Parliamentarians must take orders from traditional leaders – Zuma

MK Party leader Jacob Zuma concluded his fledgling organisation’s campaign with a promise to give traditional leaders a powerful voice in lawmaking and the deployment of experts and sector leaders in parliament.

Zuma also called for electoral reforms, claiming that the current system is not adequately transparent.

He addressed his supporters in Mpumalanga for 52 minutes at a half-filled Puma Rugby Stadium in Emalahleni late on Sunday afternoon, saying he is certain of a two-thirds majority victory after the general elections on Wednesday.

Zuma said that in an MK Party government, parliament would have to consult and seek the consensus of amakhosi (chiefs) on any legislation that would be passed.

Amakhosi should lead the government, Zuma added. “The government should be like a boy sent on an errand by his father.

“Parliamentarians must not pass legislation on their own. They should consult and canvass the views of traditional leaders before passing any act of parliament,” he said.

The MK Party, he said, would restore land ownership and control back to amakhosi, who would be perched in a position of power under the party’s administration.

The former statesman’s statement coincided with an unfolding conflict between the AmaZulu monarch, King Misuzulu kaZwelithini, and the ANC government over the land held under the Ingonyama Trust.

The king has threatened to approach international courts over the matter.

He plans to consult with his uncle, King Mswati III, because he believes that the ANC government wants to usurp his and other traditional leaders’ powers.

Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Thoko Didiza has denied this and pointed a finger at King Misuzulu’s prime minister and Zululand district mayor, Reverend Thulasizwe Buthelezi, for spreading untruths and turning the Ingonyama Trust into a “political football”.

Land ownership

Zuma said: “The land belongs to us, and beneath it there is wealth. We’ll take the land back and use it as we please.

“We’ll take land ownership back into traditional leaders’ hands. Everywhere in the world, land belongs to traditional leaders.”

He added that an MK Party-led government would ban the export of raw minerals such as gold and diamond extracted from the land and build factories for local mineral beneficiation.

According to the former president, the current parliament is not representative of various groups, such as people living with disabilities, traditional healers, and business.

“Parliament talks and makes laws on behalf of people they don’t know anything about. For the disabled, we will need a disabled person in parliament, and it does not necessarily [mean that person] has to be an MK member.

“Traditional healers, too, need a representative in parliament. Businesspeople and workers also need a voice. We are saying everybody must be represented.”

Zuma said that his leadership would replace MK members, if necessary, with the right people to represent the different groups and sectors.

Votes get mixed up

Zuma said that each party should have a designated area where its supporters cast their votes instead of being mixed up, noting that ballots disappear after voting.

“The votes of every party must be put together and counted separately and openly so that we know. The votes are mixed up behind the scenes, and we don’t know what happens when they are counted.”

He also called for the introduction of a prime minister instead of an all-powerful president to lead the country, saying it is difficult to hold a president accountable if he goes astray.

“We don’t want a president, we want a prime minister. We don’t want a president who has too much power. What happens if he is a criminal and hides money under a mattress?”

“A prime minister serves as a principal administrator under a monarchy or a president in a republican form of government. A president is a head of state,” he said.

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