Limitations on power

The trouble with governments that come to power on a populist ticket is that those who think they got them elected tend to exaggerate the power they wield.

That is why there is a delusion among some, particularly in the taxi industry and those who were once members of Umkhonto weSizwe, that they are above the law.

The kind of language used by these two outfits, variously relating to how they could cause mayhem in the country if they do not get their way, amounts to sedition.

To recap, taxi operators say there will be bloodshed that will be felt even by unborn children in their mothers' wombs if their wish to scrap the Bus Rapid System does not materialise.

The MK veterans on the other hand say that Western Cape will be rendered ungovernable if current premier Helen Zille does not accede to their demands and apologise to President Jacob Zuma for the statement she made pertaining to the president's intimate life.

In normal democracies, persons making such threats are deemed to be enemies of the state.

This should not be confused with saying that citizens ought to be pliant and compliant.

Our Constitution does indeed protect the right to protest - but also criminalises instigation to violence.