How party-driven electoral system fails SA


Unlike in most western democracies, MPs in this country are apparatchiks of political parties rather than directly elected representatives.


he silence of the ANC in confronting and dealing with state capture and corruption has highlighted an essential weakness in SA’s Constitution.

Unlike in most western democracies, MPs ...

Opinion: Women form the backbone of struggle for liberation

By Mmamoloko Kubayi

As we end Women’s month, the struggle continues, both here and internationally.

Our struggle for a democratic, non-racist, non-sexist, prosperous, and free society has been one that required leaders of great resilience, and fortitude. At the forefront of our struggle has been the consistent participation of brave ...

There are dangers behind giving South African MPs the right to a secret ballot

By Marius Pieterse.

secret South Africa’s Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng making a ruling on secret ballots in Parliament at the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg. Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

It happened as many suspected it would. South Africa’s Constitutional Court ordered that, despite the Constitution’s silence on the matter, the speaker of parliament has ...

Democracy is taking root in Africa. But that doesn’t mean it works all the time

By Nic Cheeseman

The questions that I get asked most often by students, policy makers and political leaders are: “can democracy work in Africa?” and “is Africa becoming more democratic?”.

africa Photo: eNCA

As we celebrate Africa Day and reflect on how far the continent has come since the Organisation of ...

Opinion: The president is accountable to the National Assembly

By Lawson Naidoo jacob President Jacob Zuma (AP)

The proposition that “The calls for Msholozi to resign are fundamentally, if not brazenly, unconstitutional ...” cannot go unchallenged (Ken Sibanda, “Power Lies in the Ballot”, City Press, May 7 2017).

It is a treacherous distortion that any self-respecting lawyer should ...

How South Africa’s electoral system effectively disenfranchises voters

By Pierre De Vos


The South African Constitution does not provide any clarity on the nature of the relationship between extra-parliamentary political parties and their elected representatives in the national and provincial legislatures. Can extra-parliamentary leaders of political parties dictate to their MPs how to exercise their constitutional duties, including ...


Parliamentary Constituency Offices for each province as of January 2017:

Eastern Cape

Free State





Northern Cape

North West

Western Cape

Send corrections to or via Whatsapp on 081 416 0301.

Op-Ed: MPs have an obligation to be the voice of the people

By Thabo Mbeki

Members of Parliament (MPs), each elected to this position by the people as a whole, and never by individual political parties, including their own, must act in Parliament as the voice of the people, not the voice of the political parties to which they might belong.

thabo Photo: ...

What happens if the two Houses of Parliament are controlled by different parties?

By Pierre De Vos.

The ANC provincial executive committee in KwaZulu-Natal has called for the scrapping of provinces and for the functions of the provinces either to be transferred to national or local governments. One of the interesting issues not raised in the proposal is what will happen to the ...

Opinion: Courts and Constitution plug the gap left by lack of political accountability

By Firoz Cachalia

Some years ago I brought back from Siena copies of two famous frescoes painted by Lorenzetti depicting good and bad government. The first shows idyllic scenes of virtuous rulers, happy citizens and a prosperous society; the second shows dystopian scenes of selfish rule, injustice and famine, thus ...