The ANC government has allowed South Africa to decline on many levels in the past twenty years while the organisation itself has been deteriorating with regard to human capital in terms of leadership, Dr. Pieter Mulder, the leader of the Freedom Front Plus, says.
Dr. Mulder participated in a national conference of the South African Association for Political Studies (SAAPS) at Unisa in Pretoria today, with the theme: “SA Democracy at 20: Diagnosis and Prognosis” and said that the country’s image has suffered damage within and outside of the country.
According to Dr. Mulder, who spoke about observations he made over the past two decades, the role of parliament in particular has been watered down in opposition to the increasing influence of the ANC’s head quarters, Luthuli House, on affairs of the country.
“Parliament played a very prominent role in 1994 as the political centre of the country. All media announcements, debates etc. took place there.
“In 2014 it is my impression that the ANC has scaled down the role of parliament and it is now being used as a rubber stamp of the ANC and specifically of Luthuli House. An example is that important media announcements are now being made from Pretoria and no longer at parliament.
“It is also clear that the ANC’s A Team of 1994 is no longer in parliament. Of the 400 parliamentarians of 1994, only 12 remain. The ANC’s top people have been lured away to the private sector and the public service and deployed in other areas.
“A second observation is that the division of powers between the executive and legislative authorities has become a theory only after twenty years with the legislative authority – parliament – not willing to do anything that would case the executive to be embarrassed. And Luthuli House determines what happens in both authorities.
“The best example of this is the accountability of the president. Theoretically, the president is elected by all parliamentarians, but in practice he is only accountable to the ANC.
“When Mbeki was re-called as president, parliament did not play any role in it. Parliament was ignored completely. Although parliament elected Mbeki, it had no control over Mbeki being fired,” Dr. Mulder said.
Regarding South Africa’s image to the international community, he said that with former president Nelson Mandela as Nobel Laureate, South Africa’s image with the international community was that of a champion of human rights and the government’s foreign policy was based on this.
“In the past twenty years we have largely moved away from the human rights approach in our foreign policy.
“It can be seen in how often we sided in the UN with the so-called mongoose countries of the world. The question is what Mandela’s government would have done about, for example, the Dalai Lama. I believe he would have allowed him to enter the country. Now we are refusing because we want to please China.
“Lastly, in twenty years, the ANC has transformed the public service into total ineffectiveness. The question is what is most important for the public service; to render a service to the community or to be transformed.
“The ANC chose to completely transform the public service within five years of coming to power, with the result that we have lost all our expertise and experience in the public service. Now we are stuck with a transformed public service that cannot render any services to the country,” Dr. Mulder says.
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