SA is far from a fully fledged democratic state

I am convinced that the problems around the ANC succession and floor-crossing are due to an electoral system that is too lax.

I am convinced that the problems around the ANC succession and floor-crossing are due to an electoral system that is too lax.

Our democracy concentrates on political parties rather than individuals. Our electoral system must be designed in a way that succession has little chance of disturbing the tenure of a president. But citizens must also have the legal means to remove a useless president, maybe by means of mid-term endorsements.

To ensure this, we must build into the constitution some basic substantive structural and procedural requirements that any individual or party that wants to run for elections must satisfy. How can we expect a political party that knows nothing about a democratic change of its own leadership to understand that this needs to happen with respect to the leadership of the country?

While entrenched democracies such as the UK can weather the storm of a change of party-political leadership mid-term, I am uncertain about South Africa's ability to do so yet. There is still so much that we cannot predict about our political character, such as what could happen if the ANC lost power.

We need to tighten the constitution and especially the electoral law, if only for the preclusion of an unnecessary state of anomie. We are trying, but we are far from being a fully-fledged democracy.

Joseph Moyo, Durban

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