South Africa: Parliament Is a Big 'Mabena' in the Democratic Project


Parliament's only actions that have come close to holding the executive accountable have been the establishment of expensive ad-hoc committees -- which produce recommendations that tend to disappear into history.

As 2019 reaches its twilight period, it is worth reflecting on some of the year's political moments, especially those that have exposed the shortcomings of South Africa's maturing democratic institutions.

The year has not been short in offering critical reflection on South Africa's politics.

We witnessed horrific acts of xenophobia and gender-based violence in a dreadful September, with the more obvious commentary points being the impact of attacks on foreign nationals on South Africa's diplomatic ties to the African continent and the country's reputation as a successful African democracy capable of protecting human rights.

I wish to shift the spotlight slightly and use the events of September to highlight the Mabena (symbol of national disappointment) character of our national Parliament at crucial moments in South Africa's young democratic project.

A brief breakdown of the mandate, role and responsibility of Parliament to the nation will help the reader appreciate why the title of this article associates our legislature with a Mabena.

The responsibility of any democratic parliament has always been to...

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