South African voters do not currently have a direct say in the election of the country’s President. Instead, the members of the National Assembly (NA) elect the President after each election or when a vacancy occurs in that office. This has led to calls for a change to the current system to allow for the direct election of the President. But would this necessarily be a good idea?

South Africans often complain that they have little say in selecting the individuals who represent them in the NA (as well as in provincial legislatures). With the pure proportional electoral system currently in place, political parties, not voters, decide who will represent the respective parties in the NA as parties compile the electoral lists. Voters have even less of a say in the selection of the person who becomes President, as the President is elected (and can be removed from office) by the 400 members of the NA.

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Quote of the week

The recommendation for criminal charges is particularly applicable to Mr Anoj Singh and Mr Koko, who by false pretences led Eskom, through the officials who processed the R659 million payment, to believe that the R659 million payment was in the nature of pre-payment for coal, as was the R1.68 billion pre-payment, later converted into a guarantee, when in truth and fact they knew that the prepayment and the guarantee were needed to enable the Guptas to complete and save the sale of share transaction.

State Capture Commission Report
Volume 4, Part IV
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