The concept of democracy is a sophisticated one that has come to us through the sacrifices of many thoughtful thinkers, some of whom paid with their lives — the ultimate private property — for their temerity in advancing their views.
The initial enthusiasm with which thinkers such as Edmund Burke welcomed the events in France in 1789 and the cry of “liberty, equality and fraternity” was quickly doused by the events in France and Santo Domingo, now Haiti.
Burke was elected an MP to represent the electors of Bristol, a “pocket borough” at a time of great endemic corruption in Britain. He soon realised that as an MP he primarily owed loyalty to Britain as a whole, not the boobies who might then be the leading characters in the fissiparous groupings of Tories and Whigs.
Here in SA we have been regaled with evidence before the state capture commission from a local MP to the effect that, unlike Burke, her loyalty is not to SA, nor to the constitution, but to the boobies who lead her party.
Posterity will condemn in the strongest terms such an approach to membership of the House of Assembly, and her example will be used by future authors of textbooks on constitutionalism when they dissect the causes of the failure of the extremely tenuous concept of democracy in SA.
Errol Callaghan, Goodwood
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