REUEL KHOZA’s recent comments in the NEDBANK Chairman Report have ignited a flame of familiar rhetoric. But does he not have a right to express his view? Does the ANC, government or anyone else for that matter have a right to respond in critical appraisal?
If Khoza has no right to express his views, on what moral and political grounds can we claim to be a democracy? If the ANC has no right to respond, what kind of a democracy would South Africa be which only allows the expression of views critical of and to the governing party?
It becomes impossible to debate and arrive at the merits and demerits of each contribution because we deny ourselves the opportunity to engage in the substance of the issues.
Let there be no pretenses: We all have views on the matter under discussion. The challenge is to argue the basis of our views. And our views may not be the same as those of the protagonists. All the more reason why we should promote a discussion based on substance! What are the assumptions, perceptions, prejudices and facts (if at all) upon which we have formed our view?
We might ALL learn something from the Soviet playwright, Alexander Gelman, who wrote, in 1986: “Fear of conflict is a trait belonging to people with routine-group thinking, who subconsciously feel that any conflict, if it is normally, consistently and democratically developed and analysed, will ultimately reveal the insolvency of their views or even their guilt”.
Mukoni Ratshitanga, April 16, 2012