OMRY MAKGOALE: Save the country or your political party?


It is always very unfortunate if you have to choose between loyalty to your country and loyalty to your political party, whether it is the ANC, DA, EFF or IFP.

It is indeed unfortunate, but morally we should always choose the country first, the motherland South Africa, rather than any political party.

South Africa - the land surface - will be there to eternity. It will survive the thunderstorms and flooding, but the ANC as a living organism might die if not taken care of.

The ANC needs continuous nourishment to survive from generation to generation. It has to adapt to the prevailing conditions and environment, to the external conditions and internal contradictions that help it to mature with the times.

There are social organisations that have been in existence for centuries - even for 17 hundred years, such as the Roman Catholic Church.

The key survival factor is continuous adaptation to the changing conditions, so that the organisation continues to evolve. Evolution requires changes structurally and internally as well as procedures that should be congruent with technological developments.

The ANC, however, is currently destroying itself by being used as a tool for looting by the successive political slates and factions. Yet the priority should be to preserve the ANC as the South Africa's prime national political party, so as to save the country for future generations.

What can we do?

Above all, we should not accept wrong practices without challenging them.

We should not accept crooks to be appointed without protesting.

We, as members of civil society, must stand up again just as we did during the time of apartheid, and fight every bad thing that is being done by government and state institutions under our name as the citizens of South Africa.

We cannot afford to be neutral or passive when wrong things are done in our name.

This also means it is high time we acknowledge that until South Africa's parliamentary electoral laws are reformed, it is virtually impossible to clean the police, the NPA, municipalities and government ministries.

The great crocodile mouth in the otherwise reasonable Constitution of 1993 are these parliamentary electoral laws, which place total power in the hands of party headquarters and leave the voters powerless.

To save the country we need to reform the parliamentary electoral laws so that we as citizens have the power to elect members of Parliament directly, individually, by name.

As long as members of Parliament are appointed by party headquarters, we cannot prevent state capture recurring.

The well-being of South Africans must not depend on political parties, but on the integrity of Parliament.

The election of members of Parliament is the most sacred element in safeguarding the republic, after the Constitution, the law of the land and the judiciary - perhaps even more than these, because without control over politicians by the voters, there is no democracy.

As history has shown, the executive cannot be relied upon in South Africa.

It is the executive, and the party headquarters to which it is subordinate, that has administered the looting, appointing crooks as ministers, as director generals, as directors of state-owned enterprises, commissioners of police, and officials of the National Prosecuting Authority - all done by the executive in pursuit of ill-gotten gains, looting state resources.

We need a robust and independent Parliament to prevent the recurrence of state capture. We have to save the country ahead of saving political parties.

Political parties have a finite lifespan, but South Africa hopefully will exist indefinitely unless calamities occur.

Loyalty should be to the country ahead of the political parties.

It is time to act now, or our children face a terrible future.

Omry Makgoale is a rank and file member of the ANC. These are his personal views.