South Africa: Party Politicking and Electioneering Mars Joint Sitting Debate to Mark 25 Years of Constitution


Platitudes, politicking and doses of disparagement. If it wasn't for Justice Minister Ronald Lamola and United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa's efforts, Friday's joint sitting debate on 25 years of South Africa's Constitution would have been a complete washout.

South Africa's Constitution provided and continues to provide a "sound basis" to rebuild the country after apartheid as a "wonderful example of what's possible", according to United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa.

But over the past 25 years, South Africa's supreme law has been stress tested. While the Bill of Rights should have been implemented and protected by government, instead "the comrades in corruption chose to write a new chapter, Corruption".

Sending comrades to State-owned Entities (SOEs) and using tenders had become a "neat fundraising trick", according to Holomisa.

This was a clear, but still nuanced approach to draw a distinction between the supreme law as adopted on 8 May 1996 in Parliament -- after a high-energy, often tense two-year process to capture newly democratic South Africa's aspirations - and what has happened in practice since.

Much of the rest of the just over two-hour debate that brought together both Houses of Parliament in a joint sitting was little more...

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