Political parties have too much power – Jonas


Former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas says South Africa is a country in crisis and that party funding is at the core of corruption.

Jonas was speaking at the Open Book festival in Cape Town on Thursday.

He said the crisis faced by the country was part of a global phenomenon but that his party‚ the ANC‚ was struggling to provide solutions.

“There are lessons that we are learning very fast as a country. One of them is that we gave too much power to political parties … [we are in a] party democracy‚” said Jonas.

In addition he voiced concern that public representatives ultimately accounted to their political parties.

Jonas said the phenomenon was not only an ANC one but was the case even with opposition parties where leaders were cracking the whip against members not toeing the party line.

He said that was one of the reasons party funding should be transparent.

“Party funding is at the core of corruption and state capture‚” said Jonas.

He said that the problem of capture ran deep — even at local government level in all provinces.
Jonas called for active citizenry made up of people who are really concerned and willing to ask the right questions.

He said the ANC December conference may come and still leave the country with the same structural issues it is facing now.

Jonas was referring to the current debate in the ANC about land‚ state capture and the ownership of the economy.

Asked about his name and that of former Finance minister Pravin Gordhan being associated with the problems with the Treasury’s integrated financial management system‚ Jonas said his detractors were just throwing mud.

“If you throw as much mud at others‚ [you think] it makes you look better‚” said Jonas.

by Aphiwe Deklerk- TimesLIVE



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