Hit or Miss: Is our democracy in peril?

5 min read


We are predominantly an entertainment website, and generally prefer to stay out of politics – but that’s not possible right now.

I am an optimist, believe it or not. I have a lot of faith in this most wonderful country and its people, even if I don’t have nearly as much in our current government. And late last night, whatever faith I had was eroded – as out increasingly rogue president reshuffled cabinet without the consultation of the ruling part or its allies. It’s become quite clear that all of that talk of state capture was more than just conspiracy theory, and that our democracy is a shambles.

That’s the sentiment shared by long-time political and social activist Jay Naidoo:

I’ll be frank. I’m pretty devastated, and I worry for our future, and the future of our democracy. I asked everyone else what they think of the reshuffle.


“I don’t know what’s worse, the fact that I’m upset and horrified at the political situation in SA, or the fact that it’s no longer surprising. We knew it was coming and everyone seemed to sigh and say “RIP Rand” and shrug their shoulders. We aren’t active in our outrage. No marches, no protests. Without any real repercussions to these actions, Zuma and the rest of the government will just keep doing what they want. And it’s mirrored in politics globally at this point… is this the point in history that we will look back on as the beginning of the end?”


“I’m devastated, if this action isn’t quickly reversed I am going to have to seriously consider emigrating and leaving the country I call home. I simply cannot allow my kids futures to be controlled by a clique based in Dubai who are hell bent on pillaging this country for their own greed while the clown king himself chuckles while the country burns.”


“It’s disgusting. I’m disgusted that this is the direction we are going as a country – making major governance shifts in the middle of the night that seem more about punishing powerful critics than removing the incompetent (*cough*, grants debacle). For years I always dismissed the hysterical “South Africa is going to be the next Zimbabwe” comments, but I think we are on that doorstep right now. Once the land “redistribution” starts, well, that’s Game Over in terms of our credibility and relevance in a world economy. What does it take to stop a spiteful, greedy Ninja Turtle who is prepared to destroy an entire country and its people to benefit (and protect) himself?”


“It’s a sad day for the ANC, for South Africa & for our democracy. The cabinet reshuffle, more specifically the firing of Pravin Gordhan, exposes the ANC for what it has become: A spineless, morally bankrupt party that is willing to watch a few people destroy this country.”


“I’m a generally positive guy, able to crack a joke in just about the most dire of circumstances. There’s nothing funny about this though. Our country has overcome far too much and struggled far too long to be eroded like this through blatant greed and cronyism. That it’s being done with the bare minimum of subterfuge is even more infuriating, as it shows an utter disregard for consequences”


“It is a very sad day when the struggles of truly great people are replaced with those who are truly greedy people. The fact that this is happening in plain sight makes the situation even worse. When a government is so entrenched by the cement of cronies it makes one wonder how we will break the institutions we are supposed to look to for support. I returned from England to contribute to making this country a great country, after recent events I am just glad I have a passport to leave”

Darryn contributed in video form:

Read  Friday Debate: Gender-specific events are stupid

While that video helped me laugh through the tears, it’s hard to see any real positives here, nor is there any clear solution. I think South Africans as a people need to stick together to fight an injustice – once again working together to dispose of a government that has the inyerest of a few ahead of the interests of many.

What do you feel about the reshuffle, our president, and what looks like a crumbling democracy?

Last Updated: March 31, 2017

Want more stuff like this?

Get the best stories straight into your inbox daily!

Don’t worry we don’t spam

Geoffrey Tim

I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • Original Heretic

    This is from the Daily Maverick.

    “And yet, it’s only a chickenshit Mafia vampire bagman who purges his Cabinet well after supper, and then dumps a press statement on the country in the witching hour.”

    I hesitate to use my own words at the moment. There’d be way too much profanity directed at one asshole in particular.

  • Member Berry Bob

    I would say no more than usual. There have been a number of comments made by our president over the years that cast doubt on our continued democracy. It’s very clear that the ANC under JZ isn’t interested in letting go of power. Like many countries in Africa, we are an autocratic-democracy.

  • Matthew Figueira

    That Overwatch video xD basically what Geoff said:

    “While that video helped me laugh through the tears, it’s hard to see any real positives here, nor is there any clear solution.”

    I think the first obvious thing would be to get Zuma off of that high perch, but who knows if that will fix anything :/

  • konfab

    The ANC has been following the scripts of Animal Farm and 1984 since day 1.

    I am neither surprised, nor shocked that the ANC is capable of this.

    • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

      I’m excited to see where all of this will end, will we be donning our tyre armour and battling in the streets for water, or will it all end rather anticlimactically with Jacob Zuma drowning in his bath, while surrounded by his harem in Dubai, or will President Atul continue looting our tiny little country….

    • MonsterCheddar

      Margaret Thatcher once said that anyone who believes that the ANC can govern a country, lives in LA LA LAND. She also referred to them as a bunch of terrorists.

      • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

        Yeah but Margaret Thatcher also had huge lead balls, which probably led to her going crazy and partnering up with that actor-turned-president Ronnie Reagan…. while also decimating the rights of blue collar workers in Brittain.

  • Original Heretic

    Zuma puts the dick in dictator.
    And he’s putting his spear in all of us.

    • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

      And it’s not a cool spear, like an assegai or a doru, but rather just a nasty old man’s geriatric meat spear…

  • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

    I like the way that our president, President Atul actually lives in Dubai, rather than in South Africa like his man-servants and butlers (i.e. Jacob Zuma and cronies).

  • Cat

    Everyone get your passports ready & get a one way ticket to the moon or Mars, the whole world is falling apart. The difference is this ship has hit too many ice bergs & will continue doing so in the future as everything is falling apart since the plasters are not holding the water out anymore.

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    I’m upset. Which is a mild-sounding word for the feeling, but it actually takes a lot to make me feel this way.

    It’s a blatant power grab from a desperate man. He’s on his way out, and when he’s out there’s a few hundred corruption charges waiting for him that he hasn’t been able to make vanish that will bury him. It’s the selfish act of a childish bully who believes breaking things will get him what he wants, with no regard for the consequences, all nicely enabled by those who depend on his largess to enrich themselves and spineless sycophants who’d amount to nothing riding his coat tails. It’s pathetic.

    What gives me hope is that more people are waking up and seeing all this for exactly what it is, and that no amount of “us v them” rhetoric from him will wash it away and prevent people from realising that it’s actually “us vs him”.

    • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

      Perhaps, but if they did decide on the “deal” (where he leaves quietly before 2018), it still means he’s going to have a few months to loot this country for his overmasters, the Russians and the Guptas.

      Either way, we (as South Africans) loose.

      • Member Berry Bob

        I’ve already lost – R250m on a compound, volatile currency fluctuations almost every year, Guptagate, random finance minister changes. We lost the moment he took office. All we’re discussing now is the extent of said loss.

        • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

          We’re basically standing on the porch and watching a bag of poop being set alight. Either way, that porch is getting pooped.

          • Member Berry Bob

            Some people just want to watch the bag of poop burn.

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        That’s true too. But I’m trying to be optimistic here, don’t tip over my half-full glass Jim!

        P.S. No fucking deal. GITS.

  • Magoo

    What’s a democracy? Can you eat it?

    • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

      No, but you can drink the kool-aid 😀

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        And ride it for all it’s worth!

  • MonsterCheddar

    I think this might be the final straw that broke the camel’s back.

    Optimism will say that this had to happen to get the ANC (and I say this with heavy skepticism) to wake up and git rid of this clown.

    The Pessimist in me says that this crap is here to stay and we are heading towards a Zimbabwean climate and everything is going to shit.

    But he might have sealed his own fate with this blatant disregard for the country he is supposed to govern. The Fallout however is one we will struggle to recover from.

    Fucking dickhead.

  • Admiral Chief

    As much as it pains me to say this, we need a coup.

    Forcible removal of all those who are corrupt

    • Member Berry Bob

      Who determines who is “corrupt”?

      • Spathi

        The law 🙂

        • Member Berry Bob

          The corrupt law headed by individuals put in power by the corrupt government officials?

          • Spathi

            Nope, The Constitution! But I get what you are saying…

    • Spathi

      Who will be left?

      • Admiral Chief

        I’ll be left. Admiral for Emperor of SA. Viva

        • Alien Emperor Trevor


          • Admiral Chief

            If you are left, you can remain as emperor of the WC, I don’t want that place

  • Steffmeister

    Things need to sometimes get worse, before it gets better. It wont be pretty, and people wil suffer, but this wil one day be seen as, not the beginning of the end for SA, but the beginning of the end of Zuma.

    • Magoo

      Some legit optimism right here^

  • MonsterCheddar

    End of the day, those twats in the ANC have done ABSOLUTELY nothing for this country. Nothing. In fact they fucked most of the infrastructure that they inherited up.

    And then the past gets the blame for their ineptitude.

    The stupidity is baffling.

    • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

      lol, listen, I’m no fan of the ANC, but I’m old enough to remember the shitstorm that was the Nats, and if you were to look really long and hard at the really dodgy stuff the Nats were up to (in particular their deliciously corrupt relationship with Israel – Malan is a great example)…. I hate to say it but, ANC > Nats

      Granted, this is like saying Dog shit > Horse Shit… but let’s not paint the Nats as these glorious heroes who build South Africa into a powerhouse.

      • Admiral Chief

        Nats can GITS (sun, not sea)

      • MonsterCheddar

        I never did. Where did I ever mention the Nats?

        • Admiral Chief

          He never said you did…

          • MonsterCheddar

            He implied that I did

          • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

            You didn’t,but I took “And then the past gets the blame for their ineptitude” and decided to roll with it. 😀

          • MonsterCheddar

            Well, they do blame everything on Apartheid. I never painted the previous regime in any light.

            Just making the point that they keep blaming others for their own crap.

          • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

            Oh, I agree

          • Admiral Chief

            Nope, he just mentioned that ANC is bad but that nats were bad too, just badder bad (ANC)

          • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

            ANC is more like diarrhea on a plane bad…

          • MonsterCheddar

            . but let’s not paint the Nats as these glorious heroes who build South Africa into a powerhouse.

          • Admiral Chief

            Four legs bad, two legs good

          • MonsterCheddar

            I’m just going to leave this before more words gets put in my mouth. Niks maak my meer befok as dit nie.

          • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

            lol calm down, I didn’t say you’re a Nat supporter.

          • Admiral Chief

            Nats became e-NATIS

            Chill bra

  • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

    I think Zuma has taken advantage of the ANC’s tendency to not want to air their dirty laundry in public. I’m sure there are vicious battles happening behind closed doors, but that never reaches the public, and quite frankly makes any dissent within the party irrelevant.

    If I (the public) don’t know that faction A wants to eat faction B for breakfast or that Faction C is aware that Faction B and D are corrupt little shits, then it might as well not have happened. Zuma knows that only those that have been excommunicated will run to the media, whearas those in the fold will remain mum, and rarely support those “who spill the beans”. It’s Party uber Alles!

    That’s the real secret to how he’s remained in power. The guy is clearly an idiot savant of politics.

  • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

    Damnit, we’re not going to take it!

    • Admiral Chief

      Hehehehehe, I like it

  • Guild

    Considering last nights events and the credit down rating by S&P with Moody looking to adjust on Friday. You may as well leave this topic open for another round of comments.
    Simple answer is yes SA is in the shit. And looks to get worse

Check Also

No, I don’t think Dota 2 is dying in South Africa

The local industry is playing "catch-up" and Dota 2 is being left behind. …