20 March 2017

South Africa: Zuma's Strength Lies in His Band of Compurgators


The supportive howling and catcalls from the ANC back benches during the SONA debate could be described as an act of compurgation for a president who is so compromised and conflicted that he has been credibly dubbed a "constitutional delinquent" by the opposition. Compurgation has medieval roots and its revival in modern politics is not necessarily a sign of progress. By CHRIS SHONE.

When referring to the executive branch of government - the President, Deputy President, ministers (and their deputies) - has the time not finally arrived to drop reference to them, collectively, as "the Cabinet"? Other than the President, who is elected by the National Assembly, the remainder of the Cabinet are all selected and appointed by the President; Zuma is a cabinet maker.

The President is not Mister Geppetto, even though some may suggest that certain of his appointees, in cabinet and otherwise, may be his puppets. Cabinet members are not necessarily dull pieces of wood to be carved so as to create an ideal that may simply do the bidding of their master or moved around on a whim or even tossed out. Or are they? What would Pinocchio think?

President Jacob Zuma appears to be a...

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