The chaotic situation playing itself out in South Africa following increased violent protests seems to be getting out of control and Mary de Haas warns South Africans to watch it so they don’t totally lose the democracy they fought for.
The KwaZulu-Natal violence monitor Mary de Haas who seems to be concerned about the rising violent protests by citizens of the country, reiterates how unfortunate it is that citizens do not realize they put their democracy in danger whenever violence is left on the rise.
“We are sitting with a very serious threat to our communities. The face of democracy is local government and it is not working,” he said while discussing the prospects for a peaceful election in KwaZulu-Natal.
South Africa placed the 9th most violent country in the world based on World Health Organization ranking with a homicide rate of 35.7 murders per 100,000 populations and Mary de Haas said recent protests were nothing compared to what South Africa would see after the elections because issues affecting communities were not being addressed.
“We need to have a serious dialogue about democracy because there is no democracy in these elections. People are thinking of spoiling votes and changing parties. That is not democracy.”
De Haas, a researcher who had been monitoring violence in KwaZulu-Natal for decades, shared the sentiments of Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) provincial chairperson Mawethu Mosery but questioned the quality of the candidates contesting in the August 3 local government elections.
According to him, councilors enjoyed too much power which makes them less concerned about working to ensure people had services. He added that while some did their jobs, others were seen once every five years, at election time.
“Being a councilor today is about lining your pockets if you are unscrupulous and buying votes through patronage. It is no longer about democracy or service delivery.” he said as he called for councilors to be strictly monitored to ensure they perform their works accordingly.
“They need to be out there making sure they deal with people problems and making sure that people get their social delivery.”
“The poor people out there are the ones that need us. They are helpless.”
“We are floundering, and morality in this place is gone. It all starts with family, we need to go back to basics.” she said.
De Haas’s warnings echoes that of Former Nedbank chairperson Reuel Khoza who also warned South Africans to protect their freedom from leaders who are determined to overpower the nation’s rule of law.
Reuel Khoza who traced the increasing violent protests to selfish and visionless leaders, said South Africa needs a visionary leader who is passionate about the future of the country.