Constitutional Hill

In a democracy the court of public opinion is king

Maybe even some ANC leaders are becoming embarrassed about the unlawful splurge of public funds on the renovation of President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead (also sometimes referred to as a “compound” by people who do not work at the SABC). How else could one explain the decision by the ANC caucus in Parliament that it would flout the Constitution to “block” debate on a motion of no confidence in President Zuma which was instituted last week by 8 opposition parties?

The parties claimed that under Zuma’s “leadership the justice system has been politicised and weakened; corruption has spiralled out of control; unemployment continues to increase, the economy is weakening, and the right of access to quality education has been violated”.

Ironically, the move was triggered by the decision of loyal ANC member and occasional Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Nomaindia Mfeketo, who ordered Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota to withdraw critical statements he had made about Zuma. Mfeketo justified her ruling by saying that Lekota should have brought his allegations about Zuma’s nefarious activities to the Assembly by way of a substantive motion.

Opposition parties called her bluff by tabling just such a substantive motion of no confidence in Zuma in terms of section 102(2) of the Constitution. Although the motion would almost certainly be defeated (given the ANC’s large majority in the Assembly and the fear of its MPs of being fired), debating the motion would allow opposition parties to do the job that they have been elected to do. It would create a platform for debate about President Zuma’s flaws as well as his possible redeeming qualities (if any). It would then also allow Lekota and others to make statements about the Nkandla scandal and President Zuma’s alleged politicisation of the criminal justice system.

But it appears that the ANC is trying to avoid talking about the Nkandla scandal and about President Zuma’s possible flaws because it fears it might lose the argument and with it the votes of members of the electorate disgusted by self-enrichment, corruption, lack of service delivery, the shambolic education system and the politicisation of the Police and the National Prosecuting Authority. They might also fear that such a discussion would remind voters that three different courts had found that criminal fraudster Schabir Shaik had paid bribes to Zuma and that Zuma did favours for Shaik in return.

Enters ANC intellectual and Chief Whip, Mathole Motshekga, to announce that the ANC caucus had decided to “oppose the programming of this motion on the order paper” so that it would not be discussed at all:

There was unanimous agreement that this is a frivolous motion, which has nothing to do with Section 102 and Section 89 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, which deals with the removal of the president from office. The motion of the opposition about the alleged violation of the Constitution by President [Jacob] G Zuma is without foundation and cannot be supported by fact…. The motion by these opposition parties, which they know as anyone else its chances of success are zero, seeks to try the president in a court of public opinion and tarnish his image and that of the ANC in the media.

One assumes that the ANC wants to use its majority on the Programme Committee of the National Assembly to stop the motion from being discussed in the Assembly at all. The only problem is that the Programme Committee does not have the power indefinitely to stop a motion of no confidence from being placed on the order paper for discussion.

Section 102(2) of the Constitution allows the National Assembly to debate and pass a motion of no confidence in the President by a simple majority of 200 of its members. Moreover, the Constitution does not allow a Committee of Parliament to block such a motion from being discussed. As I will point out later, to allow a Committee of the Assembly to block deliberation and debate on one of the most pressing political questions in South Africa – whether Zuma is fit to be President – is to undermine Parliament and rob its of its raison d’être.

If the motion is passed, the President and the other members of the Cabinet and any Deputy Ministers would have to resign. The National Assembly therefore does not only appoint the President: it can also fire the President. In our quasi-Westminster system the government needs to retain the political confidence of the majority of members of the National Assembly and if it does not, the government falls and another President must be elected or (if that is not possible) a new election must be held. Usually such a motion would only be passed if the majority party had lost confidence in the President (as would have happened with Thabo Mbeki if he had not resigned), when sufficient MP’s from the majority party rebel against its leaders or when a coalition government disintegrates.

This vote of no confidence is not the same as a vote to impeach the President in terms of section 89 of the Constitution. One can only impeach a President with support of a two-thirds majority of Assembly members and then only if there is objective evidence that the President is guilty of a serious violation of the Constitution or the law; serious misconduct; or inability to perform the functions of office. Unlike impeachment, a motion of no confidence is instituted not based on proven facts about the President’s misdeeds, but on the basis that some members of the National Assembly want to test whether the President still retains the political loyalty of a majority of its members because he is unpopular or just a bumbling fool.

I assume the honourable Motshekga was too busy studying ancient tracts by the Pandectists (or perhaps more modern texts by Alain Badiou, Edward Said or Mahmood Mamdani) to take time off to acquaint himself with the distinction between these two sections of the Constitution. If he did, he would have known that a motion of no confidence does not stand or fall on the basis of proven facts, but rather on political sentiment. Whether the Assembly retains confidence in the President is not a legal question to be determined by a court. It is a political question to be determined by politicians.

It is true that the Rules of the National Assembly allows the Programme Committee to organise its programme and to take decisions about what business should be prioritised. However, the Committee cannot indefinitely block a vote of no confidence in the President, as this is provided for by the Constitution.

If there was any doubt about whether the ANC could use its majority on the Programme Committee to stop any debate on the President’s alleged failings, the recent Constitutional Court judgment in Oriani-Ambrosini v Sisulu and Others put such doubt to rest. As Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng reminded us, our constitutional democracy is:

designed to ensure that the voiceless are heard, and that even those of us who would, given a choice, have preferred not to entertain the views of the marginalised or the powerless minorities, listen. This power extends to all and must not, therefore, inadvertently or deliberately, be rendered hollow and inconsequential for those individual members of the Assembly who may wish to exercise it.

The Court was echoing the sentiments of Justice Sachs in Democratic Alliance v Masondo about the deliberative nature of the National Assembly:

[T]he Constitution does not envisage a mathematical form of democracy, where the winner takes all until the next vote-counting exercise occurs.  Rather, it contemplates a pluralistic democracy where continuous respect is given to the rights of all to be heard and have their views considered. . . . The open and deliberative nature of the process goes further than providing a dignified and meaningful role for all participants. It is calculated to produce better outcomes through subjecting laws and governmental action to the test of critical debate, rather than basing them on unilateral decision-making. It should be underlined that the responsibility for serious and meaningful deliberation and decision-making rests not only on the majority, but on minority groups as well. In the end, the endeavours of both majority and minority parties should be directed not towards exercising (or blocking the exercise) of power for its own sake, but at achieving a just society where, in the words of the Preamble, “South Africa belongs to all who live in it”‘.

Some might want to return our national Parliament into a rubber stamp in order to shield an obviously tainted politician from criticism and scrutiny. But as Chief Justice Mogoeng reminded us, the need to recognise the inherent value of representative and participatory democracy and dissenting opinions was largely inspired by our evil past.

South Africa’s shameful history is one marked by authoritarianism, not only of the legal and physical kind, but also of an intellectual, ideological and philosophical nature.  The apartheid regime sought to dominate all facets of human life. It was determined to suppress dissenting views, with the aim of imposing hegemonic control over thoughts and conduct, for the preservation of institutionalised injustice. It is this unjust system that South Africans, through their Constitution, so decisively seek to reverse by ensuring that this country fully belongs to all those who live in it.

These sentiments cannot be squared with the anti-democratic and quasi-authoritarian mutterings of the Chief Whip. It is astounding that Mr Motshekga wants to protect his leader from being “tried in the court of public opinion”. Democracy is based on the idea that politicians are tried in the court of public opinion. After all, public opinion determines elections.

If there was no court of public opinion, there would be no democracy. Political parties that embrace democracy and have no authoritarian tendencies ensure that the court of public opinion do not judge them (and their leaders) too harshly. (Hint: they try and elect leaders who do not appear to be corrupt and can run things, can inspire people and can get textbooks delivered.) If Zuma is found guilty of being a bad or even corrupt President in the court of public opinion, voters will turn away from the ANC. But he would only have himself to blame for not spending more time to convince the judges in the court of public opinion that he was a good and trusted leader.

It is called democracy and our National Assembly has a vital role to play in it, providing the space for debate and a platform from which politicians can try to influence the judges in the court of public opinion, who are none other than every potential voter in the country.

The only way to test whether the government retains the confidence of the majority of MPs (and whether voters should put their confidence in the governing party at the next election) is through debate and discussion — both inside and outside Parliament. A political party afraid of debate is a party afraid of voters and, finally, antagonistic towards democracy.

Perhaps it is also a party in need of a new leader and a new Chief Whip.

  • John Roberts

    Nice timely articel but why do you not discuss the scenarios where the ANC simply does refuse to table this and blocks it unlawfully. What are the options open to the opposition ? Court ?

    Please Pierre finish the article.

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    @PdV,

    “The only way to test whether the government retains the confidence of the majority of MPs (and whether voters should put their confidence in the governing party at the next election) is through debate”

    Huh????

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    “The parties claimed that under Zuma’s “leadership the justice system has been politicised and weakened; corruption has spiralled out of control; unemployment continues to increase, the economy is weakening, and the right of access to quality education has been violated”.”

    Donald Trump said similar things about Obama.

    But … he still won with a decisive majority!!!!

  • Cicero Langa

    Urgent application for direct access anyone?

    Yes, please!

  • Oupoot

    It sounds very similar to the filibuster in the US senate, where the GOP with their minority could stop any act or discussion from reaching the floor by keeping it tied up in committee.

    If I were the ANC, I would not make much about this, I’ll simply put it last on the list and always make sure it never gets discussed. But then again, teh DA has proven to be sharp manipulators of Parliamentary technicalities and procedures, often catching teh ANC on the wrong foot (e.g. ensuring there is a quorum in Parliament, but that off those MPs in Parliament on that day, 50% are from opposition parties and then getting a motion through.

  • http://www.live.com lerato setlogelo

    it is laughable how corrupt unintelligent chief whip with no understanding of the constitution can try 2 block the constitution from reighning supreme in a parliament! it just shows how deep anc corruption is & how these people think lowly & do not care about the electorate!

  • Mbulelo

    If they disallow the debate on the vote, I will personally march to the Constitutional Court to file an application and demand the vote…………

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Maggs

    “Obama] won with a decisive majority!!!”

    Maggs, you are wrong.

    52/48 is what we call a “slender” majority.

    You want to see “decisive”? Try 66/33!

    Thanks.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    BTW, Maggs, what will happen?

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    November 14, 2012 at 23:19 pm

    Dworky

    “You want to see “decisive”? Try 66/33!”

    Hmmm, what would you say to 332/206?

    If “52/48 is what we call a “slender” majority” – what would you call the “tea girl”?

    p.s. JR – please tell Dworky what will happen!

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    Hayibo!!!

    Keith Khoza – I found some marbles. Are they yours?

    ANC spokesman Keith Khoza said the party would not engage in public arguments with Ramphele.

    “The ANC is the only organisation in this country that introduced democracy and that will jealously guard against any threat to democracy in this country,” he said.

    http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2012/11/15/insulted-sadtu-anc-hit-back-at-ramphele

  • Brett Nortje

    Michael Hulley, have you handed over the tapes?

  • Brett Nortje

    What was Keith Khoza’s job before he ‘became’ ANC spokesman?

  • Brett Nortje

    What was ‘ANC intellectual’ Mathole Motshekga’s ‘job’ before he ‘became’ Chief Whip?

  • Brett Nortje

    What was Nomaindia Mfeketo’s ‘job’ before she ‘became’ Deputy Speaker ?

  • Brett Nortje

    Honourable Malale? Do you want to answer my question about the Programme Committee now?

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za ozoneblue

    ‘Maybe even some ANC leaders are becoming embarrassed about the unlawful splurge of public funds on the renovation of President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead (also sometimes referred to as a “compound” by people who do not work at the SABC).”

    As usual on set of lies repeated ad nauseum ad infinito and then bolstered by another set of lies as the propaganda machinations runs along with the usual rethorical devices.

    Pierretjie, I challenged you to approach the courts as you said “could be done”. Why don’t you/DA/Brett then do it?

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    Brett Nortje
    November 15, 2012 at 8:01 am

    Hey G,

    “What was Keith Khoza’s job before he ‘became’ ANC spokesman?”

    Keith Khoza was introducing democracy in South Africa. Single handedly!

    Nobody else was involved, not the myriad of organisations across our country, our continent, the world.

    Not ordinary people who stood up against the iniquitous state.

    Not the unions.

    Not the liberation movements.

    Not the kids.

    Not the foreign countries.

    Not the “maids and garden boys”.

    Not the activists who gave (or were prepared to give) their lives.

    Not anyone else, just Keith Khoza guiding the ANC alone to introducing democracy in South Africa.

    So now you know what Keith Khoza did before he became spokesperson of the ANC.

  • Brett Nortje

    Cde Godfather isn’t thinking this through.

    Zuma falling to a vote of no confidence in the Assembly is so much more an elegant feelgood option than blood and guts on the floor at Mangaung.

    And, it will reset our country back on the ‘right’ path for a hundred years.

    (OK, until 2040, when the demographics torpedo SA because the ANC have dicked around for 18 years…)

  • Brett Nortje

    His ‘job’, Maggs, his ‘job’!

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    Brett Nortje
    November 15, 2012 at 8:15 am

    G,

    “His ‘job’, Maggs, his ‘job’!”

    Keith Khoza’s job was single-handedly introducing democracy to South Africa!

    It was an unpaid position and a thankless job at that.

    I hope it’s clear now.

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za ozoneblue

    @brett

    I certainly hope you dont mean the kind of “democracy” where you call in the SANDF to suppress protests.

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    It would be nice for the motion to be debated.

    But it would be silly of the ANC, given it’s decisive (thanks Dworks) majority, to allow it.

    As Pierre notes, the consequence of such a debate would probably be harmful to the ANC.

  • ISHMAEL MALALE

    I am a member of both the Joint Rules Committee and the National Assembly Rules Committee. When a Member of Parliament proposed to put a motion to the house, it motion joins the queue of existing motions or scheduled business of Parliament.

    The Programming Committee, chaired by the Speaker, constituted by all parties determines the prioritisation of issues or motions. The ANC will not allow that motion to jump the queue owing to its unseriousness. The motion of no confidence is on the order paper, thus on the agenda for consideration in due course.

    On wednesday next week parliament is rising and the motion will lapse in the current session. The DA may still reintroduce it next year when parliament reconvenes. I must say that the DA would not have got any support from the ANC.

    There is an aspect of the method of voting. Secret ballot is a constitutional requirement as regards the election of the President and Presiding Officers of the House. Parliament regulates its own internal process and procedures. Generally parliamanetary motions are intertained by transluscent vote.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    With respect, I say the motion of no confidence must be debated. The motley coalition of liberals and professional coconuts will swiftly discover that the house retains full confidence in Mr Zuma. Only he can represent the aspirations of all of our people!

  • ISHMAEL MALALE

    yes my friend.

  • ISHMAEL MALALE

    what is the question about the programming committee.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Ishmael, the only “intertainment” I have seen recently in the House are the antics of a certain tea-girl – she who is unlikely to win anything by a slender majority! (Thanks Maggs.)

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za ozoneblue

    @ishmael

    I don’t think there were any serious questions. Just another long overblown rant based on thin air and innuendo.

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    November 15, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Hey Dworky,

    “the house retains full confidence in Mr Zuma” – not the house, Dworky, the ANC.

    Whether the ANC also holds that “(o)nly he can represent the aspirations of all of our people” is yet to be seen.

  • Brett Nortje

    http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71619?oid=340003&sn=Detail&pid=71616

    Now, how would a Party of the working class, actually the Vanguard of the working class be the number one defenders of such pure corruption, which I define as diversion of public money into self enrichment and self gratification? Why is the Communist Party planning to sing and dance over the fact that the sitting President is complicit in diverting public funds into his personal enrichment, whilst his immediate neighbours do not have decent shelter? These questions we should answer urgently before the Act to silence such answers is passed as proposed by the SACP in KwaZulu Natal, or should we just say their puppet Masters in Pretoria?

    The sad reality is that now and historically, those who claimed and claim to be vanguard of the working class get transformed into a rapacious nomenklatura whose greed is far much deeper and more dangerous than that of the ruling class in a capitalist society.

    This kind of nomenklatura is often accompanied by efforts to suppress any form of dissent

    Floyd Shivambu

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    November 15, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Eish Dworky,

    “she who is unlikely to win anything by a slender majority”.

    That’s racist.

    You never pick the obesity of WHITE people (like Brett for example)!

  • Brett Nortje

    Brett Nortje says:
    November 1, 2012 at 14:16 pm

    ISHMAEL MALALE says:
    November 1, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Honourable Malale, who decides whether a substantive motion gets to be set down? The Parliamentary questions office?

    What if the ANC decides ‘No’ as it did when the DA tried to question the President about Nkandla R230m?

    Need I remind you that barely a week ago the ConCourt spanked the ANC for its undemocratic practices wrt to private members Bills?

  • Brett Nortje

    Does anyone want to contest the fact that – by continuously seeking out the lowest common denominator – the ANC has created the kind of society in which we are rated 84th in the world and stone those more successful than us?

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za ozoneblue

    Brett

    Do you remeber when we used to sing – this is my rifle, this is my gun, this one is for killing, this one is for fun.

    What do you say about “separation of powers” and Anti Zille’s call for SANDF to supress protests in WC. Shouldn’t such a uncontitutional undemocratic thing lead to a motion of no confidence against the premier of the Western Cape?

  • ISHMAEL MALALE

    scheduling of motions on consensus of the parties. Currently no deadlock breaking mechanism. The latter aspect requires urgent attention by the rules committee.

  • Brett Nortje

    I am as a matter of principle; always; against the use of the military to police civilians. That is the function of the SAPS.

    How extraordinary is this situation, though?

    Bearing in mind that the police were quick enough to arrest a farmer protecting his property how inefficient can the police in the Western Cape possibly be? They have set the bar at a new low.

    So, the DA is faced with a situation where Fransman is set on making the Cape ungovernable, the ANC is bussing in Rent-a-Crowd to cause anarchy and destabilise the State even further, the police will not fulfil their obligations under S205 of the Constitution, but they will ensure that the ‘wrong’ people do not protect themselves and the NPA cannot be relied upon to pursue charges of intimidation, public violence and sedition without fear favour or prejudice.

    WTF do you suggest Zille does? Capitulate?

  • Anonymouse

    Mbulelo

    November 14, 2012 at 23:11 pm

    If they disallow the debate on the vote, I will personally march to the Constitutional Court to file an application and demand the vote…………

    OH WHEN THE SAINTS!

  • Anonymouse

    ISHMAEL MALALE

    November 15, 2012 at 9:05 am

    “I am a member of both the Joint Rules Committee and the National Assembly Rules Committee. When a Member of Parliament proposed to put a motion to the house, it motion joins the queue of existing motions or scheduled business of Parliament.

    The Programming Committee, chaired by the Speaker, constituted by all parties determines the prioritisation of issues or motions. The ANC will not allow that motion to jump the queue owing to its unseriousness. …”

    Oh, …, how ‘unserious’ it is if a large contingent of the House of Assembly (albeit a minority, not the majority) tables a motion of no confidence in the President of the counttry! Are you for real?!

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za ozoneblue

    @brett

    So you are saying that you do not trust SAPS and NPA but you do trust SANDF cause it is not tainted by the same vast Stalinist Zuma conspiracy?

    Lol.

  • Mike

    And all the while the historians are recording the histrionics of the ANC trying to prevent democracy at work.
    The ANC will fall because it is now clear to the masses out there that the siblings of the black exiles ie Lindwe Sizulu as an example, think they are some sort of royalty.
    Henrdick Verwoed is sitting on his perch laughing and saying “”I told you so.”

  • Brett Nortje

    ozoneblue says:
    November 15, 2012 at 10:28 am

    No, you CHUMP!

    What I’m saying is that Zille can do little else but make loud HELPLESS noises in an emergency situation where approaching the Courts for help would take far too long to be much good.

    That is what happens when one suffers a total break-down in the rule of law.

  • Stewart Wood

    Every indicator is available to any thinking person of how the ANC would react if and when it should lose a National Election.

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    Are the opposition are saying to Zuma “take your flea-infested body and jump”?

  • Anonymouse

    Ishmael Malale and others opposed to the motion being debated

    “Here is a detailed breakdown of the state’s expenditure on the President’s residence at Nkandla spending:
    Die Burger (17 October) and City Press (21 October) put the total cost of the Nkandla upgrade project at R248 million.
    This figure includes:
    • R121 million to construction companies
    • R3 million for bullet proof windows
    • R9.23 million for a perimeter fence
    • R2.3 million for lift/s
    • R54 million has already been paid to consultants, architects, land surveyors, engineers and project managers
    • Thirty-one costly new buildings were constructed in the compound, with one contractor (who built six of them, see below) charging Public Works R8 million per building
    • A gate house, a gymnasium and guest rooms
    • An underground bunker, with a lift to ferry President Zuma between the main house and the bunker
    • A helipad
    • The installation of air conditioning systems at a cost of R1.5 million
    • R200 000 on lightning protectors for the thatched roofs
    In August 2010, public works told Parliament the project would cost R6.4 million.

    This upgrade has been undertaken despite massive upgrades to Zuma’s official residences in Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town also having been undertaken since 2009.

    Payments to contractors started in December 2009 – seven months after Zuma was sworn in as president.

    The final delivery date of the project is August 2013.

    The biggest beneficiary of the Nkandla upgrade by far has been businesswoman Thandeka Nene’s Bonelena Construction Enterprise and Projects, which scored two building contracts worth R33.4 million and R66 million, respectively.

    The R33.4 million contract was for “emergency work”, indicating the work did not go out on public tender.

    Bonelena’s second contract, the cost of which increased from R55 million to R66 million, was for the construction of “25 new buildings” at R2.6 million each.

    Moneymine 310 (an apt name!), a company owned by businesswoman Pamela Mfeka, was contracted to construct six new buildings at the compound at a cost of R47.6 million, meaning each building cost R7.9 million.

    It is still unclear exactly what expenses Zuma and his family will carry, but a Public Works document released earlier this year put the figure at R10.6 million.

    The Nkandla compound was built by Zuma in 2000.

    During the corruption trial of Schabir Shaik it was alleged that money from French arms dealer Thales was used to fund the building of the complex.”

    Now I would think all of this being good enough reason, and allegations of serious enough proportion to justify, at the very least, a debate on a motion of no confidence in the President, and that it is urgent enough to allow the motion to “jump the que”.

  • Vuyo

    We know who Thandeka and Pamela will be voting for.

  • Zoo Keeper

    Brett

    What do you make of Joematt-Pietersen telling the workers their arrested colleagues should be released and all charges dropped…?

  • ISHMAEL MALALE

    if and when we loose elections we will be the largest minority party. Now it is the DA. The ANC has not objected to the motion being considered in the near future.

    It only could not allow a debate now when we have a long list of most important matters which require the decision of the House. A debate on the motion of [no] confidence on the basis of overbroad political statements is devoid of any substance is unwarranted.

    The motion will effectively lapse and the DA is perfectly entitled to revive it next year. At the moment we are not interested in childish moves which make a caricuture of our hard won democracy. I see no point in discussing such issues in the context of a motion of no confidence.

    As if when his Excellecy Zuma could be removed (a dream)we would yield the reversal of the global economic crisis. A debate on Nkandla was had with the Minister of Public Works in the House and is subject to investigatory efforts.

    A review of the pricing which is “questionable” is being undertaken. Indeed let us allow all this to take place. The issues as raised in the motion can be raised in the house any time. Even now in session.

    A call for a vote of confidence could be raised and erase the need for a motion of no confidence. This is politicking! Do not read much into the call by a coalition of opposition parties. let us talk about the call for the deployment of the army in Western Cape by Brigadier Zille.

  • Zoo Keeper

    ISHMAEL

    SO what about ZIle’s call?

    The cops have shown they are incapable of exercising crowd control. They have arrested a farmer for firing a warning shot to protect himself and his property.

    The cops have arrested others on charges of intimidation and public violence.

    Now your own colleague has told workers they have “won” their battle (against herself because your other colleague Oliphant sets the minimum wage) and that all strikers who have been arrested should be released and charges dropped.

    Your own colleague is encouraging public violence and disorder! Clearly this is with the approval of the ANC as no-one has stepped up to tell the public she is out of order. Instead, you want to concentrate on Zille’s call for the army.

    There are far more damaging and dangerous things being done by your own colleagues.

    Why don’t you man up and deal with the real problem – the conduct of your ANC colleagues and COSATU stablemates?

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    “At the moment we are not interested in childish moves which make a caricuture of our hard won democracy.”

    Ishmael is right. We have a packed legislative agenda of serious issues. I demand that the DA etc bring up the matter again in the first session of 2014. The DA and its liberal pack of “clever blacks” remind me of spoilt infants who wail and whinge whenever they are deprived of their favourite sweeties or cookie-monsters. Ishmael is also right about us needing no more caricatures — not in a year in which we have already have endured a childish depiction of the Head of State that offends all people everywhere!

  • ISHMAEL MALALE

    Les us think of February 2013. Now the schedule is conjected and the house will rise. I quess by now Mbulelo has reached Constitutional Hill. I wonder if he is a fast legal documents drafter. Illegality must be referred to the Police and/or NPA to process charges during holidays. As for parliament we are going to the villages by friday next week.

  • Zoo Keeper

    ISHMAEL

    Dodging the question? Perhaps that’s what we should expect of a member of the Joint Rules Committee?

  • Brett Nortje

    Anonymouse says:
    November 15, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Good value for money, Dr Mouse, considering the ANC in Limpopo contracted for doctors’ consulting rooms for R400m…

  • Brett Nortje

    Zoo Keeper says:
    November 15, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    I would say she knows her NPA…very well….

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    November 15, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Dworky

    “The DA and its liberal pack of ‘clever blacks’”

    You mean those with flea-infested bodies, don’t you?

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    Anonymouse
    November 15, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Hey Doc Mouse,

    All those things essentially take money from poor people.

    Fuck the poor!

  • Ricky

    ISHMAEL MALALE, with all due respect your statements would have been relevant and pertinent, had the ANC Chief Whip merely stated that the ANC would prevent the motion of no confidence from being fast-tracked. But this is (as far as I have been able to read) not what he said, he rather said that the motion would not be allowed to be put on the agenda (which would normally mean ever). I understand why you would want to gloss over this undemoctratic and (probably) unconstitutional statement but doing so your statements become intellectually dishonest.

  • ISHMAEL MALALE

    Ricky, I am nor closing over tghe matter. The DA sort to have the matter on the agenda to coincide with the day, his Excellency, Mr. Zuma was scheduled to respond to parliamentary questions put by mainly the very opposition. I must indicate that the programming committee meets every week to determine matters which ought to serve before the house.

    A motion will lapse and the young lady of the DA, will receive instructions from Brigadier Zille to revive this shallow motion for a debate of no confidence, which only constitutes a cheap opportunity to assault their enemy, Zuma. We cannot allow the DA to set the Agenda for this country. They have every opportunity to attack the President in every plenary. Zuma is now speaking on the houses.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Ishmael, with respect, the leader of the DA does not hold the rank of “Brigadier,” or any other military rank for that matter. The proper mode of address for Zille is “Madam.”

    Thanks.

  • Brett Nortje

    ISHMAEL MALALE says:
    November 15, 2012 at 15:51 pm

    Please indulge my observation that only a person who is wholly incapable of distinguishing between ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ would fail to be stirred to outrage by this President’s shallow hubris and urge to immediate self-gratification.

    This Parliament is in shocking dereliction of its duty to hold him to account and since it observes the rule of law only when it serves I deny that it has any authority over me whatsoever.

    Please pass on to Cde Blade the utmost contempt in which I hold him and his motley crew.

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    Esih – this is like Ishmael is being attacked by a pack of wild dogs.

    No wonder there are some in parliament with ‘flea-infested bodies”!

  • Zoo Keeper

    Ishmael

    “Zuma is now speaking on the houses.”

    Is he addressing Nkandla and how he managed to raise all that money on his salary?

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    LOL – reports are that Zuma says that his family paid for the upgrades to his homes.

    So now – #TheHandbook, #SecurityAssessments, #VisitingDignitaries – all bullshit from Thulas?

    And where did the R263 million go to????

    Comrade Blade – did WHITE people steal the money???

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    City Press Online ‏@City_Press

    #Zuma: I have been convicted, painted black, called first class corrupt man on facts that are not tested. I take exception (voice breaks)

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    Hayibo!

    Wrong-doers will be punished if Nkandla upgrade points to corruption – Nxesi

    Swift and decisive action will be taken if a probe into the security upgrade at President Jacob Zuma’s house in Nkandla points to illegal, corrupt or irregular activities, Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi has said.

    “Wrong-doers will be held to account,” he said in a statement yesterday.

    http://www.citypress.co.za/Politics/News/Wrong-doers-will-be-punished-if-Nkandla-upgrade-points-to-corruption-Nxesi-20121115

  • Chris (Not the right wing guy)

    Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!
    November 15, 2012 at 16:53 pm

    “Wrong-doers will be punished if Nkandla upgrade points to corruption – Nxesi”

    Oh boy! Just like the wrong-doers at Travelgate were punished by courts, at least some of them, but then excused by our national joke who calls themselves Parliament!

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    Chris (Not the right wing guy)
    November 15, 2012 at 17:03 pm

    Hey Right-Wing-Guy,

    I dunno what’s so difficult about the responsible people just telling the truth and sharing the facts.

    #NationalKeyPoints #TheHandbook, #SecurityAssessments, #VisitingDignitaries … wadda wadda wadda – all LIES!

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    https://www.facebook.com/profpierredevos/posts/10152252722635106

    Pierre De Vos

    In Parliament today President Jacob Zuma said his Nkandla houses shown on television were the ones his family had paid for, and not what government had built. But in the Shaik trial the court found that Schabir Shaik solicited a bribe on behalf of Zuma from an arms deal company to help pay for the original Nkandla buildings. It is therefore not entirely correct that his family paid for the houses. An arms deal company paid for some of the cost by paying a bribe (via Shaik) with the understanding that Zuma would protect them during the arms deal inquiry. Also, the state paid almost R250 million for “security upgrades” at Nkandla when the Ministerial Handbook does not allow more than R100 000. The President could at any time have instructed the Department of Public Works not to spend R250 million on his Nkandla compound. He did not. That seems to be the real issue.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    I say it is racist to refer to the structure at Nkandla as a “house.” It sounds like a place to which blacks are relegated in conditions of undignified servitude; see the American Confederate’s racist term, “house nigger.” That is why I am convinced that the liberal media is determined to disrespect the dignity of the President — even in the nomenclature employed to designate his private accommodation!

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    So Dworky,

    Please ask JR tell us what will happen if I insult the President.

    Will Comrade Minister Nzimande invoke the spirit of Idi Amin (with Dmwangi’s help of course)?

    Or will he revoke my passport, visa, permanent residence and send me back to India to be with 1.28976 billion other coolies?

    No wait, I think I erred – it’s only WHITE people who can insult our president!

    Down with racist WHITE people I say. Down!

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Maggs, we are not saying you may not engage critically with our President. Only that you do so in a manner commensurate with the dignity of his office. You can even employ gentle but pointed humour, along the lines of Trevor Noah.

    Thanks.

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    November 15, 2012 at 20:16 pm

    Dworky

    “You can even employ gentle but pointed humour, along the lines of Trevor Noah.”

    I dunno if Noah is safe here.

    You can see his WHITE half is insulting our President – everyone knows our president does not palm-read!

    Just wait and see – Comrade Minister Blade will sort Noah out!

    http://www.blaque.co.za/trevor-noah-crazy-normal-president-jacob-zumas-speech/

  • Brett Nortje

    Definitely no Loyiso, Maggs!

  • Olds

    I would find the debate here rather amusing if it happened on any other website. You are all on the same side, the side of the robber barons to whom the Constitution has become a shiny tool with which to carve market share, the opposite side of the people who got shot at Marikana and in the Boland. The other side, who cannot afford the Constition (we come in all shades Maggs), who are accused of causing crime, whoi do not have a voice anywhere and no protection from or even by “the law”.

    Who cares who insults the president? Are there not more pressing matters to discuss, more serious problems to find answers to? Like, for instance, how the Constitution failed “the poor” because it was stolen by the powers that is (who, once again, comes in all shades Maggs). How many more “things” have to be shot by the police before the debate will turn to the real problem, the widening gap between the “important people” and the “things”?

  • Brett Nortje

    Blah blah blah!

    The Constitution has not failed the poor. The ANC has!

    “The sad reality is that now and historically, those who claimed
    and claim to be vanguard of the working class get transformed
    into a rapacious nomenklatura whose greed is far much deeper and
    more dangerous than that of the ruling class in a capitalist
    society.

    This kind of nomenklatura is often accompanied by efforts to
    suppress any form of dissent”

    Floyd Shivambu

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    Olds
    November 16, 2012 at 6:55 am

    Hey Olds,

    You’re wrong.

    Our Minister of HIGHER EDUCATION, the Hon Dr Blade Nzimande (he whose body is not infested with fleas) has pronounced – WHITE people are insulting our President.

    Just because he squeaks, drinks lots and lots of red wine, does lots and lots of red whine, drives a snazzy BMW X5 with lots and lots of gadgets, is leading the SACP into irrelevance, does not mean that he is not alive to the sneaky tricks which WHITE people get up to.

    As Brett always tells us WHITE people pay 98% of taxes in our country – the other 2% is paid by Dmwangi who left Kenya to save us from constitutionalism.

    But it’s wrong to (just cos he’s totally bolshing up everything he touches and encouraging the spending of enormous amounts of money on his personal needs and assets) conclude that ZUMA IS A JOKE!

  • Olds

    @Bret

    “The Constitution has not failed the poor. The ANC has!”

    That statement gives the impression that “The ANC” is a person or a homogenous group of people who are the only ones intent on robbing “the poor”. I see simillar comments about “The DA” although Madam Zille and “The Teagirl” seems to be singled out more often for comment.

    This viewpoint fails to take into account the fact that some of the real teagirls, who are mostly dirt poor and hardworking taxpayers doing a thankless job might be reading this, and not knowing the shiny faces behind the tinted BMW windows as well as Maggs seems to know Blade, might mistakenly think that no-one, not “The ANC” nor “The DA” and definitely not the Concourt ( whose services she cannot afford) gives a shit what she thinks, otherwise, why would they use her position as a form of insult amongst themselves?

    “The Poor” is waking up to the fact that they do all the work for the minimum of profit share while those who claim to represent “The Poor” seem to do nothing else than squabble over the major share, hence the increase in riots. This is the only voice “The Poor” possess. If that voice is silenced by the same people whose job it is to protect the poor… Basically, both Zuma and Zille agree that the poor must be “dealt with”, they are just arguing over the means. None of the powermongers actually give a damn what the poor thinks or need.

    I don’t find any difference between my current DA councillor and my old ANC councillor. They both made promises they couldn’t keep, gets paid exorbitant fees for doing b’all.

    @Maggs
    Why do you harp on racism? Would it be to deflect attention away from the real problem, which is elitism?

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    Olds
    November 16, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Olds

    “@Maggs
    Why do you harp on racism? Would it be to deflect attention away from the real problem, which is elitism?”

    Olds – you must be new to South Africa.

    Only WHITE people can be racist – Dworky will explain.

    Our President wisely said “Let us solve African problems the African way, not the white man’s way”.

    I hope it’s clear now!

  • Olds

    @Maggs – iow the word “racism” has undergone a transformation in meaning much like the word “gay” and now means “a person of European descent who should bugger-off”?

    Thanks for that education. Sorry, must go, the directors want their tea.

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    Olds
    November 16, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Olds,

    “@Maggs – iow the word “racism” has undergone a transformation in meaning much like the word “gay” and now means “a person of European descent who should bugger-off”?”

    nearly on point.

    Racism is when we don’t like what people have to say – for example if someone cooks crap food then anyone commenting that it is indeed crap is racist.

    There are racists, wannabe-racists and coconuts (including tea-girls, garden-boys, flea-infested bodies and the like).

    Re : “the directors want their tea.” Are you a tea-girl or kitchen boy?

  • Olds

    @Maggs

    “Are you a tea-girl or kitchen boy?”

    Does it make a difference? Drudgery is drudgery and sexless. Now, if prostitution had been legalised I might have had to provide biscuits with the tea and my sex would matter. Sexism, i.o.w (and if it has not suffered the same fate as racism) will not serve to take the focus away from the doings of the important people, who, for all their gaseous output seem to produce very little else that is of use.

  • Maggs Naidu – ABZ! – Zuma must go (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Olds
    November 16, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Olds,

    “Does it make a difference”

    It does indeed.

    As a tea-girl you may qualify to be leader of the opposition in parliament.

    As a garden-boy, Dmwangi may have interest in your “services”!

  • Olds

    ROTFL

    I fear I do not have the right connections, oops, i meant credentials and BEE status for either.

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    Judgment reserved in DA’s no confidence case

    The Western Cape High Court will rule on Wednesday whether Parliament should debate the motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

    … Davis also lashed out at politicians for rushing to courts to decide on difficult political matters, adding that it was ridiculous to put so much pressure on judges on something so important.

    “Can the courts start saying to Parliament, sorry you have to rearrange your schedule. The case has enormous implications.

    “Courts are increasing getting drawn into difficult issues.

    “How do I tell the speaker and the chief whip that as a judge, I think your priorities were wrong?”

    http://mg.co.za/article/2012-11-20-judgment-reserved-in-das-no-confidence-case

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za ozoneblue

    @mags

    I have always said it is better that PdV and a bench of ‘transformed’ judges actually govern South Africa. At least they don’t have to declare their benefits or disclose their business interests and they can focus their priorities on the right places. Like the evil patriarchal society that is driving fatherless street kids to do crime, the conspiracy of the even eviler white heterosexual male specie (who invented the wheel and the Internet) against the poor black peoples of the world (with their vast BEE accumulated wealth) and the navel of that even more eviler 100% heterosexual patriarchal Zulu boy cde Zuma.

  • Brett Nortje

    I’m trying to watch Belgian ringsport on Youtube.

    Do you have to keep interrupting with vacuous chirps?

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    Is there a race agenda against Zuma?

    Khaya Dlanga explains why it’s so painful for him to admit that he is not proud of his president.

    The idea that when a black person disagrees with the ANC or ideas set out by him has somehow been blinded by the liberal offensive is an insult to any thinking human being. Black people are not a homogenous group. Nzimande is a great thinker, he should not demean his intelligence the way he has over the past few years in an attempt to ensure that he stays close to power. Sycophancy is not a good look. I wish Nzimande could go back to applying his mind to greater things like he used to instead of wasting his mind on these trivialities.

    http://mg.co.za/article/2012-11-21-is-there-an-agenda-against-zuma-because-he-is-black

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Maggs, it is with great respect that I infer that Mr Dlanga is a “clever” black. He protests too much. I am not saying that Mr Zuma is perfect. No politician is. But the RACISM that animates the relentless targeting of our President is made evident by the double standards of the liberal white press. Why is there so much focus of the security measures installed — against Zuma’s will — in his bungalows, but silence about the huge mansion in which “Aunty” Zille is ensconced? That is the question.

    Thanks.

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    November 22, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Dworky,

    http://mg.co.za/cartoon/2012-11-22-nkandla-bond/

  • Olds

    .ikhail – Interesting! Can you please post a picture of this mansion. All things being relative and to be fair we must then compare this to pictures of the other PREMIER’s recedences. To make it even more information rich include pictures of their daily modes of transport.

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    Olds
    November 22, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Olds,

    “Can you please post a picture of this mansion.”

    Here’s a picture of the staff quarters of Madame Zille’s mansion built with state resources – we could not post pic of the main house as it is a national key point. Me and Dworky don’t want to go to jail for disclosing “protected” information.

    http://cdn2.elitedaily.com/elite/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Screen-shot-2012-10-29-at-10.31.56-AM.png

  • Olds

    I really thought that at least at this forum South Africans could communicate problems and discuss solutions but all it and all the other similar forums prove is that we deserve Zuma et al.

    SIGH…

  • Olds

    @Maggs – wow! But then, everyone always claim she does not provide adequate housing to other South Africans? It looks to me like those toilets are enclosed unless the ponds in front?…

    Why also are there pictures of Nkandla from every angle all over the paper. Is this not a “National keypoint”?

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    Olds
    November 22, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Olds,

    “Why also are there pictures of Nkandla from every angle all over the paper.”

    That’s cos Zuma is entirely transparent, unlike she-who-hides-behind-secrecy-laws!

    p.s. it’s not a pond in front – it’s a urinal for the all-male-cabinet!

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    Well done OzoneBoy!

    A DA councillor was voted in as mayor of Potchefstroom after a motion of no confidence in the ANC mayor was passed, the municipality said on Thursday. …

    “The mayoral seat was vacated… after an ANC-driven motion of no confidence in former mayor Mapetle Mapetle was accepted with 37 votes against 13,” it said in a statement.

    http://news.iafrica.com/sa/828802.html

  • Olds

    @Maggs – “That’s cos Zuma is entirely transparent”

    Ahhh, I see, so, Schaik is just that buddy who tends to go a bit overboard on birthdays and who pick up the wrong penpals on overseas sights which he then shortsightedly introduce to you?

    You are so right, things are so much better now under the ANC govt and the nasty whities must just shoo or shus and keep coming with their tax money. Even and especially prisoners now live extremely well. In Biko’s days they would have hung Schaik by his b*ll*cks for helping to sell amunition to his fellow countrymen with which to shoot his fellow countrymen, not send him home because the other prisoners get on his nerves.

  • Olds

    Even I have it much better, i know make tea for black bosses as well and have whities living in the shack next to mine.

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    Olds
    November 22, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Well said Olds!

    “things are so much better now under the ANC govt”.

    Indeed things are.

    But it’s not the standard we want our government to measure up against.

  • Olds

    @Maggs

    Thanks for: http://news.iafrica.com/sa/828802.html

    I love this forum, one learn so much! Today, for instance, i learned that “faction” is synonymous to “several”.