Mbhazima Shilowa on Jessie Duarte: 'She gives democratic centralism a bad name'

11 February 2021 - 11:45
By unathi nkanjeni AND Unathi Nkanjeni
Former Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa. File photo.
Image: Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images Former Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa. File photo.

Former Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa has weighed in on ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte's opinion piece in the Daily Maverick, saying she “gives democratic centralism a bad name”.

In her piece, Duarte slammed the state capture inquiry and said democratic centralism was now the subject of a commission led by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, who practises his craft “based on the narrow parameters of existing laws”. 

Duarte said she hoped that the inquiry doesn't turn SA's democracy “into more of a neoliberal concoction”, where everyone “sounds the same and does nothing real to transform our society”. 

She called the testimonies provided at the inquiry, against the ANC, an “onslaught against the people”, saying they display “a serious lack of appreciation therefore of the role party caucuses play within a democracy such as ours”.

Shilowa said Duarte and deputy transport minister Dikeledi Magadzi gave democratic centralism a bad name.

Magadzi told the inquiry this week that she was proud to always follow the party line when voting on issues in parliament and would always do it, even if the ANC was wrong in its instruction.

In a separate tweet, Shilowa said the ANC in Gauteng was where it was in 1998 and that little has changed.

For days on end now, the inquiry has heard how ANC MPs have been implicated in corruption.

Outstanding evidence still to be heard by the inquiry includes that of former president Jacob Zuma.

Despite a ruling by the Constitutional Court compelling Zuma to appear before the inquiry, he publicly vowed to defy the order and said he does not fear going to prison should his decision not to co-operate with it be considered a violation of the law.

Zuma is expected to appear before the inquiry on Monday and should he not, he will not only be in breach of the Commissions Act but would also be in breach of an order of the highest court in the land.