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Disgraced Judge Hlope elected MK Party Chief – Analysis Joleen Steyn Kotze

Azra Hoosen |
24 June 2024 | 10:00 CAT
2 min read

Impeached Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe is set to join Parliament as the chief whip of the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party. The MK Party, led by former President Jacob Zuma, secured 58 seats in the May 29 elections but did not attend the first Parliament session.

Hlophe, the first judge impeached in democratic South Africa, will now take a parliamentary seat through the MK Party. His appointment was announced in an internal memo by party secretary Arthur Zwane, who emphasised the need to establish administrative and financial operations to secure parliamentary funds.

Political analyst Joleen Steyn Kotze emphasised the crucial importance of accountability and the commitment to ensuring that both the state and Parliament function effectively at this critical juncture.

“Considering Justice Zondo’s reflections around the ability of Parliament to effectively exercise its oversight function on the executive in the context of state capture,” she said.

According to Kotze, the presence of individuals with controversial histories raises questions about the purpose of parliamentary oversight functions and how these elites will shape the institution’s legitimacy, potentially impacting its ability to effectively carry out its duties.

“It goes further to questions of trust; if institutions are seen as not functioning as they should, it breaks down public trust,” she said.

Kotze highlighted that the debate over electoral reform and the methods used to elect representatives has been ongoing in the country since around the early 2000s.

“It speaks to the question of accountability because we vote for a political party, but the party chooses the MPs. That is the debate: should we have a mechanism where the South African public directly elects members of parliament more in a constituency-based system than the closed-party list system we have now,” she said.

Kotze believes that questions of patronage cannot be ignored, suggesting that individuals loyal to former President Zuma may now be elevated to positions of representation within Parliament.

LISTEN to the full interview with Ml Habib Bobat and Political Analyst Joleen Steyn Kotze, here.


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