Reuel Khoza, the ANC & our Democracy

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


3 thoughts on “Reuel Khoza, the ANC & our Democracy

  1. It is important to weigh individual views against the consequential impact of said views. When people occupy positions of influence within society, they as an automatic inheret greater responsility in their excercising Constitutional rights. Furthermore, the occupation of a view devoid of meaningful solutions to well appreciated problems, in whatever context is an excercise in futility.

  2. I think it is high time we explain Democracy in our own context as African because clearly it is not or doesn’t exist in this Continent…I am yet to see one Country that can raise its Flag With message 100 democratic….ethnic issues still the order of the day.

    Khoza was not way out of line..someone has to stand up and say it …How do you claim Democracy when you are Heavily guarde and every one killed on the streets,why is it people are more starving in the so called Democratic Gorvenance than in Apartheid and Dictatorships….Dictators and Colonialinist.fed their Victims and democratically elected government starving the same people….is it not just an illusion about Democracy…..We need fresh approach and thorough research(african) as to whether Africa need separate kind of definition in DEmocracy

  3. Any institution that is afraid or intimidated by constructive criticism is not worthy of existing. The problem with the ruling party is that it is saturated by leaders who are anti-intellectual and social debates. Reuel Khoza was articulating what was in his own right. One really wishes to see more and more high profile figures like Reuel Khoza coming out and voicing out their feelings about anything that is bothering the people on the grassroot level. Under this current leadership of the ruling party all doors of debate are closed and if you forced your way in you are a counter-revolutionary. I so much wish the proposed political school within the ruling party can open eyes and ears of most of its political leaders!!:…viva Reuel viva!!!….

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