Today, 1 May 2014, ChristianView Network is upping the reward to R6000 to anyone who can find an ANC parliamentarian to defend their abortion law on public radio debate for this election. With hundreds of parliamentarians campaigning on Workers Day and the weekend for votes – you would think that should be easy money. But ten years have passed since we first offered a R2000 reward, advertised repeatedly and upped in 2007 to R5000, when the Constitutional court sent the abortion amendment bill back to parliament because of failure to consult the public. Nobody claimed it despite numerous radio stations and newspapers advertising the prize. Why?
What was the ANC response? Jacob Zuma as deputy president in 2004 said: “We will engage in public debate, but we will not engage in abuse of public debate”. Can anyone ask him what he means? Asked if they would allow a free vote, parliamentary health spokesperson James Ncgulu, said “What is a free vote? I don’t know anything about this in my life.” The ANC also refused to allow a debate in parliament on the abortion amendment bill to allownurses to do abortions and to do abortions in small clinics – despite the ACDP, UCDP, IFP, FF, ID and DA and the nurses union DENOSA opposing it – and University of Cape Town students waving ‘Why no debate?’ placards as they drove in.
Is the ANC only evading debate on abortion? No. On 29 April 14, the ANC used its majority to effectively delay parliamentary committee debate on Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla expenditure until after the elections. On 13 March 14, Helen Zille, challenged Jacob Zuma to an election debate on jobs – he refused. Zuma also refused to debate Zille in the last elections on a set of 10 key – despite previously saying he would debate anyone anything at any time. In 2007, ACDP MP Steve Swart protested the hypocrisy of parliaments year theme of ‘deepening the debate’, while the controversial abortion debate was refused.
Why is the ANC afraid to debate abortion, Nkandla and jobs? Do they doubt their own policies? Do they fear they won’t be able to answer arguments?
Are they afraid they will lose their jobs as did Jennifer Fergusson MP who refused to vote for abortion?
Lost culture of debate
On April 14, former ANC leader Professor Raymond Suttner decried the ‘scorched earth’ policy of the Zumaists and said “Any attempt to recover democracy must also retrieve the culture of debate.”
Almost one and a half million unborn South Africans have been killed under the ANC’s abortion laws. Many would be 17 years old this year. But they will never vote. Independent polls found the abortion law is the ANC’s most unpopular policy – with more than 9/10 South African’s opposing it – and most especially their own constituency. But the ANC don’t want to talk
about it – least of all at election time.
But this is not just about abortion. It is about real democracy versus corrupted democracy. The ANC, as the richest political party in the world, can advertise its slogans more than all other parties (thanks to donations from BEE-enriched former ANC politicians, some of them billionaires) – but they are too cowardly to debate and let the voters hear both sides. And now they want voters to return those non-debating MPs back to parliament with no freedom to vote according to their conscience or the majority mandate of their own constituency. Parliamentary democracy has been manipulated into a sham – a much bigger corruption scandal than Nkandla. That is why abortion on demand is legal in South Africa.
If an ANC parliamentarian asks for your vote on May 7th: Ask them if they will defend their abortion law in public radio debate? The first person to find one, gets R6 000.