“Commentary” Blog Posts

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

July 27, 2017 (3 weeks, 4 days ago) — Comments

By Marius Pieterse.

secretSouth 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 ...

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

May 25, 2017 (2 months, 4 weeks ago) — Comments

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?”.

africaPhoto: eNCA

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

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Opinion: The president is accountable to the National Assembly

May 14, 2017 (3 months, 1 week ago) — Comments

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 be ashamed of ...

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How South Africa’s electoral system effectively disenfranchises voters

April 20, 2017 (4 months ago) — Comments

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 ...

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April 19, 2017 (4 months ago) — Comments

Parliamentary Constituency Offices for each province as of January 2017:

Eastern Cape

Free State





Northern Cape

North West

Western Cape

Send corrections to contact@pa.org.za or via Whatsapp on 081 416 0301.

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

April 11, 2017 (4 months, 1 week ago) — Comments

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 ...

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

Feb. 28, 2017 (5 months, 3 weeks ago) — Comments

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 ...

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

Dec. 2, 2016 (8 months, 3 weeks ago) — Comments

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 ...

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Editorial: SA is courting abuse

Nov. 23, 2016 (9 months ago) — Comments

Increasingly, the courts are being called on to settle disputes that should be dealt with by other constitutional or political institutions.

zumaJacob Zuma. Picture: REUTERS/Rogan Ward

SA is awash with court cases between political actors. Hardly a week goes by without a civil society organisation or a political party ...

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Don’t wait for a beautiful leader, South Africa. Rather rely on the Constitution

Nov. 18, 2016 (9 months ago) — Comments

A new collection of legal and autobiographical writings by former Constitutional Court judge,Albie Sach, offers an intimate insider’s view of South Africa’s Constitution. Sachs, who lost his arm and his sight in one eye in a bomb attack by the apartheid regime in Maputo, was appointed by ...

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