Undemocratic Democracy?

FOR calling South African president, Jacob Zuma, a disgrace last week, an outspoken member of the African National Congress (ANC) has found herself running desperately to save her life – literally.

Since her call for Zuma – who faces a no-confidence vote on August 8 — to step down, Makhosi Khoza, 47, an ANC Member of Parliament, has been cited by her party for “ill-discipline” and has since claimed to have received death threats.

Zuma, is facing several allegations but has since dismissed them. As to whether he is directly behind the death threats Khoza says she has been receiving is not known. However, the police and Parliament have since decided to provide her with security. Yet, she fears for her life from a party that former ANC leader/political prisoner/South African president, Nelson Mandela spent his life championing.

Khoza has since been labeled a “blatant betrayal of the core values” of the 105-year-old ANC and her comments can prove devastating to the ANC’s chances of re-election in two years’ time. But the question remains: Is a party greater than its members, or vice versa?

Even Mandela severed ties with his former wife, Winnie, after finding out that she had crossed certain boundaries in carrying out the ANC’s work, saying that what she did went against his and the party’s philosophy of protecting its own.

In many ways, what Khoza is experiencing now can be analogous to the treatment the ANC received from its Apartheid oppressors. That dissent is not tolerated within party ranks speaks volumes of political parties that promise to embrace every voice but attempts to silence those who do not kowtow.

Political parties in Saint Lucia need to take note of the South African experience and never endorse such undemocratic democracy here.

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