Political power is seen as absolute power. Whether we like it or not, this unfortunately is Africa reality.
Robert Mugabe (pictured, top) exercised it and had the support of his cheering masses. And many people could not understand it.
In SA, the support of cheering masses and the imposition of collective Polokwane decisions has become manipulated "democrazy" - African style.
The exercise of absolute political power with the backing of cheering masses to manipulate the constitution, judiciary and economy led to Zimbabwe's dilemma. Are we on a similar path?
The frequent deliberate delays with the judicial processes of dealing with corruption, suspected drug manipulators and alcohol abusers; and senior judges' interference in attempting to manipulate other judges; have become commonplace and invariably the state pays the mounting legal costs of the accused, especially if they have a struggle record.
Fortunately the economy has not yet reached the levels of Zimbabwe's. International aid and massive foreign investment on the JSE has so far helped to prevent a financial collapse.
Since February 2 1990 and after the adoption of a model constitution, South Africa was seen as the great hope of Africa, but it did not take 15 years for the process to be manipulated Africa style.
Nelson Mandela justified the "great hope" image, but then the manipulators took over. Now we have Jacob Zuma, pictured below.
Zimbabwe was once the breadbasket of Africa, but Mugabe's misuse of power removed the bread and left it a basket case.
If the misuse of power - by the Polokwane collective - is not checked, we could well be on the slippery slide, in spite of cheering masses and a minority of balanced ministers.
V Volker, Pietermaritzburg