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The ASRI Report

Sameera Casmod | sameerac@radioislam.co.za
6 October 2023 | 11:37am CAT
2-min read

South Africa is grappling with a governance crisis that has raised questions about accountability, ethics, and the effectiveness of key oversight bodies. In an interview on Radio Islam International this morning, Angelo Fick, director of research at ASRI (Auwal Socio-economic Research Institute), discussed these pressing issues.

One of the focal points of the interview was the effectiveness of the Parliamentary Ethics Committee, responsible for ensuring the conduct of parliamentarians aligns with the trust of the South African people. Fick pointed out the perception that this committee lacks impartiality, particularly in recent cases. While the committee imposed sanctions on an EFF MP, Floyd Shivambu, no ANC MP implicated in the state capture report faced similar consequences.

This disparity raises questions about the Ethics Committee’s ability to uphold accountability in the political sphere. Fick argued that accountability issues extend beyond Parliament, with similar crises observed in various government sectors, all contributing to South Africa’s corruption and maladministration woes.

Fick highlighted the significance of paying attention to the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) and the appointment of judges, citing the need for a transparent and independent judiciary. He emphasised that citizens have a role to play in scrutinising these processes, ensuring that appointed officials prioritise the rule of law over party politics.

The interview highlighted the importance of not only focusing on the suitability of judges but also evaluating the questions posed by politicians in the appointment committees and their commitment to the job’s requirements rather than political agendas.

The discussion extended to accountability and governance issues beyond politics, exemplified by the tragic Marshalltown fire incident. Fick expressed concerns over the delayed inquiry into the event, which claimed nearly 80 lives. The majority of victims were South Africans, debunking initial misconceptions that foreigners were the primary victims.

Fick questioned the lack of funding for the inquiry, signalling a broader crisis in governance, especially in Johannesburg, one of Africa’s wealthiest cities. The incident underscored the need for timely and efficient responses to such tragedies, with Fick advocating for a functional policing and prosecution system.

The interview emphasised that accountability, transparency, and ethical governance should be at the forefront of South Africa’s political landscape. Fick urged citizens to take an active role in scrutinising the actions of elected officials and holding them accountable for their decisions. The upcoming 2024 elections offer an opportunity for citizens to voice their concerns and demand better governance for the nation.

Listen to the ASRI Report on Sabaahul Muslim with Moulana Sulaimaan Ravat.

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