Groundbreaking ‘Direct Election Bill’: getting ready to lead in a nation falling apart — Michael Louis

From the left, One South Africa Movement founder Mmusi Maimane, Christian marketplace leader Dr Michael Louis and COPE leader Mosiuo Lekota at the launch of the groundbreaking Direct Election Bill on the steps of Parliament in Cape Town yesterday. CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO OF MMUSI MAIMANE INTRODUCING THE BILL TO THE MEDIA YESTERDAY

In an article on the Direct Election Bill that was launched yesterday and which will be tabled in Parliament next week, Christian marketplace leader Dr Michael Louis invites South Africans to seize a unique opportunity to participate in a process aimed at putting governmental power in the hands of the people as envisaged in our Constitution. The bill was launched on the steps of Parliament yesterday by One South Africa Movement founder Mmusi Maimane, COPE president Mosiuo Lekota, and Louis. Today Maimane embarked on a countrywide tour to identify leaders and community leaders who could become independent candidates for future elections.

On the eve of the Government Gazette publishing the new draft electoral bill, I am reminded of the fact that Christians are mandated to go out into the world and do more than just evangelise: they should be prepared to “lead”.

In a landmark judgement in June in a case brought by The New Nation Movement, the Constitutional Court declared the Electoral Act to be unconstitutional. Specifically, it found that the legislation strips citizens of the right not to affiliate themselves to a political party. Individual candidates, it ruled, must be allowed to contest elections independently.

Parliament has been given 24 months by the Concourt to amend the legislation. During this time it has promised to engage all stakeholders from political parties, to civil society and of course the citizens at large on the appropriate steps forward, as we reshape our electoral system.

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South Africans, it would seem, have an unprecedented kairos opportunity to help define and participate in a process to reflect, after 27 years, our mature democracy. We need to fulfil the aspirations of the Freedom Charter, “for the people, by the people“.

Our challenge is not the new Electoral Act. This will happen. The ultimate goal is our self-government and self-determination with our newfound power transferred back to the people. Representative government depends for its health on the values that we can leave as a generational legacy to the next generation. These are the values of the importance of the nuclear family, jurisdictional government and localism.

It is time for us to start preparing ourselves as the Church to lead by going into a process of self-restoration and teaching ourselves to be “statesmen” and to disciple our beloved country by obeying the Great Commission.

Like the sons of Issachar “who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do “ (Chronicles 12 verse 32), we need to start thinking about how to lead. We need to start thinking local and to invest strategically in how we “tend to our own gardens “ (Genesis 2 verse 15).

As Christians, we often try and solve national problems without first solving neighbourhood and city problems, which reinforces the centralisation of power. We must recognise the truth that problems are best solved by those who are locally involved. This is true even when we are qualified to solve large problems by virtue of our skills and training. Caring and leadership become more effective when we start in our own backyards.

The path to #Direct Elections begins today

That is why the draft electoral bill that is being promoted will soon serve the interests of every South African, and most particularly those who remain marginalised, neglected and increasingly alienated from the politics of the day — by ensuring the direct elections of accountable community leaders to Parliament.

The draft bill seeks to:

  • Create a direct relationship between voters and their members of parliament.
  • Give effect to the constitutional provision that states “every adult citizen has the right to stand for public office, and if elected, to hold office”.
  • Curtail the excessive power political parties currently wield.
  • Ensure people can choose the best-of-the-best representatives from the business, education, health, scientific and academic sectors, as well as community leaders who know best the needs of their communities.
  • Ensure that public representatives will answer only to voters in their communities.

It’s important for me to state that this draft bill is not an anti-political-party bill. I will always recognise the invaluable role that political parties do fulfil and especially the role that a political party that I was a founder member of, has fulfilled — and still fulfils.

My aim, in personally pursuing this important legal course of action, is for four reasons:

  • It’s a constitutional action. If we believe we are a constitutional state, we must respect constitutionality. To this end, I also want to recognise and honour the commitment of a number of stakeholders, including New Nation Movement, Princess Chantal Revell, Linda Gobodo, Mkangeli Matomela and Landile Shembe. Our victory is a collective victory of obedience, passion and faith.
  • We need to have accountable, responsible elected legislators who are directly accountable to their communities. This was recommended by numerous reports and commissions over many years.
  • Ten million voters did not vote in the last election. We need a new electoral system that the majority regard as representative in order to incentivise them to participate and vote.
  • We need to attract statesmen and women who will bring a wider field of skills and experience to serve the nation by drawing from people who are called to governance but do not want to be part of a political party.

Taking cognisance of the collapse of municipalities in SA, the draft bill divides the nation into 52 voting districts for elections to take place. It puts scaffolding in place for each district to be represented by a national MP, a provincial MP and a local MP, thereby strengthening inter-government relationships.

It is in this light that we yesterday, formally announced the introduction of the proposed new law, the #Direct Election Bill, to be tabled before Parliament in the fourth quarter. The memorandum of the bill, in the name of Honourable Mosiuo Lekota, leader of Cope, will be gazetted next Friday and become open for public comment.

All South Africans are invited to make their voices heard and to email written submissions and representations regarding the proposed content of the draft bill to the Speaker of the National Assembly at speakers@parliament.gov.za by September 30.

I’m also very pleased to confirm our School of Governance Webinar, “The Great Reset — Be the Change” on September 23 to 25. We have great statesman and stateswoman with profound political, judicial and social experience to be our keynote speakers to train and equip us to lead. Details of how you can participate in the webinar will be released later.

In conclusion: are we going to be ready to rescue our families and beloved nation? It’s time today to take hold of our newfound power.

How we going to change a land of philosophers and liberators into a nation of “doers“? Are we going to keep thinking about what we should be doing or doing something about it? Are we going to just shrug our shoulders and blame our infrastructure, finances, bureaucracy, political system, or are we going to roll up our sleeves, get up and do something about it?

The highest service that any man or woman can do is to serve the purposes of God in his or her own generation. The true liberator hungers to be relevant and to make a difference.

Let’s all strive to have a “hero’s heart “ and so be like David, who “After he had served the purposes of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and was laid among his fathers “ (Acts 13 verse 36)

Dr Michael Louis
One South Africa Movement

19 Comments

  1. Ferguson Zakumba

    I am excited about this venture.We need God fearing leaders because whoever fears God,hates sin.

  2. Gina Van Der Linden

    Praise God, we have finally come to this place of standing up and being counted and as you quite rightly say, “roll up our sleeves and get stuck in”. I have dreamt and prayed for this day to arrive (as have many others) for a few years. I am itching to get involved in whatever God chooses to use me, He has been preparing me for a while …. Thank you to all on the frontline of making this happen. May God continue to lead and guide you all as you so honorably obey His word and heed His call. 🙏🏻🙇‍♂️🇿🇦🌈 AMANDLA ! ✊🏼

  3. I long to see leaders of integrity and action who are just and righteous while being accountable to the people who fund them and support them

    • This is what SA needs! Keep it up, and may the new party be in Parliament sooner than we think. God bless you!

  4. Judith Giliomee.

    STEPPING UP AND STEPPING IN AS GOD, THROUGH HIS HOLY SPIRIT, DIRECTS THE NATION, AND TURNS THEIR EYES UPON JESUS. IN HIS PRECIOUS NAME. AMEN.

  5. This is an extremely profound news item, charting a potentially new direction that would be the ideal solution for the devastation that our country finds itself!

  6. I’m excited and disappointed at the same time. SA is desperately in need of change. As a first priority, return to acknowlege the God, The Trinity, is the Ruler, Provider and Protector of SA. Secondly, we need a change in our Silo Syndrom approach in dealing with issues in SA. This is my disappointment. Another nobel inisativr, however, without the rest of the non-socialist political groupings. When are we ever going to learn that two is stronger than one, and nog three are jointly connected, it is even stronger. Where is INKATA, ACDP, VF+? I pray that The Lord will take control and unite these parties to stand together on most of the issues.

  7. Praise God, He is doing a new thing! We desperately need God fearing men and women in our government to lead this nation!!

  8. Anton van Niekerk

    Wonderfull news. Very very happy that M Lekota is part of this. He has immense abilities that are wasted in Cope to bring together a broad base of like-minded people! Well done and may God bless this very good news!

  9. We need a strong opposition to ensure that the most popular political party is answerable to the people.

    We should strive to make the independents as strong as possible and include all creeds , races and smaller parties in this effort.

  10. Amen , thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ for preparing the way. May the Lord be the center of this new venture. Let us keep in His presence , seek His wisdom .

  11. Philicity Smith

    Bravo!

  12. Philicity Smith

    Psalm 32:8

  13. This is very encouraging! May God bless this initiative.
    Kindly inform me on a regular basis.

  14. Wonderful news. So glad to see 2 politicians i believe in, offering us political hope. While the Christian character is acknowledged, is it advisable to effectively exclude Muslims, Jews, Hindus and others?

  15. Margaret Ferguson

    I was in politics in the uk and 18 years ago came to SA at the Lord’s direction. I resonate with the concern mentioned re other faiths as my experience is that we need to show that we are serving all the nation ( actually biblically the aliens too). I support the aims of the new Bill as shown above .A few years ago I wrote a biblical case for a Government of National Unity and it would surely show as a leadership example to the nation the importance of ‘unity’ starting at the top. This draft bill would seem to be an ideal proposal to lead to a GNU. May God go with you – unity from bottom up and top down is a fundamental need in this nation is my view

  16. Stand with this inspiring initiative.

  17. Margaret Ferguson

    I agree with the above comment and together with a fellow Christian we are doing our best to get the message out to fellow Christians to write to the Speaker. This is an opportunity for the church in unity to show collective responsibility to the nation , and that is a biblical construct. When we learn to do this, God can bless our efforts for the betterment of the nation of South Africa. But many in the church need to learn the important message of 1 Peter together with Deuteronomy – OUR PERSONAL SALVATION BUT MUST LEAD TO COLLECTIVE SALVATION. That is part of ‘working out our salvation in fear and trembling’ (Philippians 2 v 12)