10 August 2017

South Africa: Debunking the Claims On Dissolving Parliament and Holding Elections

analysis

After the National Assembly (NA) again rejected a vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma earlier this week (albeit with a much narrower margin than on previous occasions), one would have thought attention would be turned to solving the many other - seemingly intractable - problems South Africa faces. These problems include a lacklustre economy which was recently downgraded to junk status; exceptionally high and unsustainable levels of unemployment; racialised economic inequality; deeply embedded racism, sexism and homophobia; and of course the endemic corruption that has brought many state-owned enterprises close to collapse and contributes to many of the other problems faced by the country.

Because President Jacob Zuma is part of the problem (see junk status and corruption mentioned above) and because few, if any, of South Africa's problems will be addressed effectively as long as he is President, South Africans will probably continue to obsess about his Presidency. Unfortunately, in this heated environment some people seemed to have entirely lost their minds and have been making false and sometimes deeply anti-democratic claims. So here I have to go again, setting the record straight about two such claims.

Claim 1: Parliament can be collapsed and new elections can...

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