News24

COP 17: Envoys slam SA 'incompetence'

2011-12-13 22:43

Johannesburg - Envoys at the global climate conference ended on Sunday in Durban left late-night sessions shaking their heads about their South African hosts, saying in rather undiplomatic speech they had let the process go off the rails.

Pretoria, however, hailed its diplomacy as a rousing success, saying SA showed it could punch above its weight in the global arena.

Such is the disconnect between SA, which sees itself as an emerging power championing African causes, and other nations which question its ability to keep pace with global affairs.

The gap is expected to grow larger as Africa's biggest economy tries to exert more authority on the international stage by pressing for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council and having one of its former foreign ministers elected head of the AU.

SA has already found itself this year on the wrong side of the mainstream argument over Libya and Ivory Coast.

Crucial lessons

Western powers also raised their eyebrows when, to please China, Pretoria blocked a visit by the Dalai Lama to attend the 80th birthday of South African hero and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu.

South Africa's diplomacy in Durban, where two weeks of talks failed to finish on time and many delegates had to leave before proceedings concluded, did little to change minds.

Envoys said the Department of International Relations and Co-operation failed to learn crucial lessons from UN negotiations that have been going on for about 20 years on how to push delegates to wind up discussions and start drawing up deals that will be approved.

Many envoys said a deal was only done in Durban despite SA and not because of it.

"There was no leadership; no idea of how to run this thing. It was chaos," said a diplomat from a leading country who asked not to be named.

"South Africa went into this with the idea if we negotiate all through the night on the final day we would get a deal," another diplomat said.

"They should have learned from previous meetings to start high-level talks on the most contentious issues as soon as the ministers arrive so that we would not be here two days after this process was supposed to end," said the diplomat who asked not to be named.

Political stature

In what may be seen as a vote against the process, Canada on Monday became the first country to announce it would withdraw from the Kyoto protocol on climate change, dealing a symbolic blow to the already troubled global treaty.

While powers such as China and Japan called the move "regrettable", South African foreign ministry spokesperson Clayson Monyela said there was no reason for the hosts of the Durban talks to respond because it was a UN matter.

Nel Marais, managing director of risk consultancy Thabiti Africa, said a reason South Africa's diplomats have trouble keeping up with changing times is that the bureaucracy has been transplanted into government from the ruling ANC, where posts are often given to reward political stature rather than ability.

For many in the ANC, the liberation struggle to end apartheid leads to continued support for African leaders who helped, such as Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, even though they now face global isolation for suspected human rights abuses. It also shapes the ANC worldview.

Foreign minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, who chaired the Durban talks, said she wanted to hold open discussions where she would keep a neutral position. Several diplomats said she put off too many pressing matters until the last minute and did not do enough to push for agreements.

Anger started to build on Thursday night when she hosted the first major meeting of ministers a day before the planned end of the talks and let discussions drift into a series of speeches from delegations instead of making it a bargaining session.

It boiled over when two late sessions followed on the next two nights. The culmination was a dispute over language on the legal mechanisms to enforce emissions cuts that threatened to scuttle the entire process on Sunday morning.

Stagecraft

Mashabane called for a huddle among the main players to iron out their differences on the plenary floor, in full view of media cameras and within earshot of microphones.

It was either a high stakes gamble or a bit of stagecraft, but either way, many did not approve of a diplomatic scrum where envoys had to force their way in to have a say in the outcome.

"Negotiations should be held around the table and not on the table," the Russian delegation told the plenary session.

"Elbowing doesn't comply with the dignity of diplomats and diplomacy."

Comments
  • Paulus - 2011-12-13 23:03

    Delusions of grandeur seems to be the main theme when talking about SA's Foreign Ministry. The scary thought is that our government actually believes the rubbish they spout, and expects everyone else to believe it as well. We are the Rainbow Nation, after all, didn't you know?

      Koos - 2011-12-14 07:08

      Rainbow nation and changing colour like a cameleon.

      Thouca - 2011-12-14 07:24

      delegates from which countries? from canada and other rich polluters in the world pointing fingers at us? our conference was 1st class and your polluting attitude back home is the problem, boet!

      Helmut - 2011-12-14 07:27

      Hi Paulus. Unfortunately I have to agree with you. We have enough examples where South Africa meddled in other countries' affairs and created a mess. At least we gave the rest of the world (again) something to laugh about, because again the inmates were running the asylum!

      Jay - 2011-12-14 07:45

      Drees you muppet! South Africa is the biggest contributor to pollution on the African continent! Its about time foreign ministers openly query the abilities of SA's incompetent ministers!

      Hunter - 2011-12-14 08:04

      There are none so blind as those that do not want to see. Our government are really living in a world of their own with no realistic feel for what is happening on the ground...

      Craig - 2011-12-14 10:53

      SA is the biggest polluter on the African continent and has been for many years, in the past 20 years nothing has been done to clean up our pollution, our mines, oil industry, our steel foundries, our coal burning fires and our poorly services vehicles have been pouring pollution into the atmoshere unabated for at least half a century, so please don't blame the 1st world, at least some of them have tried to clean up their mess without bringing out the begging bowl.

  • Donovan - 2011-12-13 23:08

    This is a precise reflection of the arrogance and stupidity of the ANC government, where hopelessly incompetent individuals assume that their fancy positions imbue them with abilities and talents that they never had. Classic Dunning Kruger effect. Look it up.

      emile.eley - 2011-12-14 06:06

      Potemkin village indeed.

      Jerhone - 2011-12-14 09:22

      lets face it they would have made Idi Amin very proud especially that the king of fools got ...wait for it ..........A DEGREE

      Jacob - 2011-12-14 10:56

      Spot on Donovan. Dunning and Kruger did their research at Cornell University but they may just as well have done it here. In fact if they did, they would have made their conclusions a lot sooner. For those who are unfamiliar with the D-K Effect, here are their findings (Thanks to Wikipedia): Kruger and Dunning proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will: 1.tend to overestimate their own level of skill (as the ANC are doing all the time); 2.fail to recognize genuine skill in others (i.e.better qualified people such as educated blacks and whites - competency rather than political connections); 3.fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy (say no more); 4.recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, IF they can be trained to substantially improve (it's a big IF - the emphasis was placed by D-K, by the way. Unfortunately the people concerned (i.e. government) are untrainable). The comments in brackets are mine.

  • Andries - 2011-12-14 01:28

    It's been a long time that S.A. regards itself as a big player on the World stage. It started with Mbeki’s rule and his piously impossible ‘African Renaissance’. This delusion has progressively deepened and became more and more ridiculous over the years. Zuma’s feeble ‘solution’ to the Libyan Revolution was especially hilarious and if I ever saw a case of closing the gate after the horse has bolted , that was it. The litany of foreign affair disasters just goes on and on. It seems as if S.A.’s leaders are still labouring under the idea that S.A. still has the moral high ground we enjoyed in Mandela’s tenure and act with a haughty entitlement that frankly undermines even the most basic diplomacy. One gets the feeling that S.A. is becoming a classic shell state where the Governing bodies are just set dressing without real substance.

      Mannie777 - 2011-12-14 08:21

      @Adries: Wish your comment could be published in EVERY news paper! Well done.

      Andries - 2011-12-14 16:12

      Well, this is the most thumbs-up’s I have ever had on this site. Thanks. Lacoste: The economic empowerment was part of Mbeki’s African Renaissance, by all means. Pity the foundation such a grand plan was built on the flimsiest of wistful dreams that never got beyond the merest sketchy outline of a plan. It is also worthy of note that at the African Union meetings where this ‘renewal’ of Africa was endlessly discussed, the fundamental un-democratic nature of many of the member states was never raised as one of the main obstacles to such a grand plan. In fact those dictators were supported by Mbeki with that most banal of excuses : silent diplomacy. One might also keep in mind the absurdly deluded idea that Mbeki actually thought that the ‘arab’ countries would allow themselves to be led by any of the sub-Saharan leaders. This alone speaks volumes about a deep ignorance of history and of arab sentiment toward the rest of African. Mbeki frankly saw himself as the best and possibly only eligible leader, another nail in the coffin of a still born idea. I can continue to list the appalling incompetence and dreamlike irrationality of Mbeki’s renaissance, but what is the point of listing the faults of an concept that never had a chance to succeed? I agree with you that Africa needs to find its own solutions. I am in favour of the west drastically cutting aid and letting the Africans ‘get on with it’. Pity there is so little hope for the place then isn’t it?

  • Juan - 2011-12-14 04:22

    No surprise. The incompetent ANC screwed up the event and South Africa's standing in the world, just like they screw up South Africa with the same level of incompetence. Viva ANC

      Stirer - 2011-12-14 06:10

      this is not seen as ANC. This is perceived as South Africa.

      Ian - 2011-12-14 07:03

      @Stirer And the ANC are running South Africa - If you perceive RSA in a negative way due to something hosted by the ANC then it's the ANC's fault. I'm sorry if you like to be associated with the ANC, but I for one do not want to be associated with an organisation that is seen as Corrupt, Incompetent and, to be blunt, Idiotic. And lets be fair, you can tamper with stats all you want, but if your ship is sinking then its DAMN WELL SINKING.

      mpsteyn - 2011-12-14 08:05

      Ian...I think what Stirer meant was that in the eyes of the world there is no ANC and then the rest of SA, the government is seen as what SA is capable of.

      Ian - 2011-12-14 08:27

      Melle, I agree with that, but fact is WE, me and you, live here in South Africa, for US, the ANC portrays South Africa to the world, and I'm sorry but I AM NOT ANC and I don't want to be judged and be seen by their failures. I do believe we are capable of SO MUCH MORE than what the ANC are doing at the moment. Melle, hypothetically speaking, if your at a restaurant for family occasion and, lets say, your father makes a heck of a scene, the rest of the restaurant judges your entire family based on the actions of your father, similarly if South Africa is at an international conference, being represented by the ANC, and then the ANC make a mess of things then the South Africa will be judged by the actions of the ANC. SO what I'm getting at: If you don't take actions against your father at the restaurant, then that image will be left on you as well, and if the people don't take action against the ANC then we will be left with the image that THEY created. If you are happy to be seen as a South African, based on what the ANC is portraying to the world, then go ahead and be happy - But as an educated individual, currently studying to become even more educated, I do not want to be labelled by their (the ANC's) actions.

      Wes - 2011-12-14 09:55

      Good one Ian

  • Blip - 2011-12-14 05:38

    Another ANC epic fail. Same old same old.

      Ian - 2011-12-14 07:26

      @ Ramo - Apartheid was incorrect, true. BUT they delivered services on a much higher level. Most of the "Apartheid" infrastructure was disbanded after the 1994 elections - Medical and Educational Colleges to be precise (you know the places where they teach Nurses and Teachers how to be proper teachers and nurses) - Only to be reinstated a few years ago. So please stop trying to blame Apartheid, its not Apartheid's fault that the ANC destroyed important infrastructure and only noticed they'd made a mistake 12-14 years later. The blame for our current educational and medical crisis sits SQUARELY on their shoulders.

      Andre - 2011-12-14 09:05

      Ramotlhantsweng it's not about race but incompetence, it is time blacks forget about race and stop being so over sensitive and over protective of your government(party), it is this mentality that is breeding corruption and incompetence in Africa. Just look at the facts and then decide are you happy with how your government is performing or maybe your standards are too low? Why are so many black Africans willing to board unsafe vessels to flee to white ruled Europe if there leaders in Africa were such darlings?

      Jerhone - 2011-12-14 09:37

      But Ramatlhantaweng they are always making mistakes, wake up dude they are keeping your people back from becoming the greatest country on the African continent by there corruption and theft, VOTE WITH YOUR HEAD AND NOT YOUR HEART

      Jannecke - 2011-12-14 09:40

      @Ramotlhantsweng...and the so-called "mistakes" you're talking about, are really criminal-driven and corrupt, and reading you talking about "superior race"...? You said it. I rest my case....

      owamin1 - 2011-12-14 12:08

      You clearly have no understanding of how the UN work, how the entire COP summits work - from the first COP to COP 17, they have all overun the scheduled times; they all have some countries bitterly unhappy about the resolutions, and they are all a UN responsibility. COP 17 was a UN event - that happened to be chaired by South Africa because it was hosting. The success of the content/resolutions etc (or lack thereof) is a responsibility of the UN. Countries that are biggest culprits for polluting the environment are the biggest whingers, simply because they have political battles to fight in their respective homes. How does that become an ANC failure. COP 16 had some not-very-happy participants that went on to denounce the resolutions. Was that also the ANC failure. When countries decide they don't want to be bound by the Kyoto Protocol (because they are prioritizing economic goals over environmental ones), is that the ANC? Get real people. If you want to go ANC bashing find substantial arguments to justify your critism.

  • Zion - 2011-12-14 05:54

    One instinctively had a gut feeling that the boast of so many hrs overtime was heroic and the glowing reaction so far from the South African contingency.When a child plays in its sand pit the world and reason around him no longer exist and the child lives in a world of it own:- Quite happy and satisfied. What is amusing and amazing is the attitude to this Great success story super-ceding all other global warming conferences. Note some, like Canada, have withdrawn their support. Mirrors may do well in the corridors of power.

  • abrhamtwaksak - 2011-12-14 06:00

    the most tragic of all this is that the clowns in lithuli house believe they are doing a good job. the self delusion of the anc is certifiable.

  • emile.eley - 2011-12-14 06:03

    Bloody disgraceful and will keep happening whilst our politicians are obsessed with preening and looking intelligent, but forgetting to get the job done.

  • scorpiondip - 2011-12-14 06:08

    It seems God hath forsaken us with this disillusional ANC. Their response to the obvious becomes a vague formless obsene face of absence. How obvious it is that only those looking dull as hell occupy the political seats on this important matter. How much of a role did China play in this repulsive outcome? What in this world make them think they really do punch in a weight class higher in International forums? Do this Government believe we are screaming idiots in a mental hospital that cannot judge and read and see?

  • max.maxwell - 2011-12-14 06:39

    African politicians are so used to believing their own rhetoric, despite evidence to the contrary, that if they state something is a success, then it must be so - no arguments!

  • Marius Koen - 2011-12-14 06:43

    Lets be honest about it: Hulle het ons naam "krater" gemaak!

  • Larry - 2011-12-14 06:54

    The whole thing was a three ring circus anyway. What are they complaining for? They got free ringside tickets.

  • Ian - 2011-12-14 07:07

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. You can only pretend to be competent for so long, your incompetence will catch up with you soon enough! Unfortunately your incompetence is costing ME, and ALL THE OTHER SOUTH AFRICANS!

  • Perfume - 2011-12-14 07:30

    "There was no leadership; no idea of how to run this thing. It was chaos," said a diplomat from a leading country who asked not to be named......no further comment after reading this sentence.

      Perfume - 2011-12-14 07:33

      Nel Marais, managing director of risk consultancy Thabiti Africa, said a reason South Africa's diplomats have trouble keeping up with changing times is that the bureaucracy has been transplanted into government from the ruling ANC, where posts are often given to reward political stature rather than ability.......this is the GOSPEL TRUTH!!!!!!!

      Jannie - 2011-12-14 08:24

      Perfume you are right both comments are the truth this is fact. They are all useless, " a famous ANC stalwart was ambassador / high commissioner to a country a while back he beat his wife and was banging the maid, and the butler" lol

      Perfume - 2011-12-14 12:31

      @Jannie...your comment had me "laugh out loud". There is no lie in this article -

  • Chaapo - 2011-12-14 07:38

    Of course the ANC will forever convince themselves they do an excellent job at eveything. Correction is hard to take for Africans.

  • SeeVeeDeeEl - 2011-12-14 07:44

    The African way.

  • J.p. - 2011-12-14 07:49

    Apart from making fools of themselves, the carbon footprint calculated on the assumption that everyone of the 12 000 delegates took a flight from London in the UK, amounts to almost 60 000 tonnes. How's that for environmental friendly?

  • Rob - 2011-12-14 08:03

    Isn't it amazing that the SA government continues to expose its own incompetences. In itself that is not entirely a bad thing, imagine if EVERYTHING was covered up because of its sensitive security threatening nature!!!! Most of the world would refuse to attend conferences under those circumstances. So, as long as the incompetence is being exposed, hopefully as noisily as possible, there is the smallest chance that someone with an extra brain cell will take note and do something about it.

  • pieterla - 2011-12-14 08:10

    Shifting the blame and the responsibility...now that is typical SA Government style! A UN matter......but SA public foot the bill! Plain and simple, 456!

  • Archie - 2011-12-14 08:21

    ANC is a political party fully managed by the Communist party, who only got 1 percent of the vote in 1994.Most senior posts in gov, are cadre deployments (sacp members).communism died because it does not work,thats why RSA is dying.Mandelas dynamic drive is now replaced with commie dogma,so until the ANC breaks away from the SACP we continue to be ruled by communist doctrine and beliefs.( the state owns all property,nationalisation of mines,farms,and anything else they want, etc)

  • William - 2011-12-14 08:21

    Yes pathetic!!! A huddle!!! The SA delegation has behaved liked kids!!! The negotiating powers of the South Africans was very poor!! Amateurs at work on a stage far to big for them!!

      Patsy - 2011-12-14 09:20

      Jobs for useless friends - as usual

  • Msholozi - 2011-12-14 08:24

    who are these foroners who insult us? they must be deported back to europe they msut respect our leaders.

      Johan - 2011-12-14 10:37

      Then go back to your fkin mud-hut and give all your "foron" things back to the "foroners".

  • The-Azanian - 2011-12-14 08:27

    i thought it was js a joke wen loyiso gola say in future wyt people will even blame anc 4 causing global warming. nw im seeing it.

  • Andries - 2011-12-14 08:36

    Will these harsh comments actually penetrate the thick-skulledness of the government? Will anything be done about it...? I would be surprised.

  • Jannie - 2011-12-14 08:38

    hahahaha!!!! your kings!:) your attitude is what is wrong with this continent.. "respect our leaders" these leaders have killed, raped, and stolen from you and I..and if you don't believe me please google. read a little on post colonial African history.. some "great African leaders" we have had, millions dead and in poverty...

  • Itumeleng - 2011-12-14 08:38

    to save the planet become selfless, do not mention having to work overtime.

  • kosmonooit - 2011-12-14 08:42

    About time the Oxford English Dictionary files an entry for the word 'mampara'?

      The-Azanian - 2011-12-14 08:55

      Do u really have to derail this cop17 issue now?

  • israelk - 2011-12-14 08:49

    COP17 WAS A BIG SUCCESS, FULL STOP

      Johan - 2011-12-14 10:41

      If incompetence was your goal, yeah, huge success.

  • Jay - 2011-12-14 08:50

    "Nel Marais, managing director of risk consultancy Thabiti Africa, said a reason South Africa's diplomats have trouble keeping up with changing times is that the bureaucracy has been transplanted into government from the ruling ANC, where posts are often given to reward political stature rather than ability." No more comment needed !!!!!!!!!!!

  • Michael - 2011-12-14 09:03

    My mom taught me that if I have nothing nice to say, I mustn't say anything at all. I'm not saying anything other than I like myself and feel very good about myself when I'm not thinking about our government and the abilities they (think) they have.

  • Hendrik - 2011-12-14 09:04

    Zuma and kie worries about Zimbabwe, Libia, DRC and their pockets. They don't worry about homicide rate(highest in the world) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate Service delivery the worst in the world http://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/zuma-our-civil-service-is-the-world-s-worst-1.481664 Bad leadership http://www.modernghana.com/news/209291/1/leadership-incompetence-the-cause-of-africa-s-woes.html

  • anthony.swart - 2011-12-14 09:08

    Want can one say, at least we tried, but eish ANC whats up with this ignorant grand standing. The world has changed...cold war gone......apartheid gone.......its time to grow up! BEE does not work, Affirmative action does not work, in spite of all your efforts to bring blacks inline with white wealth you have failed.....teach a man to fish and he feeds himself for life, give him a fish and he eats for the day.

      Johan - 2011-12-14 10:45

      @The-Azanian: "Bored and tired of people who are always turning every south african problem into a race issue." Look at every comment you've made on here buddy, "wyts" this and that. So you saying you're bored and tired of yourself?

  • Jerhone - 2011-12-14 09:14

    welcome to the REPUBLIC DE BANANA, what are you lot complaining about? you created this useless country, but count your blessings at least you don't have to live here you can go home where every thing is normal and your head of state isn't the queen of hearts ruling with his jokers

  • Patsy - 2011-12-14 09:17

    Perhaps if they had more competent and experienced people, and not incompetent friends, organizing and managing these huge events they might prove more successful

  • ludlowdj - 2011-12-14 09:20

    Of course the ANC says it was a success, they would have claimed a success even if the convention centre burn't down and everyone was killed. The South African political environment is such that they will and do lie about anything and everything. The ANC has and continues to fail this country and its people.

  • nasser.chothia - 2011-12-14 09:21

    Learn to spot a dodgy article. The Author uses the term "envoys" yet only uses one quote. And the bulk of the article is about events other than COP17. Yet I'm sure many people will go on the usual rant that has become synonymous with News24.

      Lenand - 2011-12-14 10:35

      Indeed. It was the worst piece of writing I have seen in News24 for a while and the worst I have ever seen in any publication

  • Dharmesh - 2011-12-14 09:25

    Here we go again ANC. Thanks for EMBARRASING us, South Africans, yet again.

  • robbie.crouch - 2011-12-14 09:28

    Bwhahahahaha...

  • struttfilm - 2011-12-14 09:29

    Poor show. When the rest of the world says you cocked something up then a sensible government should put up their hands take responsibility, learn the lessons and move on. Unfortunately we are faced with banana republic sensibilities and an absolute lack of foresight and economic and strategic reasoning. It's 2 dimensional politics here in Banana Country.

      Lenand - 2011-12-14 10:34

      Rest of the world? Two faceless envoys now constitute the rest of the world? Perhaps three envoys would constitute the rest of the Universe and can you imagine what you can do with 5 envoys?

  • TheWatcher - 2011-12-14 09:30

    Well its nice to see the rest of the world is starting to see the incompetence of our government. Something we've been noticing for a number of years.

  • ivan.coetzee2 - 2011-12-14 09:31

    Our stupid, arrogant politicians suffer for incurrable delusions of grandeur and ducks disease!

  • braamc - 2011-12-14 09:34

    There is no medicine or for that matter mhuti for being stupid, incompetent and useless. Welcome to the ANC

  • The-Azanian - 2011-12-14 09:37

    wyt extremists in US love their country n want 2 preserve its dominance whereas ourz r doin the opposite...lolest.

      Jannecke - 2011-12-14 11:32

      Go back to school and learn how to spell...or ask your money back...

      Zifnab - 2011-12-15 12:11

      You can spell "dominance" but not "white"? Your fake spelling mistakes is obvious mate. I think you are "wyt" yourself.

  • Vuyo - 2011-12-14 09:49

    Cancun was also chaotic . Why blame SA , they were not there to dictate things . This was a global function and SA provided the venue and not to tell the world what to do .

  • Lenand - 2011-12-14 09:49

    One of the worst articles you could ever come across. comments from a couple of people are now bandied about as a reflection of the entire world. Criticism on such issues is great as it builds, but when it comes from two nameless diplomats, then it really calls into question the intent of the article. I am no fan of the ANC, but this was a UN Summit. Just like 2010 was a FIFA event. South Africa were the hosts and Mashabane was basically the MC, but the UN owns the show. Surely, what country the diplomat was from would be important. Were they from australia, England, Canada, US or developing African countries, BRIC countries? One would need to match their participation, their commitments and their talk. Why are so eager to hear bad news about ourselves from faceless individuals? How many stories have emerged from nternational media that News24 took up, but turned out to have no merit? Before the World Cup, British tabloid had a lot to say about our ability to host the world cup, and News24 was one of the media outlets who gave such rubbish credence. You owe it to the country to publish the country of the TWO individuals in order to assess their own contribution to the event. The fact that CANADA never commited to this is clear and it is no surprise that they eventually pulled out of the Kyoto Accord. At the very least, they will be the ones dealing with global warming first.

  • Enlightened - 2011-12-14 09:54

    Drees. you need medication. Whats the pont of arranging such meeting is Durban if we will not in any way be held accountable? Rather let countries with the people with the right qualifications in the right positions do it.

      Lenand - 2011-12-14 10:30

      Being held accountable and criticism is not a problem. The problem is the shocking piece of biased writing by the journalist. I have no problem in beliving that two diplomats were unhappy, but I am struggling to understand how unhappy and faceless "envoys" could lead to the views being taken as to mean everyone felt the same? Surely, any journalist worth their salt would have spent more time with more delegates canvassing their views. If this was an opinion piece, it would still be bad, but atleast we would know it was not written to show impartiality. The ANC is everything they are called and this is not an attempt to defend them, rather an attempt to defend the integrity of the profession of journalism, which unfortunately, News24 sees as nothing short of blogging.

  • Michael - 2011-12-14 10:01

    Come on..... hosting this thing was always going to be a poisoned chalice! You could have hosted it in any city of the world and the result would have been the same - only self interest positions by a bunch of Prima Donnas.

  • owamin1 - 2011-12-14 10:02

    South Africans are such haters of their own. The biggest problem we face is that we hate ourseleves, are totally unpatriotic, and are always the ones who are first to cast doubt on what we do. Citizens of other countries would never do what South Africans do. And of course we do nthis so that we appear to be independent thinkers who are not shy to criticize. Now that is fine, except there is a very fine line between holding each otehr accountable and being down right unpatriotic. The international community is lambasting Canada for its actions - South Africans on this blog are saying they would have done the same thing because team South Africa was incompetent. What kind of people are we?

      Lenand - 2011-12-14 10:16

      My suspicion is that these group of haters do not even live here, hence their posting at the wee hours of the morning, waiting for any piece of bad news. Thanks News24 for knowing your audience so well.

  • Glen.E.Huysamer - 2011-12-14 10:15

    Good Morning Young South Africa! Now South Africa will get the blame for no deal being struck. What a Cop out! None of these so called world meeting on climate change has had any real results, no wonder Canada has pulled out of this affair. The world is warming up, it has being doing so for millions of years, since the ice age. Now we have a bunch of 'dignified elbowing diplomats' who are running around the world on free holidays, blaming the host for their own incompetence. If the issue was really so important then dancing on the table to the rumba beat should be par for the course if this is what it would take to make a deal that would 'save the world, and humanity'. It sounds like their tea was served cold, thank heavens South Africa has played host, hopefully we can right it all off as bad debt, and start concentrating on more pertinent issues within our own border. Who knows what these meeting are going to cost in the future. I wonder what the cost to the climate was in just flying all these useless 'diplomats' into Durban was? They came here, stayed in five star hotels, ate, drank and were merry, but did not get the job done, oh and the strange thing is that they have never managed to get the job done anywhere else in the world. Viva South Africa for trying, hats off to the South African government and all involved for giving it a bash. It is over lets move on, these diplomats can take there hangovers back home with them, that is all they achieved anyway. The cheek!!

  • simondgie - 2011-12-14 10:22

    Who wrote this article? Some lessons in grammar and punctuation are desperately needed. This article was painful to read.