Does SA have the right mechanisms for political accountability? A debate

Do you think there are enough accountability mechanisms built into our democratic processes?

Do we have a culture of accountability in our main political parties, the state and in general politics?

Eusebius McKaiser engaged senior researcher and analyst AngeloFick, political analyst Dr Sithembile Mbete and Pari Research Manager and interim executive director Dr Mbongiseni Buthelezi about the state of accountability in SA politics.

Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene has found himself in a dilemma after he apologised for meeting with the controversial Gupta family.

Opposition parties have asked President Ramaphosa to show Nene the door.

The panel on the Eusebius McKaiser started off by dissecting the apology by the minister.

I don't think redemption should have a role in politics.

Angelo Fick, Senior Researcher and Analyst

Trust and credibility are incredibly important for whoever occupies the position of finance minister to do his job effectively. If these are the facts that were deliberately concealed from the President when he made the appointment then that is also concerning.

Dr Sithembile Mbete, Political analyst

READ: If Nhlanhla Nene survives this then the Pope is not Catholic - political analyst

I think we can talk about forgiveness once he has resigned. He can be forgiven but that does not mean he must stay in his position. It is necessary that we know more.

Dr Mbongiseni Buthelezi, Pari Research Manager and interim executive Director

ALSO READ: Should Nene go? Here's what SA's political heavyweights have to say

Moving on to accountability, Dr Buthelezi says we have seen how politicians bend backward and forward trying to protect one another.

What we are seeing in South Africa is a very low level of accountability.

Dr Mbongiseni Buthelezi, Pari Research Manager and interim executive Director

People who preach revolution are usually practicing accommodation. The revolution we have had in South Africa has been an accommodation to the existing system. If our MPs are members of the provincial or city legislatures, actually lived amongst the poorest and have their children sent to public schools, used public schools etc, we would have a different kind of South Africa at the moment.

Angelo Fick, Senior Researcher and Analyst

But because our politicians live in separate spaces from the majority who are poor, what we have is accountability entirely imagined inside the institutions.

Angelo Fick, Senior Researcher and Analyst

They should not be earning more than what we earn. A Member of Parliament should not be earning more than a nurse or a school teacher. The president should not earn more than a school principal because the incentive for becoming that kind of a public servant should not be under R1.2 million that they currently earn.

Angelo Fick, Senior Researcher and Analyst

Listen to the full discussion below and what callers had to say...


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