar and all of that. It is even worse than supporting the WP at Loftus.

    But even more worryingly then our socalled “constitutional experts” enthusiastically celebrate cde Bram Fischer with zero hint of irony or any moral qualms.

  • Blue Ozone

    “The two points to consider are: First, there is now no doubt that *Nelson Mandela was an SACP member — indeed, part of its central committee* — but denied it in court precisely because he was a party member and thus under discipline.

    It was the policy of the party that members should deny their membership and keep it secret. In other words, had Judge Chaskalson been a party member, of course he would also have lied about it and would have seen it as his duty to do so.”

    However. I’m loud and proud. And choosing to post under a pseudonym cause the Cold War won’t be over until the Fat Lady has sung.

  • Brett Nortje

    Shouldn’t the point of departure in any inquiry be the SACP’s claim over Chaskalson like a stray dog?

  • Cicero Langa

    You know what De Vos, perhaps it’s par for the course in being an academic, but youre nothing but a handbag slinging prejudiced whinger.

    You are just as bad as Verwoerd and Zuma, for you are just as extreme.

    And just like them, at least to people who truly want to make this country work, who are not consumed by hate, prejudice, and all kinds of chips on their shoulders, you are truly irrelevant.

    This is me signing off.

  • Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (

    December 12, 2012 at 17:35 pm


    “@Maggs – 85% of voters are not members of the political party that they vote for.”

    Not sure that I understand the relevance of that, if it’s do do with “Chaskalsons integrity and candour”.

  • Blue Ozone

    Brett Nortje
    December 12, 2012 at 22:22 pm

    Brett, do you believe it is yet another “deliberate falsehood” – this … bizarre claim ..

    that cde Joseph Stalin, cde Vladimir Lennon, cde Mikhail Gorbachevor, or cde Bram Fischer, cde Nelson Mandela, cde Chris Hani, cde Mac Maharaj or cde Che Guevara, cde Fidel Castro, or cde Mao Tse-tung, cde All the Chinese, or cde Ronnie Kasrils, cde Jeremy Cronin, cde Gweb Matashe, or cde Arthur Chaskalson could ever have been a prominent member of the utmostly evil COMMUNIST party?

  • Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (

    December 12, 2012 at 20:19 pm


    “Certain political parties – such as the ANC – require their MPs to vote according to the wishes of their party bosses (or else!)”

    It’s the very reason why MPs deployed to parliament.

    If people want to vote according to their “conscience” they can start their own political parties.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Mr Monta

    Glad I could clarify the thorny question of presidential abodes. One further point of clarification for you: M Hollande, although a “socialist” has insisted on moving into the Louvre itself, the old city digs of the Bourbons, would you believe! Also, Mr Obama has a luxurious summer cottage at Camp David that would put Zuma to shame. He also keeps a shack on Nantucket island!

  • Blue Ozone

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    December 12, 2012 at 23:32 pm

    Sorry to say this. But you and your RACIST friends maggs are flopping around desperately like a fish out of water.

  • Blue Ozone

    It is even on the wiki for those who know how to use a computer and how to google:

    “However, through the Tripartite Alliance and the sitting of many SACP members on the ANC’s NEC, the SACP has wielded influence from within the ANC, often serving as an ideological opposition against the presidency and socio-economic policies of Thabo Mbeki (1999–2008); this became most apparent with the ouster of Mbeki from the presidencies of both the party (2007, by vote) and the government (2008, by ANC party recall) and his eventual replacement in both offices with *Jacob Zuma, who is widely seen as being more conciliatory to the ideological demands of both the SACP and COSATU.*”

    So not much of a “secret” then.

  • sirjay jonson

    Does this article from June 20, 2012 give us promising expectation of Advocate Kevin Malunga as our new Deputy Public Protector?

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Kevin Malunga

    “If a clueless individual is sent to Parliament, you will get less than satisfactory results.” Business Day, 12 December.

    I find it offensive in the extreme to suggest that any MP is “clueless. ” Each of them has at least one clue!


  • Zoo Keeper

    I do have one major point of departure from my agreement with the Prof on the constitution being undermined by politics not the document itself.

    We CAN blame the communists!

    Communist ideology requires the Party to control all levers of society. The ANC, with its SACP tumour, has hollowed out the facade of democratic institutions to ensure the Party controls all levers of society.

    Cadre deployment is there to ensure this happens in line with the strategy document of the late 1990s.

    In the news lately was an email by a senior member of the the police to the ANC for example. The SAPS, ESKOM, Transnet, Chapter 9 Institutions, NPA, SAA, SANDF, Metro Police, Land Bank, etc, etc are all manned by deployed cadres. Its communism through and through.

    So yes, we CAN blame communists because democracy is an anathema to communist ideology. Those who are democrats, respect the democratic nature of the institutions and accept them because one day they might need them to be democratic. There is no such view point of the communist. The institutions must be corrupted because they can only serve the Party, and serve it on a permanent basis.

    So yes, we CAN blame the communists!

    How you can absolve the commies means you haven’t engaged with communist theory and certainly not its practice! If you like democracy, you gotta resist communism!

  • Blue Ozone

    Zoo Keeper
    December 13, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Excuse me for saying so but you are starting to sound just as bizarrely paranoid as liewe Pierrietjie is about the NPA and all the other state institutions.

    Manuel’s plan cuts into cadre deployment policy

    And let me put this to you. Part of the ANC policy that the “cadres” are suppose to deploy is the dogmatic implementation of a particularly malignant form of “race-based” AA/BEE which even PdV supports enthusiastically – which are the main reasons for the destruction of competence and excellence in the many spheres of our government and private institutions, not so much the “cadres” themselves.

  • Mike

    @Zoo Keeper – well said one would have thought by now that this would have been apparent to PDV given the history of communisn all over the world. It is quite clear that the BOSS knew more about what was happening in the ANC than the ANC itself and one cannot just dismiss PW Botha claims about who was a communist one of them being Nelson Mandela himself.
    The animal farm reads like a book (excuse the pun) on the ANC written by a person who had first hand experience of communsim and there is no doubt in my mind that BEE has emulated the russian mafia (note former communists) in attempting to control the economy of this country.How else does Ramophosa become a billionare in 17 years and exactly what did he do that could be compared to Mark Shuttleworth in achieving that wealth.

  • Blue Ozone

    December 13, 2012 at 9:27 am

    No, no, no – don’t blame the spectacular failure of CAPITALISM (or rather dog-eat-dog) in Russia and many other places on “former communists” now.

    That pathetic bullshit simply will not wash.

  • Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (

    December 13, 2012 at 9:27 am


    Would you be as annoyed with our Constitution/CC if the ANC had say 45% rather than 62%?

  • Chris (not the right wing guy!)

    To add to what Zoo Keeper wrote: His master’s Voice is everywhere:

  • Blue Ozone

    I take my hat off to Zapiro. Let the man paint his acerbic cartoons, he remains a comrade of mine.

    “Zapiro later said he was indeed against political Zionism.

    “I think that whatever notions of religious Zionism existed in the 19th century were already perverted by Theodore Herzl and company in order to ethnic-cleanse a land that had a lot of people, who were living there over a period of hundreds of years.”

  • Gwebecimele

    E-tolls are ON. Cosatu will have to make its promises real.

    As USUAL lawyers won.

  • Zoo Keeper


    “And let me put this to you. Part of the ANC policy that the “cadres” are suppose to deploy is the dogmatic implementation of a particularly malignant form of “race-based” AA/BEE which even PdV supports enthusiastically – which are the main reasons for the destruction of competence and excellence in the many spheres of our government and private institutions, not so much the “cadres” themselves.”

    AA/BEE and cadre deployment is the vehicle by which to control all levers of society.

    The ANC’s strategic vision of the National Democratic Revolution is quite open about this. If you read it you’ll stop arguing about it.

    There is plenty of reason to be paranoid about things like the NPA. Simply because the control thereof by the ANC is a fact, not a conspiracy theory.

  • Zoo Keeper

    Another thing:

    With the ANC controlling all levers of society, how does the citizenry ensure it is safe from predation?

    Think about what could make a government sufficiently fearful of the citizens to obey their liberty?

    Are nice laws enough?

  • Blue Ozone

    Zoo Keeper
    December 13, 2012 at 10:45 am

    “The ANC’s strategic vision of the National Democratic Revolution is quite open about this. If you read it you’ll stop arguing about it.”

    Well. You, the DA and the De Klerk foundation, Solidarity and the rest of our “business community” flatly reject implementing the “left-leaning” Freedom Charter, next best thing is the racial demographic obsessed NDR. It is you who reject a class-based nonracial revolution, in favour of a race-based “demographic” revolution

    You simply get what you asked for.

  • Mike

    @Blue Ozone – There has been no spectacular failure of capitalism and one just needs to illustrate this with all the german cars that are sought after in China.Rather capitalism has prevented a melt down in socialist europe where the left spent more than the country earned and then borrowed to make ends meet.
    The two examples of captalism versus communism that yoy cannot run away from is former West and East Germany and the current North and South Korea.
    The current retention of cash in America in its history so dont confuse goverment and private debt as a means to denigrate capitalism.

  • Lisbeth

    Pierre de Vos
    Dec 12, 2012 at 21:15 pm

    It is a fact that the Democratic Alliance does allow its MPs to vote according to their consciences, and they frequently do, with no career-limiting consequences to themselves.

  • Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (

    December 13, 2012 at 15:33 pm


    “It is a fact that the Democratic Alliance does allow its MPs to vote according to their consciences”

    Do DA MP’s have consciences?

    Prove it!

  • Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (

    p.s. Lisbeth – 15% is nearly as bad as the average maths mark for grade 9s. That’s as career limiting as it can get, ne!

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Lisbeth: Please remind me of the last time a DA MP voted according to his “conscience,” viz. against instructions of the party whip.

    @ Maggs: If you had been at the Cape High Court today, you would see the bitter fruits of the hell-hatched marriage between the DA Western Cape govt and so-called “progressive” NGO’s and civil society movements. In ganging up on national govt, by appointing a so-called “commission” to investigate alleged “deficiencies” in SAPS performance, the NGO’s have lent credibility to the ANC’s charge that they are nothing but liberal tools of imperialism hell-bent on undermining our people’s democratic choice!


  • Lisbeth

    maggs yikes:

    “Do DA MP’s (sic) have consciences?”

    Oh, they must have. Same goes for ANC MPs, and the rest of us; at least, I hope so.

    It must be said, though, that consciences are easily suppressed at the prospect of having to appear before a ‘disciplinary committee’.

    “… 15% is nearly as bad as the average maths mark for grade 9s”

    Are you trying to make a point here? If so, what is it?

  • Maggs Naidu – ( – Zuma MUST go!

    December 13, 2012 at 18:36 pm


    “Are you trying to make a point here? If so, what is it?”

    Yes – it is that I went to a state school.

    And I got load’s of spare apostrophe’s – I gotta use it all up before those expire at the year-end!

  • Blue Ozone

    December 13, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Yes Mike. If CAPITALISM was any more “successful” the Russian peoples may just be wiped out!

    Ronald Reagan/Dick Cheney/Bush dynasty must be pissing themselves LOL!

    Russian Demographics:
    The Role of the Collapse of the Soviet Union

    “Exploring the reasons behind its declining population could affect its role in the world and could result in changes in its relationship with North America. Russia’s depopulation continues to be a great concern, because it will be difficult to sustain the elderly population if it greatly outnumbers its workforce. It is important for Russia to deal with the demographic imbalance properly to avoid a larger catastrophe in the near future. After a wave of policies and incentives, Russia’s population experienced its first increase in 2009 after over a decade of decline (RIANovosti, 2010). The onset of this reversal suggests the policies put in place are having some effect on the status of the population.”

  • I Tolduso

    @ Pierre… would have been nice if Messrs Leon, Owen and Johnson had engaged with you in this forum. An opportunity for some informed debate has gone missing. They probably decided that they were no match for the razor sharp intellects of naidu, fassbinder, vuyo and ozone and decided to stay away. What a pity

  • Willem Wikkelspies

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder – it is unknown of and unheard of , for the occupier of the house in Pennsylvania Avenue or Downing Street , to retain ownership beyond their respective term of office . So that point of your debate is flawed – unless of course you suggest Jacob will leave Nkandla for the rightful prison cell he ought to be occupying . But then I would be convinced ye doth jest .

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Wikkel

    OK, you have a point. The “White” House and Downing Street are bad examples. (My bad). But then what do you say about Versailles? As you know, this was built at great expense as the country home of Louise XIV. And he stayed there until he died, and so did his children!


  • Olds

    December 13, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Communism versus Capitalism? How does the Chinese manage both and rather succesfully too? I figure that democratic capitalism in effect means he who inherited the gold have the means to fund a party and steer politics, whereas with communist capitalism it is more a case of he who was born to the central committee and do not have to slave for a pittance decides what the slaves will do next.

  • Olds

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    December 17, 2012 at 17:05 pm

    Perhaps that is why his decendant lost his head in such a spectacular fashion along with most of his cronies who coUldn’t flee and cake-eating wife?

    It takes a lot to anger a slave but when they’re pissed…

  • Olds

    @PdV – Does the Constitution guard against any non-democratic political system?

    We slaves who do not know the Constitution well since our BB’s crash when we try to download it won’t know.

    Why is this document not taught everyone on public media? Every American knows theirs if movies are to be believed.

  • Gwebecimele
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