Monday, July 24, 2006

"Democracy has been subverted and this will lead to chaos,"

South Africans give far too much power to the office of the president without any checks and balances to ensure that these powers are not abused.

This observation was made by Sipho Seepe, a political analyst and head of Henley Management College, during a workshop in Durban at the weekend to debate the "prerogative" powers conferred by the constitution on the president and the premiers of the provinces.

Addressing the workshop, organised by the Democratic Professionals Association of Southern Africa, Seepe said the "crisis" had begun in 1997 when the ANC gave the power to its president to appoint premiers, directors-general of departments and the mayors of major municipalities won by the party.

"Dictators will kill for these powers. I warned long ago about the dangers of the centralisation of powers which removes checks and balances," Seepe said.

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