Tuesday, January 27, 2004

The NNP has accused the DA of spreading a "message of fear" by warning that, unless South Africans vote DA, the country will degenerate into a Zimbabwe. Rather, argues Van Schalkwyk, vote NNP because we have real influence within government.

There's a lot wrong with this, which Douglas Gibson sums up rather succintly:

"He tries to argue that his party's path of cooperation with the ANC will prevent South Africa going down the road of Zimbabwe.

Perhaps Mr Van Schalkwyk should get his facts straight on Zimbabwe. [Zimbabwe African People's Union leader, the late] Mr Joshua Nkomo was co-opted from being the leader of the opposition to being the vice-president, which signalled the end to parliamentary democracy.

It is precisely the co-option of the opposition by the ruling party that allowed Zimbabwe to go down the road to one-party rule, with its consequent corruption, maladministration and intolerance of dissent. This is the path the NNP has chosen.

Fortunately for South Africa, it [the NNP] has become an insignificant party, and the opposition will not be much poorer for its demise.

Mr Van Schalkwyk chose the route of co-option because he could not do without the perks and privileges of office. Neither could he conceive of an independent alternative challenging the ANC."



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