The silence of the ANC in confronting and dealing with state capture and corruption has highlighted an essential weakness in SA’s Constitution. Unlike in most western democracies, MPs in this country are apparatchiks of political parties rather than directly elected representatives of the people. In a normal representative democracy, there is a constituency system. People seeking appointment to stand as candidates for election as MPs undergo a rigorous local selection process by the local committees of their political parties. They then campaign for election locally in the constituency concerned. If elected, they are closely identified with that constituency. They are often referred to in Parliament as "the member for" that particular constituency. Such MPs will conduct constituency "report-backs" to the people who have elected them locally. They remain in close contact with the locality concerned and receive constant input and feedback from the local electorate. They are in touch w...

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