Tuesday, June 6, 2017

PUBLIC SERVICE MANAGERS - PUPPETS or ADMINISTRATORS




PUBLIC SERVICE MANAGERS 


PUPPETS or ADMINISTRATORS 


PARALISED HEADS OF STATE DEPARTMENTS



Stes de Necker



No South African politician or minister walks around with a government cheque book in his/her pocket.

So how is it possible that there can be so much corruption in state funding when all financial transactions of the government must go through the Treasury and the South African Department of Finance?

In terms of the Public Finance Management Act (Act 1 of 1999) Heads of Department, as Accounting Officers of their Departments, are responsible and accountable for moneys spent and received in their different departments.

So how do government funds flow so easily around outside state departments?

The answer is rather simple:

Because all Heads of State Departments are pawns in the hands of the politicians who has free reigns over the appointments and discharge of Administrative Heads.

Wherever and whenever a Head of Department doesn’t do what the Political Head of that Department tells him to do, he runs the very real risk of being dismissed from his post and loose his livelihood as a public servant.

My dear friends, I was Head of the Free State Department of Agriculture, so I know what I’m talking about.

On numerous occasions I was expected to approve some or other financial expenditure for the Department as Accounting Officer which was in contravention of the Law and in every such case I refused to give approval or support to such expenditure.

This type of conduct was simply unacceptable to the Free State ANC Government and inevitably lead to my retirement from the public service in 1996.

During my term of office I have on many different occasions warn against the paralysing effects of Political Office bearers becoming administrators and public service administrators playing politics.
Politicians are simply not trained to be administrators and administrators are not trained to be politicians. The rules separating these two functions are very clear and simple.

Politicians are expected to make policy, and administrators are expected to execute and implement that policy.

Any professional public servant worth his salt knows that he/she is serving the government of the day regardless his/her political convictions. Public servants execute their political convictions at the ballot box; not in their offices!

The biggest crime in South Africa today is that public service administrators are not being held accountable as they should be because of their direct personal and nepotistic relationships with the ANC politicians.

Not only do these practices undermine the competence of public institutions, but it conceals transparency and corruption in the public service.

The current Gupta debacle is certainly the most fitting example of the consequences of this abhorrent practice in South African governance.

How was it possible that a single Indian family could almost achieve the complete capture of the South African Government?

Simply because the people heading the administrative institutions involved in this atrocity, who were supposed to have overseen these atrocities, are all in the hands of the political puppeteers.

 The scourge of political intervention and interference in the lawful administration of this country has for decades been used serve private or party political interests. Definitely not the people of South Africa!

There can be no economic growth or political reform in South Africa without radical political and administrative reform.

We cannot expect any changes by merely changing the management of state institutions with managers who are selected on the basis of political criteria. This will not change the way in which these institutions are operating. The Government is merely changing the people who are running these institutions.  

A radical change is to alter the way an institution operates; the practices that guide the activities in such institutions. The people in key positions in the public administration should be appointed regardless of the myopic political party in power.

The only way to achieve this objective is to reduce, or where it is possible, completely eliminating the party influence in the activities of the public administration, increasing the continuity in the institutions, strengthening institutional responsibility and accountability and introducing a business methodology in the activities of public services.

In practice this means, if South Africa really wants to have an effective public service, it should immediately distinguish the appointments in the public administration from the party affiliation of the applicants.

The CEO’s and the managerial administrative staff in ministries and municipal services must come from the Public Administration System rather than appointment relatives and friends from the inner circle of political heads.  

The Department of Public Service and Administration, after consultation with the relative political head, should become the sole authority to appoint public service workers.  

This will ensure greater transparency in government activities and the public administration will be able to monitor the consistency in the implementation of the commitments made by the state.

Capable and well prepared staff for the public administration can be trained and skilled by the Public Service Training Institute.

Appointments in key positions should be made on the principle of business solutions that are based on international best practices and strict accountability for their activities.

Public administration should work on the bases of the model of a "business plan”; statement of activities performed and analysis of results.

A radical administrative reform is not only imperative for the socio economic development of South Africa, but for the effective and proper management of law and order as well.

The implementation of this kind of reform will however require managers who will serve the institutions of the executive, legislative and judicial power and enjoy public confidence. It will be the result of explicit commitments to specific individuals and institutions that will be close to the citizens.

Transparency must be the first principle on the basis of which public institutions must be managed and proper rules against arbitrary acts are the second thing that we must be establish in the public administration.

Staff appointments is one of the most mismanaged activities of the current public administration.



Saturday, June 3, 2017

THE OSTRICH SYNDROME IN SOUTH AFRICAN POLITICS




THE OSTRICH SYNDROME IN SOUTH AFRICAN POLITICS


Stes de Necker




Gandhi believed in truth force. He was guided by what could be called ‘relative’ truth since ‘absolute’ truth could not be attained by any human being. The quest for truthful reflection and action was central to his philosophy, unlike the ostrich-syndrome that we are witnessing today, where we bury our head in the sand to avoid seeing the truth.

Nowhere is the ostrich-syndrome more evident in every sphere of government and parastatal organisation than in South Africa where politics it is all about power and corruption.  Instead of focusing attentively on the problems before them, most politicians are ready to rather embrace wealth and distraction.

The ostrich-syndrome leads to an unmotivated directionless society which cannot take responsibility for what is happening around them and who are incapable of becoming responsible engaged citizens. 
This is happening to large numbers of the lower and middle classes who seem largely unconnected with the major problems that their societies are facing.

Of course there is the well meaning minority of political leaders who feel that we have gone too far down the road to perdition, to reverse the trend of corruption and social chaos and then there are others who believe they have to oppose the present form of anarchy by creating an awareness of the issues, even if they have not come up with a sufficient range of workable alternatives.

Yet, it is the latter that matter, for as the crisis deepens the alternatives they are grappling with will come under sympathetic scrutiny and serve as the cornerstones for new directions in our social, political and economic life.

But let us dwell a little more on the ostrich-syndrome and the culture of indifference that it spawns.

Mutation of Human consciousness

In India, for example, most of the middle classes do not even go and vote anymore.

Indifference has deformed human consciousness; some might even argue that a mutation has already taken place. If this is the case the ostrich is not even capable of knowing that it has buried its head in the sand, and that it has a distorted view of reality.

Governance is no longer about fulfilling human needs, but an attempt by unscrupulous individuals to satisfy their personal needs. Individual material satisfaction overtakes social responsibility and political action.

Everything may be going wrong from a social and political perspective, while the majority of South African voters remain cocooned in their own world of indifference.

For the middle and upper classes particularly, getting as rich as possible as soon as possible have become the main objective. This might sound like a cliché, but its underlying truth is being secured day by day.

Not only did incompetence and incapability created the current state of economic chaos and moral decline, it also produced the corrupt and incompetent political leaders we have today.   
         
Truth and honesty is no longer a requirement for holding a political office. Politicians are free to say what they want, when they want, while the average peace loving South African is not prepared, or they too afraid, to do or say anything which may threaten the ostrich syndrome within which everyone is so comfortable.

One of the results of this lame duck syndrome is the emergence of radical political organisations like the Economic Freedom Front (EFF) who believe they can say and do what they want.

The experience of Community as an anti-dote

Experiencing a sense of community involvement and political responsibility is integral to help the South African Government to break out of this ostrich-syndrome.

It is only through deepening our sense of responsibility and respect for basic human rights that we can open the springs of compassion.

The horizontal dimension of spiritual fulfilment through our inter-relationship with each other is the only way forward. Indigenous societies refer to the inter-connectedness of all things. ‘All the world is one human family’, is an ancient Indian expression that emphasizes the unity of humankind.

Mahatma Gandhi spoke of this inter-connectedness when he said, “I am a part and parcel of the whole, and I cannot find Him apart from the rest of humanity. My countrymen are my nearest neighbours. They have become so helpless, so resourceless, so inert, that I must concentrate on serving them.”

As long as the ostrich-syndrome persists the malling of South Africa will continue with its dreadful social and economic consequences. 

South Africa needs to develop a consciousness and vision that is different from what the ANC government is currently offering the voters.  
   

Our future can only be meaningfully discovered through an open and honest relationship with each and every one living in South Africa. 






Friday, June 2, 2017

THE BURDEN OF PROOF IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN LAND OWNERSHIP DEBATE - DEFAMATION OR JUSTIFIABLE PRESUMPTION OF GUILT





THE BURDEN OF PROOF IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN LAND OWNERSHIP DEBATE

DEFAMATION OR JUSTIFIABLE PRESUMPTION OF GUILT


‘BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT’ VS. ‘ON A BALANCE OF PROBABILITIES’
(PREPONDERANCE OF THE EVIDENCE)



Stes de Necker




Burden of proof is a legal construct which states that one must provide enough relevant evidence supporting their claim or argument in order for a judge or jury to rule in their favour. While most are familiar with the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard used in criminal cases, civil lawsuits use a different standard called “preponderance of the evidence.”

Criminal cases and civil cases (e.g. personal injury lawsuits) vary greatly in many respects. That said, evidence is always the key factor in deciding a case.

The burden of proof in any case lies with the plaintiff (person or entity bringing the claim) as opposed to the defendant.

While prosecutors in criminal trials must prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, plaintiffs in civil trials must only prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence.

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

In a criminal case, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. The plaintiff in a criminal case (also known as the prosecutor, state or government) must produce evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant (accused) committed the crime for which they are being charged.
Essentially, this means that the case must be proven to an extent that no “reasonable person” could “reasonably doubt” the defendant’s guilt.

While there can still be doubt in the mind of a juror, this doubt “must not affect a reasonable person’s belief regarding whether or not the defendant is guilty.”

The reason for this high burden of proof can be partially explained by Blackstone’s formulation, which states that “it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.”
The consequences of a wrongful conviction are extremely serious, and for that reason, the courts must err on the side of innocence.

Preponderance of the Evidence

Civil cases, on the other hand, are not as difficult to prove in court. Instead of proving your case beyond any reasonable doubt, the plaintiff must only show that their proposition is more likely to be true than not true. The preponderance of the evidence standard of proof (AKA balance of probabilities) is essentially met if there is greater than 50% chance that the plaintiff’s claims are true.

The burden of proof in South Africa – a Constitutional perspective

The wording of the Constitution is rather specific in Section 35(3)(h) that states:
“Every accused person has a right to a fair trial, which includes the right…. (h) to be presumed innocent, to remain silent, and not to testify during the proceedings.”

The presumption of innocence is the foundation of our legal system. The very same legal system protected in the much revered 1994 Constitution.

However, the Constitution places NO obligation on ordinary citizens to presume somebody is innocent until he or she has been proven guilty of a crime before a court of law.

The Constitution guarantees for every accused person the right to a fair trial which includes the right to be presumed innocent by the presiding officer until such time as the state has proven its case beyond reasonable doubt.

No one therefore has the constitutional right to be presumed innocent by the public until proven guilty.

Moreover, section 35(3)(h) guarantees the right to be presumed innocent by the magistrate or judge who presides in the accused criminal’s trial only for an accused person.

People who have not been brought before a court do not enjoy this right!

So whenever evidence emerges that a public figure (more likely a politician) may have done something wrong, it is almost certain that the alleged wrongdoer and his or her defenders will say that the person must be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

It seems however that this percepetion only applies in the case of black politicians and office bearers and not to white people.

As the person would not have been convicted of a crime, so the argument goes, the public has a constitutional duty to presume he or she is innocent of wrongdoing.

If credible evidence suggests that, on a balance of probabilities, the person is guilty of wrong-doing, then as members of the public we have every right to assume that the person did something wrong and to say so.

Despite what politicians sometimes believe (or say they believe) there is currently no legal rule that prohibits members of the public from talking about, commenting on, or even speculating about, ongoing court cases.

However, this does not mean that anyone is legally or ethically entitled to say anything about anyone regardless of whether there is any credible evidence to support the claim or not.

So when politicians or the media reports that a person has been involved in some sort of wrongdoing (capturing the state or being captured; taking part in corrupt activities; flouting rules or the Constitution; acting unethically, stealing land), or when ordinary citizens draw conclusions from such reporting and take to social media to condemn the accused person/s, the affected person is always entitled to sue the media publication or private citizen for defamation.

Politicians, journalists and members of the public should therefore take care – both because of the threat of being slapped with a defamation suit and because it is ethically the right thing to do – not to make unwarranted assumptions about people and not to say something defamatory about that person if there is not a good chance that the statement is true.

Lately we often hear: “Whites have stolen our land!”

Why then has nobody gone to a police station and opened a criminal case of theft against any white man who allegedly stole his land? If the legal system is so transparent and so fair and the constitution so sacred, the matter of land ownership becomes very easy to settle.

Why hasn’t any black South African or liberal supporter gone to a police station with evidence of the crime of theft and pressed charges for the stealing of their land and let the Police go and catch the alleged thief and send him to prison!

The reason is very simple: Because there exists no proof of any such theft!

IT NEVER HAPPENED

On the contrary, the right thing to do would be for the whites of South Africa and organisations like ‘Afri Forum’ or 'Solidarity' to vigorously pursue and seek legal redress against anyone or any group who makes such unfounded malicious allegations.





Wednesday, May 24, 2017

THE GLOBAL LAME DUCK SYNDROME - A WORLD OF UNIVERSAL DECEPTION






THE GLOBAL LAME DUCK SYNDROME



A WORLD OF UNIVERSAL DECEPTION



Stes de Necker



On 22 May 2017 the United Nations elected Sudan as Vice-Chair of the U.N. Committee on NGO’s.

This committee accredits and oversees the work of non-governmental human rights groups at the world body. Sudan is notorious for its poor human rights record while its leader, Omar al-Bashir, remains wanted for genocide at the International Criminal Court.

“It is like picking the fox to guard the henhouse, as he is still wiping the feathers off his mouth from his last meal,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch. This election is absurd, and casts a shadow upon the reputation of the United Nations as a whole,” said Neuer.

“It underscores the degree to which this vital committee—which has the power to suspend the U.N. credentials of human rights groups—has been hijacked by the world’s worst dictatorships.”
Neuer noted that a majority of the 19 member states are regimes that are hostile to human rights activists, including Iran, Burundi, China, Cuba, Iran, Mauritania, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Russia, Turkey and Venezuela.

“Regrettably, while India and South Africa are democracies, they too often vote with the dictatorships,” said Neuer.

Much of the global citizenry of the World is either (a) completely ignorant of; or (b) oblivious of; or (c) simply did not care about the looming and imminent danger the world finds itself in at the moment. Most people simply continued on their “merry way” as if there were absolutely nothing to worry about the day of tomorrow.

Many people are simply too afraid to acknowledge the truth of what is going on, as they do not want their false illusions destroyed. They simply put their “faith” in other human beings – such as our current global leaders – to sort out the absolute mess that the World finds itself in today.
Sudan is notorious for persecuting NGO activists

Human rights groups have been raided by police, their files seized without warrant, with NGO activists summoned, interrogated, arrested and imprisoned.

Sudan’s government in recent years has closed civil society organizations or refused to register them on several occasions.

Government and security forces arbitrarily enforce provisions of the NGO law, including measures that strictly regulate an organization’s ability to receive foreign financing and register public activities.

Global Politics have been corrupted to the very core and the UN has become part of the problem.

Instead of offering the world any meaningful solutions, they promote countries for their atrocious human rights record.

And the very same is happening in Iran!

Daily executions and the persecution of innoscent people are continuing daily.

Iran’s staggering execution toll paints a sinister picture of the machinery of the state carrying out premeditated, judicially-sanctioned killings on a mass scale.

After the so-called Iran 'Election', more people are being executed under the watch of Rouhani than before!

The surge in executions reveals just how out of step Iran is with the rest of the world when it comes to the use of the death penalty - 140 countries worldwide have now rejected its use in law or practice. Already this year three more countries have repealed the death penalty completely. 

Let us no longer fool ourselves: Our world is in trouble and humanity is on the brink of a major disaster. But where the hell are our Political Leaders in all of this and whatever has happened to their ability to think rationally? They all seem to act more like mad animals nowadays!

Executions in Iran did not even stop during the holy month of Ramadan. Executions are still carried out every day of this month of Ramadan.


While Amnesty International opposes the use of the death penalty unconditionally and in all cases, death sentences in Iran are particularly disturbing because they are invariably imposed by courts that are completely lacking in independence and impartiality. They are imposed either for vaguely worded or overly broad offences, or acts that should not be criminalized at all, let alone attract the death penalty. Trials in Iran are deeply flawed, detainees are often denied access to lawyers in the investigative stage, and there are inadequate procedures for appeal, pardon and commutation.
The Iranian authorities should be ashamed of executing hundreds of people with complete disregard for the basic safeguards of due process.

It is time the world unites to put to an end this travesty of justice and do everything in its power to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice.

Iran remains one of the biggest jailers of bloggers, journalists and social media activists.

The Iranian regime’s systematic violations of human rights have continued since President Hassan Rouhani assumed office in August 2013 to this present day

Something is very wrong and we find ourselves living in a time where “Stupidity defies all Logic”.

We may be in for some very tough times ahead of us unless the international community work together to put a stop to the atrosities which are taking place under it's very eyes.






Friday, April 7, 2017

COALITION GOVERNMENT FOR SOUTH AFRICA - THE ONLY SOLUTION TO SOUTH AFRICA’S CURRENT POLITICAL TURMOIL




COALITION GOVERNMENT FOR SOUTH AFRICA


THE ONLY SOLUTION TO SOUTH AFRICA’S CURRENT POLITICAL TURMOIL


Stes de Necker





On Monday, 03 April 2017, the Leadership of the DA, EFF, IFP, COPE, UDM, and ACDP met in Johannesburg following the hostile takeover of the Treasury, and selling of the country by Jacob Zuma to a grouping whose only interests are amassing wealth and weakening the State through the theft of the people’s money and the undermining of the country’s Constitution.

The meeting was attended by the DA (Mmusi Maimane), EFF (Godrich Gardee and Dali Mpofu), UDM (Bantu Holomisa), COPE (Mosiuoa Lekota), IFP (Mangaqa Mncwango) and ACDP (Kenneth Meshoe).

The following joint statement was delivered at a press conference, following the meeting of Opposition Parties in Johannesburg:

"These are indeed irregular and trying times for South Africa and the people, which demand a united vision and programme of action from leaders of society, like Opposition Parties represented in the National Assembly. Opposition Parties agreed that the Constitution must come first and the country must be protected from those who seek to undermine it.  We therefore deliberated and agreed upon a number of issues in this regard.

Opposition Programme of Action

This Programme of Action stems from already existing partnerships and other ad hoc co-operation arrangements which exist in the country’s metros and other municipalities, where the Opposition governs for all residents, regardless of their political affiliation. The opposition-led metros serve as important platforms to show what the Opposition can do for the people of South Africa, which present a tangible example of the work that we can do, when we united against corruption, state capture and other ills in society.

Furthermore, we agreed that there is a need for a Summit that brings together Political Parties and Civil Society to discuss the state of South Africa. Going forward, we will at times act collectively and at times as separate political parties, depending on the nature of the issue facing the country. Our Programme of Action will be to put the people first, with the vision to build a better South Africa.

National Day of Action to the Union Buildings

It was agreed that as Opposition Parties, we will start the process of mobilising their structures from across the country for a National Day of Action to the Union Buildings. We are planning to have this mass action event as soon as possible.

We will also be engaging Civil Society formations and other Political Parties to mobilise in order to support the people’s National Day of Action to the Union Buildings, so that we are united and not fractured in our call to save our country in the short-term.

We therefore call upon all South Africans and the whole of Civil Society to support this mass action, where will speak with one voice calling for Jacob Zuma to remove himself from the Union Buildings, failing which he will be pushed, using democratic processes. Zuma cannot hold an entire country hostage.

Motion of No Confidence

Opposition Parties are fully behind the Motion of No Confidence in Jacob Zuma and the call for the Speaker of the National Assembly to reconvene the House for a special sitting so that this matter of National Importance can be debated and voted on. The DA and EFF have already asked the Speaker to reconvene Parliament. The UDM have submitted a similar request today.

We expect an urgent answer from the Speaker about progress made in scheduling the Motion, should we not be satisfied with her response, court action, supported by Opposition Parties will be taken.
Given the crisis engulfing our society, we are confident that Members of Parliament will stay true to the Constitution and their Oath of Office.

The Motion of No Confidence is not about the removal the ANC. The ANC was voted into government by the majority, through the democratic project, which we respect. In the short-term, we are working to remove Jacob Zuma, and elect someone from the ranks of the National Assembly who is committed to South Africa, the people and the Constitution.

Court Cases

The Opposition support the two court cases which are currently before the Judiciary.
The DA will be submitting papers for a Review Application which seeks to test the legal rationality of Jacob Zuma’s disastrous Cabinet Reshuffle.

The EFF, UDM and COPE are currently before the Constitutional Court to probe the process and duty of Parliament to facilitate the impeachment of the President.

Conclusion

Opposition Party Leaders are united in their call for Zuma to go and our belief in the supremacy of the Constitution. The choice South Africans must make is: Zuma or South Africa. The two cannot co-exist."

A COALITION GOVERNMENT FOR SOUTH AFRICA

On 4 June 2015 I published an article on Coalition Government titled ‘COALITION GOVERNEMENT - The only Solution to the current Political Turmoil in South Africa’

Definition

Difference between Coalition and Alliance Government

Political parties have been defined in various ways. But the myriad definitions reflect more the various perspectives and areas of emphasis of the voter’s historic and cultural background, than a fundamental difference in meaning. Consensus however exists on two key definitional issues:

1. That political parties are formally organised and that they aim at capturing or gaining control of the government.

2. The party that wins the most constituencies (constitutional system), or the most votes (proportional representation parliamentary system) forms the government.

Whether or not they win control of the government, political parties participate in the legislative authority.

There are two ways political parties participate in governance either directly as the party in power or indirectly as the opposition. The government, of course, is constituted only by the party or parties that control a majority of seats in the legislature, but the losing parties still play, or should play, a vital role in the overall oversight of governance.

When political parties fail to be elected to form the government, they form the opposition.
A political alliance or political bloc, is an agreement of cooperation between different political parties on common political agenda, often for purposes of contesting an election, to mutually benefit by collectively clearing election thresholds or otherwise benefiting from characteristics of the voting system, or for government formation before an election.

Coalitions on the other hand are formed after an election with a view to agree on the pursuance of common goals; pool their resources in order to achieve this goal; communicate and form binding commitments concerning their goal(s); and  agree on the distribution of payoffs to be received after the coalition meets its objectives.

There is therefore a major difference between a coalition and an alliance.

Within a coalition, each party retains their party specific principles and identities, whereas in an alliance, party identity and ideology are usually sacrificed on the altar of political opportunism.
The eventual demise of the National Party of South Africa after the 1994 election is a perfect example of a party which lost it moral principles and identity after its alliance with the ANC, and eventually disappeared from the political scene.

Definition of a Coalition

The Cambridge Dictionary defines coalition as: “The union of different political parties or groups for a particular purpose, usually for a limited time.”

For purposes of this discussion it is necessary however to adopt a broad operational definition of ‘Coalitions’.  A classic purpose of a parliamentary coalition will be to:

(1) agree to pursue common goals;
(2) pool their resources in order to achieve this goal;
(3) communicate and form binding commitments concerning their goal(s); and
(4) agree on the distribution of payoffs to be received after the coalition meets its objectives.

Coalition government (known in the United States as a ‘fusion administration’) can therefore be defined as ‘a cabinet of a parliamentary government in which several political parties cooperate, reducing the dominance of any one party within that coalition’.

International Perspective

Coalition Cabinets

Coalition cabinets are common in countries where their parliaments are proportionally representative, with several organized political parties represented. It usually does not appear in countries in which the cabinet is chosen by the executive rather than by a lower house, such as in the United States.

In semi-presidential systems such as France, where the president formally appoints a prime minister but the government itself must still maintain the confidence of parliament, coalition governments occur quite regularly.

Coalition Governments run the world's largest democracies, notably India, Pakistan, Brazil and Japan. In the US, both the Democratic and Republican parties are, in effect, grand coalitions embracing a wide range of groupings across the political spectrum, with all the contradictory and internal tension that it implies. In Israel, fractious, multiparty coalitions are a constant, and constantly undermine attempts to advance key aims such as the peace process in the Middle-east.

Even in the so-called "managed democracies" found in Russia and central Asia (where they hold elections but the results are preordained), pre-poll and post-poll alliance and coalition building is the rule. In Russia, Vladimir Putin has turned this process into a fine art, rotating himself in and out of the presidency and prime minister-ship apparently at will.

In a sense, Putin is a minority government of one. North Korea's dictator, Kim Jong-il, takes this approach to a logical conclusion having appointed himself leader-for-life, ostensibly to unanimous popular acclaim.

Size of a Coalition

Coalition size clearly impacts bargaining among its members and enforcement of the agreement that unites them.  Less clear is how coalition size impacts policy outputs and whether the principles of bargaining have consequences for government performance.

Advantages and Disadvantages of large coalitions

1.  Disadvantages

Large coalitions have the drawback of introducing divergent preferences into the collective bargaining process.  For example, in authoritarian regimes some coalition members may demand a timetable for a transition to democracy while other members seek exit guarantees, such as job security or amnesty.  In democratic regimes, some coalition members might insist on secular governance while others demand a greater role for religion in maintaining public order.  The addition of new members means that the coalition has to take more preferences into account in order to alter the status quo and it may have to increase the number of payments in order to sustain it.

The burden of empirical evidence suggests that inclusionary governance, when it is measured by multi-party coalition governments, leads to larger budget deficits and weaker fiscal discipline.  In its World Development Report 2002, the World Bank reported “The extent to which governments are required to share power in coalition governments is an important determinant of budgetary outcomes in OECD countries.  When the power of government is checked by the need to make compromises with coalition partners, fiscal outcomes are often worse than when majority governments are in power”

Those who disapprove of coalition governments believe that such governments have a tendency to be fractious and prone to disharmony. This is because coalitions would necessarily include different parties with differing beliefs and who may not always agree on the correct path for governmental policy. Sometimes the results of an election are such that the coalitions which are mathematically most probable are ideologically unfeasible, such as in Flanders or Northern Ireland. A second difficulty might be the ability of minor parties to play "kingmaker" and, particularly in close elections, gain far more for their support than their vote would otherwise indicate.

Coalition governments have also been criticized for sustaining a consensus on issues when disagreement and the consequent discussion would be more fruitful. To forge a consensus, the leaders of ruling coalition parties can agree to silence their disagreements on an issue to unify the coalition against the opposition. The coalition partners, if they control the parliamentary majority, can collude to make the parliamentary discussion on the issue irrelevant by consistently disregarding the arguments of the opposition and voting against the opposition's proposals, even if there is disagreement within the ruling parties about the issue.

Powerful parties can also act in a policratic way to form an alliance to stifle the growth of emerging parties. Of course, such an event is rare in coalition governments when compared to two-party systems, which typically exists because of stifling the growth of emerging parties, often through discriminatory nomination rules regulations and plurality voting systems, and so on.

A single, more powerful party can shape the policies of the coalition disproportionately. Smaller or less powerful parties can be intimidated to not openly disagree. In order to maintain the coalition, they will have to vote against the party's platform in the parliament. If they do not, the party has to leave the government and loses executive powers. 

2.  Advantages

Larger coalitions offer several advantages: First, they reduce the political consequences of any single member’s defection.  Various studies of parliamentary governments emphasize this point.  They find that “surplus” coalitions can afford to lose members, at least in the short term (Laver and Schofield 1998).  Adding surplus members, thus creating a “minimum working coalition,” protects the coalition from potential coalition instability.  Coalition members might accept this as a reasonable trade-off even if it means they each get a slightly smaller payoff (Cooter 2000).  Secondly, members who favour the status quo coalition can expect disenchanted members to face obstacles to organizing themselves, making it difficult to defect en-mass.  As studies of collective action problems show, the mere presence of a common interest by itself is generally insufficient for individuals to actually act in concert to achieve their shared objectives.  Finally and perhaps most importantly, larger coalitions allow for increased representation.  This insulates the government from accusations of political exclusion and sends the public a clear message of inclusiveness.

Advocates of proportional representation suggest that a coalition government leads to more consensus-based politics, in that a government comprising differing parties (often based on different ideologies) would need to concur in regard to governmental policy.

Another stated advantage is that a coalition government better reflects the popular opinion of the electorate within a country.

A single, more powerful party can shape the policies of the coalition disproportionately. Smaller or less powerful parties can be intimidated to not openly disagree. In order to maintain the coalition, they will have to vote against the party's platform in the parliament. If they do not, the party has to leave the government and loses executive powers.

So, although persons and groups form coalitions for many and varied reasons, the most common purpose is to combat a common threat or to take advantage of a certain opportunity; hence, the often-temporary nature of coalitions. The common threat or existence of opportunity is what gives rise to the coalition and allows it to exist. Such collaborative processes can gain political influence and potentially initiate social movements. 

Coalition Governments – A worldwide phenomena

Countries which often operate with coalition cabinets include: the Nordic countries, the Benelux countries, Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Turkey, Israel, New Zealand, Kosovo, Pakistan, Kenya, India, Trinidad and Tobago, Thailand and Ukraine. Switzerland has been ruled by a coalition of the four strongest parties in parliament from 1959 to 2008, called the "Magic Formula".

The United Kingdom also operates a formal coalition cabinet between the Conservative and the Liberal Democrat parties, but this is unusual because the UK normally had a majority government.

In Germany government is usually the norm, as it is rare for either the Christian-Democratic Union of Germany and Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CDU/CSU) or the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) to win an unqualified majority in a national election. Thus, at the federal level, governments are formed with at least one of the smaller parties. For example, Helmut Kohl's CDU governed for years in coalition with the Free Democratic Party (FDP), from 1998 to 2005 Gerhard Schröder's SPD was in power with the Greens and from 2009 Angela Merkel, CDU/CSU was in power with the FDP.

In Ireland, coalition governments are quite common; not since 1977 has a single party been able to form a majority government. Coalitions are typically formed of two or more parties always consisting of one of the two biggest parties, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, and one or more smaller parties or independent members of parliament. The current government consists of Fine Gael and the Labour Party.

In Finland, no party has had an absolute majority in the parliament since independence, and multi-party coalitions have always been the norm. Finland experienced its most stable government (Lipponen Iand II) since independence with a five-party governing coalition, a so-called "rainbow government". The Lipponen cabinets set the stability record, and were unusual in the respect that both moderate (SDP) and radical left wing (Left Alliance) parties sat in the government with the major right-wing party (National Coalition). The current Finnish cabinet is an even wider rainbow coalition of a total of six parties.

Ireland's first coalition government was formed in 1948. Ireland has had consecutive coalition governments since the 1989 general election, excluding two brief Fianna Fáil minority administrations in 1994 and 2011 that followed the withdrawal of their coalition partners from government. Before 1989, Fianna Fáil had opposed participation in coalition governments, preferring single-party minority government instead.

Irish coalition governments have traditionally been based on one of two large blocs in Dáil Éireann: either Fianna Fáil in coalition with smaller parties or independents, or Fine Gael and the Labour Party in coalition, sometimes with smaller parties. The only exception to these traditional alliances was the first Government of the 27th Dáil, comprising Fianna Fáil and the Labour Party, which ruled between 1993 and 1994. The Government of the 31st Dáil, though a traditional Fine Gael–Labour coalition, resembles a grand coalition, due to the collapse of Fianna Fáil to third place among parties in Dáil Éireann.

A similar situation exists in Israel, which has dozens of different parties with representation in the Knesset. The only faction to ever gain a majority of Knesset seats was Alignment, an alliance of the Labour Party and Mapam that held an absolute majority for a brief period from 1968 to 1969. Historically, control of the Israeli government has alternated between periods of rule by the right-wing Likud in coalition with several right-wing and religious parties and periods of rule by the centre-left Labour in coalition with several left-wing parties. Ariel Sharon's  formation of the centrist Kadima party in 2006 drew support from former Labour and Likud members, and Kadima ruled in coalition with several other parties.

In federal Australian politics, the conservative Liberal, National, Country Liberal and Liberal National parties are united in a coalition, known simply as the Coalition. The Coalition has become so stable, at least at the federal level, that in practice the lower house of Parliament has become a two-party house, with the Coalition and the Labour Party being the major parties. This coalition is also found in the states of New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria. In South Australia and Western Australia the two parties compete separately, while in the Northern Territory and Queensland, the two parties have merged, forming the Country Liberal Party in 1978, and the Liberal National Party in 2008, respectively.

In Canada, the Great Coalition was formed in 1864 by the Clear Grits,’ Parti bleu’, and Liberal-Conservative Party. During the First World War Prime Minister Robert Borden attempted to form a coalition with the opposition Liberals to broaden support for controversial conscription legislation. The Liberal Party refused the offer but some of their members did cross the floor and join the government. Although sometimes referred to as a coalition government, according to the definition above, it was not. It was disbanded after the end of the war.

During the 2008 Canadian parliamentary dispute, two of Canada's opposition parties signed an agreement to form what would become the country's second coalition government since Confederation if the minority Conservative government was defeated on a vote of no-confidence; unseating Stephen Harper as Prime Minister. The agreement outlined a formal coalition consisting of two opposition parties, the Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party. The’Bloc Québécois’ agreed to support the proposed coalition on confidence matters for 18 months. In the end, parliament was prorogued by the Governor General and the coalition dispersed following the election.

Lebanon, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy,  Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand,Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, Sweden,Syria, Taiwan and Philippines (source:Politics of the Philippines) are examples of nations that have used a multi-party system effectively in their democracies. In these countries, usually no single party has a parliamentary majority by itself. Instead, multiple political parties form coalitions for the purpose of developing power blocks for governing.

In some multi-party systems, only two or three parties have a substantial chance of forming a government with or without forming a coalition. An example of this is the United Kingdom, where only the Conservative Party, the Labour Party, and the Liberal Democrats have a serious chance to win enough seats to be a part of the government; the Liberal Democrats have never had enough seats to form a Government, but have held enough seats to contribute to a Coalition. To date, the Liberal Democrats have been in power only once in a coalition, which is the incumbent Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition. This is also the case in Canada, where majority governments are very common.
A two-party system requires voters to align themselves in large blocs, sometimes so large that they cannot agree on any overarching principles. Some theories argue that this allows centrists to gain control. On the other hand, if there are multiple major parties, each with less than a majority of the vote, the parties are strongly motivated to work together to form working governments. This also promotes centrism, as well as promoting coalition-building skills while discouraging polarization.

Coalition forming – Practices and Complexities

In most western-style democracies, minority or coalition governments are the rule rather than the exception. But while such arrangements can and do deliver stable governance, they can also produce improbable, short-lived pairings of political opposites, ugly alliances, sudden calamities and gross distortions of the popular will.

New Zealand, abandoned the system of “Winner takes all’ in favour of the mixed member proportional (MMP) system in 1996. Since then, neither of the two main parties, National and Labour, has obtained an overall parliamentary majority. Smaller parties and minorities have increased their representation and the country has mostly been governed by minority administrations.

In 2005, New Zealand became the first country in the world to be entirely ruled by women, namely (in descending order) the Queen, Governor-general Dame Silvia Cartwright, prime minister Helen Clark, speaker of the House of Representatives Margaret Wilson, and chief justice Dame Sian Elias.
Finland can also claim some sort of record: it has never had a majority government since gaining independence from Russia in 1917. Like the other Nordic countries and the states of northern Europe, election days are seen as merely the beginning of a frequently protracted negotiating period over the composition of the next government.

In Germany in 2005, the federal election result was so close that the CDU's Angela Merkel was forced into a so-called "grand coalition" with the Social Democrats that, while it survived a full term, was broadly ineffective. German voters however kicked out the coalition, replacing it with another less grand coalition.

In Germany, unlike Britain, people know with a fair degree of certainty what coalition line ups are on offer before they vote. In the UK, it remains painfully unclear at present which way the Lib Dems will jump. In Germany, the conservative CDU/CSU routinely pairs off with the liberal Free Democrats, and the SPD with the Greens – so you know what you're getting before you vote.

The situation gets more complicated elsewhere, as in Belgium and the Netherlands, where five or six parties may all have to agree before a joint administration is formed. These endlessly confusing permutations can paralyse a government.

Choleric coalition disputes were the main reason why Belgium was without any kind of government at all for a record 194 days in 2007-2008, and why its new government collapsed. It's why calamity befell the Dutch earlier, after their coalition fatally split over whether to pull troops out of Afghanistan. And it's why, in Italy and Austria, far-right parties, that arguably have no place in the democratic arena, has won power.

Coalitions run the world's largest democracies, notably India, Pakistan, Brazil and Japan. In the US, both the Democratic and Republican parties are, in effect, grand coalitions embracing a wide range of groupings across the political spectrum – with all the contradictory and internal tension that it implies. In Israel, fractious, multiparty coalitions are a constant, and constantly frustrate attempts to advance key aims such as the peace process in the Middle-east.

The Coalition Government of Denmark

The political system of Denmark is that of a multi-party structure, where several parties are represented in Parliament at any one time. Danish governments are often characterised by minority administrations, aided with the help of one or more supporting parties. This means that Danish politics is based on consensus politics. Since 1909, no single party has had the majority in Parliament.
The Constitutional Act, which sets out the fundamental principles for the political system in Denmark, does not mention political parties, because when the Act was introduced in 1849, no such parties had been formed. Yet today, they play a major role in political life. As in many other countries, the principles governing politics in Denmark go far beyond the basic rules written down in the constitution, and tradition, practical considerations and social developments in general, contribute greatly to the conditions for political life.

In principle, anybody can join a political party, but all members must comply with the party’s regulations and agree to the party programme. It is not possible to be a member of more than one party at a time. About 180,000 Danes are members of a political party at present.

The Danish electoral system

Seats in the Danish Parliament are distributed in accordance with a method known as proportional representation. This is a fairly complicated, but mathematically fair, method of distributing votes.
The system guarantees that political parties gain seats in the Danish Parliament in proportion to the number of votes cast for them throughout the country. For example, if a party wins 10 per cent of the votes, it must also have 10 per cent of the seats in the Parliament. 

Distributing seats in the Danish Parliament

Denmark is divided into ten large multi-member constituencies, which are in turn divided into smaller nomination districts. Each multi-member constituency is allotted a number of constituency seats.

The constituency seats are distributed between the parties in proportion to the number of votes they have won in the individual constituencies. The distribution of the constituency seats ensures that all parts of the country are represented in Parliament, and not just the big cities where the majority of voters live.

When the constituency seats have been distributed, the compensatory seats are distributed in a way that ensures that each party receives a number of seats corresponding to the number of votes won at national level.

Since 3rd October 2011, the present Government has consisted of the parties Social Democrats, Social Liberals and Socialist People´s Party. Helle Thorning-Schmidt, from the Social Democrats is the Prime Minister.

At present, the following political parties are represented in the Danish Parliament:

                                                                                                  Number of Seats
Venstre (The Liberal Party) (V)                                                          47
Socialdemokratiet (The Social Democratic Party) (S)                       45
Dansk Folkeparti (The Danish People’s Party) (DF)                          22       
Radikale Venstre (The Social Liberal Party) (RV)                              17
Socialistisk Folkeparti (The Socialist People’s Party) (SF)                15
Enhedslisten (The Unity List) (EL)                                                     12
Liberal Alliance (Liberal Alliance) (LA)                                             9
Det Konservative Folkeparti (The Conservative Party) (KF)             8
Inuit Ataqatigiit (Greenland) (IA)                                                       1
Siumut (Greenland) (SIU)                                                                   1
Sambandsflokkurin (The Faroe Islands) (SP)                                     1
Javnaðarflokkurin (The Faroe Islands) (JF)                                        1

Total number of Members                                                                 179


Conclusion   

Like most things in life Coalition Government has its upsides and downsides. The good thing about coalition government is that it forces winners of elections still to compromise on their plan and show an ability to work together for the common good, creating a broader basis of support in the population for government policies. On the down side, as seen in many countries where you usually have coalition governments, is that voters expect the outcome in favour of the big winner. Seeing the political party of their choice compromise, sometimes even with the party they voted against, cause them to feel betrayed, wondering if it really mattered why they voted anyway. In a system of coalition government everyone has to compromise, even the biggest winner can never completely carry out the platform they ran on and that can be disappointing leaving voters frustrated. In the worst case scenario frustrated voters can lose faith in Democracy all together.

On the other hand, a government formed by a multi-party coalition tends to have certain advantages over one consisting of only a single party. Among them are:

1. reconciliation of differing ideas

2. more accurate reflection of popular opinion

Because the various parties that united to form the coalition are often based on different, and even conflicting, ideologies, it often becomes necessary for them to compromise these ideologies in order to come to an agreement on government policy. This compromising of ideologies often results in broader representation.

Another positive result that comes with coalitions is greater policy scrutiny. Two different parties reflect a greater spectrum of the voting population, so in theory such a larger portion benefits from the coalition union. Issues that would be dismissed by a single party government have greater weight when other parties become part of the mix. Undemocratic or controversial legislation has accordingly considerably less chance of being passed.

Responsible and well designed coalitions within socially heterogeneous democracies (multi party democracies), can in fact be a more effective form of democratic government than in a homogeneous democracy, where only one or two political parties exist. 

Favourable conditions for Coalition forming 

When comparing the principle policies of the different parties represented in the South African Parliament, anyone who asks the question, “So what are the real differences?” will rightfully have to be excused.

On face value it would appear that there are no major principle differences!

The primary difference however lies not in the proclaimed policy statements, but rather in the manner in which these political objectives and principles are being implemented.

 Increased frustration amongst South African Citizens

“In the 27 years since the end of white minority rule, South Africa has rarely looked so shaky. Mining, the bedrock of the old economy, is in crisis as costs rise and commodity prices fall. Wildcat strikes are spreading across the industry and into other sectors.

Companies are losing production, and the recognized unions, with which business was able to barter in the past, have lost influence over the labour force. Equally worrying, the political atmosphere is not only charged but increasingly poisonous. Opportunists such as Julius Malema, the disgraced former youth leader of the African National Congress, are exploiting a leadership vacuum to publicize the broader failures of the post-apartheid state and whip up support from the disenfranchised.

Our country has become a comedian's paradise. A comedy of errors that is denting our image.
Zuma should not only be removed but should have been banned from entering the Union Buildings long ago

South Africa’s Constitution is recognized throughout the world as one of the best constitutions in the world. Everybody involved was pleased and proud to have been a part of it. Two of the leaders were even awarded Nobel Peace Prizes.

But now it seems that some of our ANC leaders are uncomfortable with the Freedom Charter and the Constitution. They claim to live by the rule of law, but when the law isn’t on their side, they’re happy to bend, ignore, or even break it.

Current Political Climate 

Thousands of foreign visitors, who visited South Africa a decade ago, today avoid this country. 
Several foreign investors, who a decade ago was still excited to invest in South Africa, took their investments elsewhere.

Today peaceful marches and protests result in violence and mayhem in the space of minutes.

Forgotten are the noble ideals of upliftment of the less privileged. In its place there is now a culture of "Get as rich as possible as soon as possible."

The culture of self-enrichment is at the disposal only of a few privileged loyalists in the ANC.
Differencing with this group and the right to self-enrichment is quickly taken away.

A culture that embraced a variety of ills has established itself, most of which are aimed at the erosion of a constitutional democracy and the maintenance of unscrupulous and incompetent politicians in their panelled offices and luxury limousines.

The greatest evil in the current culture is surely the government's controversial tender system. It provides the opportunity for every friend and family member of the ruling elite to obtain lucrative contracts, the vast majority of which never gets carried out.

For those who do not have sufficient nepotistic connections to the ruling elite, there is always the possibility of a lucrative position somewhere in the ANC's cadre deployment. If you're in that position and you make yourself guilty of theft and corruption, it is also not so bad. At the very extreme, you can be suspended on full pay, which means that for the next ten years you can sit at home and do nothing. By the time the inept legal process eventually commences, there is already so much time wasted that any trial will in any case constitute an unfair and unlawful judicial act that there is no chance that you will be charged and convicted in any way.

South Africa is littered with failed agricultural development projects while millions of Rands of development funds ends up in the pockets of corrupt ANC supporters.

Highly productive agricultural land lies uncultivated and unproductive throughout South Africa. The ruins and rusty implements and equipment of once thriving farming units serve as mere tombstones of once vibrant and thriving farming communities.

Criminal self-enrichment is the order of the day.  The inability of the government to take decisive action against corrupt individuals have caused these raids to escalate to a point where corruption is now commonplace. Corruption, in all facets and levels of Government, enjoys the best profit to risk ratio, as less than 5% of all corruption charges are successfully prosecuted in the courts today.  

South Africa's problems are much bigger than most South Africans would like to believe and as long as the group of privileged political elite remains in power, it is unlikely that any significant improvement in the prevailing conditions will occur.

Summary 

It is time that all South Africans again unite around the noble ideals of the Freedom Charter and the only recipe for peace, prosperity and progress in this country, is the formation of a coalition government that will honour the aspirations of the Freedom Charter and the adherence to the provisions of the Constitution. 

The vast majority of citizens of this country have yet to learn that political survival and economic prosperity cannot be created by plundering accumulated reserves. Economic prosperity can only be achieved by innovative thinking, sound economic principles, hard work and strict personal earnings. It cannot be "demanded".

The multicoloured rainbow nation of Emeritus Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu is rapidly being replaced with the mirages of a scorched and desolate desert landscape.

Forced integration at all levels of society is destroying our unique cultural diversity and identities and creating a faceless society who does not know who or what they really are.

Indiscriminate granting of exploration and mining concessions are working to destroy our natural heritage.

Corruption and crime are destroying any hope of this country's potential to position itself as the tourism Mecca of the world.

Personal gain and an uncompromising devotion to economic and political power, is destroying South Africa's economic potential and political stability.

Corruption and fraud, at all levels of our society, is destroying South Africa's integrity and credibility as a reliable international trading partner.

The indiscriminate allocation of social grants and donations to win political votes is destroying our people's work ethics and productivity.

Never in the history of South Africa were the conditions for unity so favourable than now.

South Africa can once again astound the world by proving that the real power of democracy can only be practiced in a system of Coalition Government.

Only in a system of Coalition Government, can ‘Unity in Diversity’ be possible in South Africa. 

COALITION – A MAJORITY OF MINORITIES