Has the post-Apartheid bubble burst?

SpacePPoliceman wrote:

That sounds awesome, wide-reaching, and unfortunately unwieldy for the US. And obviously it would interfere with the states' rights to be as corrupt as they want. How recent an addition is it?

I like these questions, they are forcing me to learn more.

The office of the Public Protector is part of our constitution, so was established in 1996 when our constitution was ratified. Ms Madonsela is the third person to hold the office after being appointed in 2009. The previous Protectors were much lower profile although they did have some major cases. I think her higher profile is a combination of the fact that she's more aggressive and because our government is getting more corrupt and incompetent.

Doing a bit of reading up her office has 11 945 cases at the moment, so she's requested a bigger budget. Actually, that linked article is pretty fascinating.

I don't see it being workable in the US. Maybe if each state had its own office.

kazooka wrote:
SpacePPoliceman wrote:

"Public Protector" sounds like an office I could get behind. What are its duties?

Also, does it have a snazzy costume, or perhaps some kind of power staff?

Sadly not, just a line of power suits and a phone number that sends chills down people's spine when she calls.

Wow, that's a serious, serious problem. 11 THOUSAND cases?

What the heck is going on? It sounds like your government is disintegrating.

To be fair most of those cases are probably pretty minor, but 'disintegrate' is a good way of describing it.

I'm consistently impressed it's not total anarchy.

The 12000 Anglo American platinum workers that were fired have been reinstated, with an agreement between Anglo and the NUM to discuss increases once people are back to work.

Whether people will actually show is another question, once strike leader has rejected the offer.

Just to clear something up for the US based readers, the Public Prosecutor or Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP is what you generally see) do have their equivalents in the States but only at the State level. The name, powers and appointment method alter from State to State but you do have them. They are not Attorney Generals, which still exist to advise the government on legal matters, but are there to decide what cases are to be prosecuted on the basis of the evidence they are given.

Don't quote me on this but I'm fairly sure the DPP was created in the UK after the US declared and won Independence so while the DPP was spread throughout the rest of the world off the back of the British Empire the US forked off in a slightly different direction but some states do have the role and others the powers still remain with the Attorney General.

Edit: Keep the updates coming, MrDevil.

Just to clarify, the Public Protector isn't quite the same as a Prosecutor. We do have the National Prosecuting Authority headed by the National Director. The Protector exists specifically to investigate and take action against corruption and failing of all levels of government and parastatal organisations.

The Protector can issue fines and other punitive measures, or hand cases over to the NPA for criminal prosecution.

Thinking about the 12,000 cases in front of the Protector I'd guess a few thousand are from people in Johannesburg getting incorrect utility bills and not being helped by the utilities. There was a huge chicken f*ck a few years ago with people getting electricity bills inflated by orders of magnitude, then getting cut off until paying.

Oh, so its an ombudsmen role. This is actually a creation of the Swedes from around the turn of the 20th century and was only adopted latterly across Europe in the latter half of the same century (60s' to 80s'). Again, the US does have these but they tend not to have the national or federal powers we see in our offices but the role is filled by other offices like special prosecutors and overlap of Departmental ombudsmen. Not saying its the same just a different way of doing things.

What's makes South Africa's different as far as I'm aware is it's a constitutional office and not one based on legislation, unlike Europe's ombudsmen for example. Whatever happens you should console yourself with the knowledge that South Africa probably has the arguably the best constitution a country can have right now and at the very least it can only ever get so bad. Mandela really is something special, a man with that much power and influence to be that benevolent. If only Ireland had someone like that overseeing the writing of our constitution.

Sorry but I want to ask a question that might be tangental to this discussion but I think it might shed some light on situations close to both of us. In the last year Sinn Fien (IRA's political wing) have been pushing hard for a truth commission to be setup. Now, South Africa's truth commission is held up as the example and is consistently used as the benchmark. However there are those who don't want the truth commission to go ahead (basically the governments in London and Dublin) and claim that there were problems with South Africa's model. Is there truth in that? Are the problems we see now due to a failure of the truth commission or just poor governance? I'm struggling a little for the right questions so I'll leave that there and hope I'm not being too presumptuous.

An ombudsman, exactly. It was originally called that, but they changed the name a while back. Maybe they wanted a superhero ring to it.

There are some things that make me somewhat positive about our future. Our constitution is inclusive and hard to change, the judiciary is (mostly) free of fear and favour and our press is very active. Also the ANC's majority is being eroded slowly. They will probably rule till long after I'm dead, but if their share of the government drops below 50% in the next 3 elections I will be thrilled

As to your question. The main criticism is that the TRC mostly benefited former Apartheid criminals who got to confess their sins and get amnesty. Black people were expected to forgive and forget and as a result those who benefited from Apartheid get to claim that the past doesn't matter. White people do often accuse Blacks of holding on to the past and say they should move on.

My perspective is that I'd like to forget the past, but it's not up to us, it's up to those who suffered.

But I think that's as far as it goes, the issues we mostly suffer from now and that I talk about most are pure corruption, greed and incompetence, not due to failings of the TRC.

I suspect the reason there's resistance in the Irish case is because no one wants the dark details of what took place to come to light in case some atrocities spark resentment, embarrassment or, potentially, more conflict.

And please, any questions or perspectives are welcome. I just got annoyed previously because of people parroting each other with incorrect information.

I'm starting to get the feeling we're teetering on the edge of something.

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Opposition parties with only one exception IIRC tabled a motion of no confidence in President Showerhead, predictably the ANC is attempting to squash it.

http://dailymaverick.co.za/opinionis...

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Odd violent protests:

http://dailymaverick.co.za/article/2...

Originated in a region of the DA controlled Western Cape producing table grapes, then people started getting mysteriously bussed in to wine regions. It also should be pointed out that the farm workers have a valid complaint regarding wages, but their wages were agreed to by their unions and the ANC national government, not the DA provincial government. It seems like a pretty clear attempt to distract and destabilise.

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Disturbing info from the Marikana commission of enquiry

http://dailymaverick.co.za/article/2...

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Lots of chatter in the run up to the ANC elective conference.

http://dailymaverick.co.za/article/2...

Just so long as you don't turn into Rhodesia in the 80's... I still have nightmares about some of the footage I saw from there.