Parliament: from watchdog to lapdog

THE FURORE OVER Mike Water’s parliamentary question (about Manto’s conviction for theft) highlights the precarious position our democracy is in.

It reminds me of an incident in June 2005 when the DA’s spokesperson on the standing committee on public accounts, Eddie Trent, was booted out of the chamber for asking the president to explain a fax that proved Mbeki had had inappropriate contact with Thales during the arms deal bidding process.

It is not inappropriate or offensive to question the propriety and integrity of a cabinet minister – or president for that matter. By doing so, parliament is fulfilling its constitutionally-mandated watchdog function. No one should be above scrutiny, inspection, accountablality. The ANC disagrees, however; regarding its leaders as infallible and beyond reproach.

The rejected questions illustrate that our parliament has been effectively stymied, unable to hold government and its leaders to account. The ruling party’s toothless accoutrement, it merely serves the purpose of making a one party state more palatable.


On a lighter note, in the below hypothetical press release, The Liberal Revolution envisions what Badih Chaaban’s cabinet would be like were he to apply his alleged floor-crossing prowess in the Nation Assembly.

“PRESS RELEASE” – Revealed: the National Poephol’s Party cabinet

After Badih Chaaban has made fruit salad of Cape Town’s city council, his worship plans to implement his floor-crossing prowess in the National Assembly. The National Poephol’s Party cabinet is revealed below:

Truman Prince – Education Minister
Tony Yengeni – Minister of Transport
Alan Boesak – Receiver of Revenue
Mathias Rath – Minster of Health
Schabir Shaik – Minister of Finance
Robert McBride – Head of Arrive Alive
Eugene Terreblanche – Minister of Justice
Wouter Basson – Minister of Defence

Jacob Zuma was offered 72 virgins in the afterlife to become Home (and Family) Affairs Minister. He refused, citing the offer as insufficient. Manto Tshabala Msimang has also snubbed the opportunity to become Minister of Agriculture. De-livering just isn’t her thing, she said in her refusal SMS. Instead she intends to retire and become patron of the Nutrition Coalition.

In plans to be outlined at the new government’s launch at GrandWest next month, President Chaaban will promulgate legistlation to ensure the entire length of Ramadaan will be a public holiday. Boxing is to become the official sport, while our flag will be redsigned to incorporate a watermelon and roulette table in its centre. Newspapers will be banned and replaced by a complimentary news SMS service from a re-invigorated SABC which will be headed by Juan Duval Uys (aka Skye, the rentboy).


National Poephol’s Party Spokesperson

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