Our opposition parties must help build, not destroy

Our opposition parties must help build, not destroy

To be a political party in opposition benches should not mean to conspire against one’s country flag, to bad-mouth your government and to undermine its programmes. On the contrary, political parties should show loyalty to the motherland – in lean times and in times of plenty.

This does not mean the opposition parties must be docile or subservient to the governing party of the day. In fact, the contrary is true.

Opposition parties must keep the government on the narrow and straight path, in a manner of speaking, to ensure they serve the best interests of the citizens, keeping it accountable for all its actions executed in keeping with the constitutional prescripts in a democratic state.

The bottom line is that democracy limps without active and robust participation of opposition parties. But what do we say and do when the very tenet of democracy is unjustifiably and viciously attacked by some members of the opposition parties?

The attack by the DA of the country’s electoral system, and by extension of the Independent Electoral Commission of SA (IEC), seems baseless.

The DA argues the elections “will not be free and fair” without backing up their claim. But how do you back up the claim when there is no evidence?

The IEC is a body with constitutional authority to run elections. It derives its authority from the Constitution and the law – independent and subject only to the law and the Constitution and must act impartially without fear, favour, or prejudice. The DA must first win elections, but while it remains an opposition party, it should desist from interfering in the running of the government. To write a letter to the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and other 13 foreign ministers, seeking support to monitor the credibility of the elections, is to undermine the elected authority running this country. At best, if the DA’s intentions were genuine, it should have had the decency to have had a conversation with relevant government officials.

We agree with President Cyril Ramaphosa. The DA must stop “mortgaging our country to other powers in the world”.

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