Scary that ANC rules state

If it is true as was reported in Sowetan of January 21 that the ANC national executive committee has warned President Thabo Mbeki to account to Luthuli House how the government is implementing ANC policy or he will be dismissed, then it is troubling for several reasons:

If it is true as was reported in Sowetan of January 21 that the ANC national executive committee has warned President Thabo Mbeki to account to Luthuli House how the government is implementing ANC policy or he will be dismissed, then it is troubling for several reasons:

l It appears that Luthuli House is usurping the role of parliament. If Union Buildings accounts to Luthuli House then what's the purpose of Union Buildings accounting to parliament? Or does Luthuli House think that parliament is unable or unwilling to demand accountability from the executive (NEC)?

l It seems that the party is superior, not only to the NEC but, worryingly, also to parliament, meaning that we have the tail wagging the dog; the party superseding the state;

l Is it Luthuli House or parliament that is accountable to the people of South Africa? Are ANC policies not implemented through parliament?

l The ANC constitution would appear to be superior to the constitution of the country. How could the president be "dismissed" by the party president and Luthuli House, and not by parliament for failing to account? Why would such an idea even be contemplated?

l What happens if the president "fulfils his accounting obligations" to parliament, but not to Luthuli House? Are we not being driven to a constitutional crisis purely for egoistic reasons?

It would seem that our democracy is beginning to take a very peculiar colouration, where the party constitutes democracy itself. Genuine ruling parties must, paradoxically, distinguish themselves not by ruling, but by serving. A ruling party must never demand servitude from the people. It must instead extend service to them.

Professor Themba Sono, president: Alliance of Free Democrats

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