nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

The strange “democracy” of South Africa’s Jacob Zuma

THE ‘FUNNY DEMOCRACY’ OF JACOB ZUMA, EyeWitness News,  Judith February , 5 May 17 –“………..- Government’s dogged pursuit of nuclear above everything else is confusing in many ways. Joemat-Pettersson was on record as saying that that the deal would create thousands of jobs and also ‘place a considerable order to local industrial enterprises worth at least $10 billion’. That really did sound like arms deal déjà vu and the so-called National and Defence Industrial Participation Plans. The nuclear deal will in fact dwarf the arms deal of 1999 in both size as well as its potential for corruption.

In 1999 then Treasury official Roland White warned that South Africa’s commitment to the arms deal would depend on its ‘appetite for risk’. The failure of the arms deal and the associated corruption has caused an inestimable amount of damage to our democracy and its institutions. It’s worth learning the lessons from the past.

In addition, Section 217 of the Constitution is quite clear regarding procurement processes when it says they should be, ‘in accordance with a system which is fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective…’ Parliament also has a constitutional duty to ensure that it exercises oversight over the executive and now has a fresh opportunity to redeem itself after its failure to deal with the breach of procedure by the minister in tabling the international agreements mentioned above.

The bold Western Cape High Court ruling shows that this nuclear deal is all of our business and there can be no place for secrecy when the state is about to commit us all to billions of rands in expenditure and bind future generations.

New Energy Minister Mmamoloka Kubayi has committed herself to transparency.

There are hints that government will appeal the Western Cape High court decision. Zuma, in all likelihood, will want to forge ahead in some way. He has, after all, shown a casual disregard for the courts and has little appetite for accountability. Given the intense scrutiny from the prying public and vigilant civil society organisations, this will prove challenging. At the very least Zuma will find that court processes will delay any potential deal. That will be somewhat inconvenient for those who stand to benefit handsomely from the proposed deal.

Zuma once said democracy is a ‘funny thing’. His associates must be standing in the wings somewhat irritated and perhaps not finding it so funny after all.

Judith February is based at the Institute for Security Studies. Follow her on Twitter: @judith_february http://ewn.co.za/2017/05/05/opinion-judith-february-the-funny-democracy-of-jacob-zuma

Advertisements

May 6, 2017 - Posted by | general

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: