OMRY MAKGOALE: It's time for SA to vote for their presidential candidates


I am looking forward to the day when South Africans will be allowed to choose and vote for leaders they know and trust. Hopefully then, patriots will be considered as candidates by the respective political parties.

Crooks, thieves, thugs, racists and bigots of any political party with integrity should not be on the candidate list for Parliament or provincial legislatures and municipal councils.

The day voters can choose by name for whom they are voting will be the time of clean governance, the time of a competent and professional police service, the time of competent professional civil servants.

That is my dream.

At present, all these competencies depend on the respective party's headquarters and not on the people of South Africa. These competencies do not depend on the voters and that is because of the flawed parliamentary electoral laws that give 100% power to the party headquarters and zero power to the voters. By default, when party headquarters are captured or hijacked, 100% of power is conferred to the capturers.

The national democratic revolution is en route to becoming radical economic transformation, from NDR to RET revolutions within the ANC. Can the ANC survive under these conditions? Can the ANC be rescued, or is it dying a natural death of attrition? Only time will tell.

ANC divisions are glaring for all to see. You have President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Union Buildings trying to run the government with a shaky Cabinet and a few competent and patriotic ministers, all held in a stranglehold grip by former Gupta deployees and former Premier League bosses, who were placed in the ANC top six by pro-Jacob Zuma delegates at the national elective conference at Nasrec in December 2017.

The result - partially paralysed provinces, dilapidated infrastructure, sewage flowing in the streets of towns, brown water from the taps in Parys in the Free State, no water in Madibeng municipality with sabotaged water infrastructure to rip off the municipal budget.

You have radical economic transformation forces controlled by the ANC secretary-general and former Free State Premier Ace Magashule, anchored by ex-North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo, Free State MEC Mosebenzi Zwane, Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina the and MKMVA boss Kebby Maphatsoe under the overall leadership of former president Zuma.

These are developments from the alleged secret Maharani Hotel meeting that took place after the Nasrec elective conference where a strategy was formalised for a comeback by the Guptas' and Watsons' deployees. The spokesperson for radical economic transformation, Carl Niehaus, was leading the chorus at the airport to welcome Zuma back from Cuba last Saturday. Niehaus declared that radical economic transformation is Jacob Zuma; and Jacob Zuma is radical economic transformation.

Radical economic transformation indeed! We see it all around us - economic collapse, economic theft of state funds, economic load shedding across the nation day and night, the transformation of South Africa into an economic basket case.

Reactionary economic transformation is a much better name: the transformation of this former economic powerhouse of Africa into a disgraceful and humiliating sink of poverty, for the economic benefit of a small platoon of political thieves. Nothing is more reactionary than the plunder of public funds.

Beware of those who sing to the same chorus!

In parallel with the Zuma choir of imbongi praise-singers above, we have RET forces in the Economic Freedom Fighters led by Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu, the alleged beneficiaries of the VBS bank heist. No parliamentary electoral reform there! The present electoral system is too great a blessing for whatever crowd of thieves can capture the state treasury.

Then there is Andile Mxitama of Black First Land First, a rabid racist who wants us to believe that everything white is evil. These are all forces against democratic reforms, who President Ramaphosa in his political straitjacket has to contend with.

Then we have former president FW de Klerk, a racist of note, who thinks that apartheid was not a crime against humanity. De Klerk has never accepted the new dispensation. He and those like him believe in the superiority of whites over other races. For De Klerk to act and pretend not to be aware of United Nations resolutions is hypocrisy of the worst order.

Claiming so-called black-on-black violence killed more blacks than apartheid, he thinks we do not know the relationship between the National Party and Inkatha Freedom Party, with white apartheid police officers painting themselves black and transporting Inkatha warlords from hostels in Soweto to maim and kill black commuters in trains and in the townships under his watch.

Alas, with radical economic decline precipitated headlong under the government of Zuma, racism is being revived on all sides. In such an atmosphere, Ramaphosa has little chance of success, with the odds loaded against him.

We, as the people of South Africa, need to save the country, and in the process, we will also be rescuing the president.

It is time for mass action similar to the days of the Mass Democratic Movement to demand the right of voters to elect the president directly and elect Members of Parliament directly, as individuals, name by name, in large multi-member constituencies, as recommended by the majority of the Electoral Task Team in 2003.

Away with party headquarters appointments to Parliament!

We need peaceful, constitutional, democratic reform.

Power to the People of South Africa.

Power to the voters of South Africa.

Let us wake up and rescue our country.

Omry Makgoale is an ANC rank and file member. These are his personal views.

A previous version of this opinion piece stated incorrectly that Mahumapelo and Magashule were still premiers of their respective provinces. This has been corrected. EWN regrets the error.