So-called political representatives are a public disgrace

26 February 2020 - 13:51
By reader's letters
For some of our presumably public representatives, the State of the Nation Address (Sona) provides them with an excellent opportunity to trend on social media, the writer says.
Image: GCIS For some of our presumably public representatives, the State of the Nation Address (Sona) provides them with an excellent opportunity to trend on social media, the writer says.

The National Assembly, provincial legislatures and municipal councils derive their legislative authority from different chapters of the constitution of the Republic.

There is no single section in the constitution that makes any provision for heckling and howling in parliament; and I believe this despicable behaviour that adds no value to the lives of our people is often motivated by the presence of live television cameras.

For some of our presumably public representatives, the State of the Nation Address (Sona) provides them with an excellent opportunity to trend on social media. It is no longer about we - the people of South Africa.

As long as we still have councillors, members of provincial legislatures and parliament who think they are doing the rest of us a favour by being there, then we have a long way to go. We should not expect any miracles from any of the political parties represented in parliament, until our flawed electoral system is finally changed.

Some politicians believe they are exclusively being paid to heckle and disrupt as part of the circus we often see on our television screens. They forget that their monthly salaries and benefits are being paid by ordinary South Africans through various tax regimes.

They also believe they represent us, when they do not. All of them are nominated by their parties or party leaders, because we do not have a constituency-based electoral system that allows citizens to choose their own public representatives who they trust, except for independent councillors at municipal level. The rest of our so-called public representatives, including President Cyril Ramaphosa, account to their political parties.

Heckling and deliberate disruption by some in the governing and opposition parties is quite sickening when we have so many cultural, social, economic and political issues facing us as a country that require our collective wisdom and sober-minded leadership beyond narrow political party circles.

The ugly scenes we often see is a true reflection of the quality of public representatives and infantile leadership endorsed by some voters in SA.

If anyone thinks howling and heckling is a sign of being revolutionary, please think again. The often violent, disruptive and anti-academic SRC leaders in some universities are nothing but a perfect replica of their big brothers and sisters in parliament.

We should all be ashamed we have done nothing to fundamentally change lives, except to endorse public representatives who shout and heckle the loudest every five years.

Lesego Sechaba Mogotsi, Azapo