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Don't tamper with Constitution - Phosa

2012-06-06 12:45

Johannesburg - South Africans must debate possible changes to the Constitution as it is not perfect - but it must not be changed for narrow political interests, ANC treasurer general Mathews Phosa said on Wednesday.

"We should not, however, shy away from debates as it pertains to the validity and solidity of the Constitution," Phosa told the National Wool Growers' Association of SA in Port Elizabeth.

"It was drafted by humans, and it is human to err," he said.

Phosa pointed out that the Constitution had been amended many times where it was "lacking in clarity, scope or detail".

"The point of departure is a simple one: do not tamper with the Constitution unless it is absolutely necessary, and do not do so for narrow or political interests."

Robust debates

Phosa said debates were raging about the Constitution and the judiciary, the media, freedom of artistic expression, secrecy, and various other social and legal issues.

"I will defend the right to have these debates as it deepens our constitutional freedom, as well as protecting the robustness and transparency of public discourse."

But he warned that focusing on these debates could take the focus off the really important issues facing South Africa.

"Robust and tough public debates are good and necessary, but we have a country to govern, and some of these debates contribute little to service delivery, social cohesion and a practical vision of how we want to define our future.

"Personally, I would want to see more debates about the further improvement of our education and health services, better delivery at local level, and practical implementation of the Mandela vision for nation-building."

Comments
  • altusvanzyl - 2012-06-06 12:51

    Amen I agree

      Henri - 2012-06-06 12:59

      they cant even organize a p!$$ up in a brewery but you want take this chance in letting them change the rights of every individual, they promote thief, corruption etc. no thank you, please change your mental abilities first !!!!!

      Vicker - 2012-06-06 13:05

      Personally I would like to see far less time-wasting, ego-stroking debate and see far more focussed and competent action...

      placebo.effect - 2012-06-06 13:07

      "protecting the robustness and transparency of public discourse." This does not exist and is continually as issue, they are not transparent and have been trying to pass legislation to further hide what they do... Read the news, this ANC is an international joke.

      Steve - 2012-06-06 13:58

      @ Ovawhatever. White people get angry at the lack of anything from the cANCer. They get fed up with all the theft, cronyism, rotting health services, education fiasco and the list goes on and on. Seeing as the whites are paying for it, they want to see some meaningful ACTION and not a lot of hot air and promises that are never delivered on. Wake up you fool. Zoolie is right, they can't even organize a piss-up in a brewery. But let the white people have anything to say about it, then out comes the race card or it is all blamed on good old apartheid. The cANCer can learn a lot from the white people if they want robust and meaningful debate.

      Harold - 2012-06-06 17:05

      @overpivilagedwhitey my friend there is no such thing as white supremacy.It is a fallacy created by black inferiority. If you feel good about yourself you wont think others think bad about you. but then there are inferiority complexed people who react supperior to hide a feeling of inferiority.

  • Vusi - 2012-06-06 12:53

    Now speaks a leader, but are you only saying this because of the statements made by the ANCYL Yesterday? Comrade if so don't lead us to abandon you in Mangaung

  • pmalungana - 2012-06-06 12:57

    Well said brother Mathews, may we also have your comment on how speedily will the ruling party resolve the legacy of apartheid before it is hajecked by people who have narrow political interests.Or the ANC is still under training to properly dispense the fruits of liberation to the downtrodeen masses? Or is it still using the disparities created by apartheid to stay in power? We need and a time frame in order to deal with real socio-economic issues facing South Africans in common.

  • Loo - 2012-06-06 12:57

    Phosa for president ... Wait .. It all makes sense now, he is a businessman and understands the concept of ,, costs and economic stability vs. others that just chase populism to survive politically to the detriment of the country and its people.

      Rhyno - 2012-06-06 15:17

      Actually he's a lawyer first and foremost. Which in this instance, is actually a good thing.

  • Erna - 2012-06-06 12:58

    At last someone in the anc talking some sense.

  • kingoz.zwakala - 2012-06-06 12:59

    phosa is speaking sense now , like zuma n mantashe idiots

  • Mark - 2012-06-06 13:04

    I agree that the constitution should not be tampered with. Question is, is it really all that matters while unemployment, nepotism, corruption, despotism, crooked cops, lack of housing, poverty and the like is our daily dilemma. Was it not the same ANC who used the slogan ''the people shall govern'' Did the ANC throw that slogan out of the window when it came into power ?? Who says they did not throw the constitution out as well ?? I am seriously sick of debates not getting us anywhere. The people needs change for the better, now !! If the few ANC individuals really showed an interest in the needs of the people they should reconsider holding referendums and abide thereto instead of making decisions affecting the majority whilst the majority was never party thereto. I mean isn't that democracy.??

  • nigel.burgess.52 - 2012-06-06 13:11

    In principle one would normally say improvement is good. Let's see what hasn't worked and make amendments. My fear however in the SA context is who will be doing this and what is their real agenda. If the proposed review and changes are handled solely by the ANC, and according to their agenda, then God help us.

  • nomzamo.kongola - 2012-06-06 13:12

    I totaly agree, finaly a leadr speaks out in response 2 da ancyl mindles utterances...the constitution cnt b changd arbitrarily the youth league shud focus more on debating issues abt education n youth unemployment...i dnt c hw the changes they want 2 the constitution wil help the country or even help the youth...

      CharlesDumbwin - 2012-06-06 13:13

      The ANCYL are just a bunch of narrow-minded tsotsis. The ANC constitution should be rewritten to shout down the dysfuntional Youth League.

      lwazi.sibiya.10 - 2012-06-06 13:18

      @ Nomzamo so who is qualified to raise the land issue among other things

      wehan.victor - 2012-06-06 13:26

      @ Lwazi, Its really easy, You want land? There is plenty of land for sale, you just have to buy it.

      nomzamo.kongola - 2012-06-06 13:35

      Wel it aint the disfunctional youth... I tnk we hv alot of issuez to concern ourselves wit...i knw the expropriation issue is highly contentious nd da \willing seller, willing buyer\ model is nt working bt bt the zim styl land grabs the ancyl wants wil nt work, they shud go bck 2 da drawing board and a recent study shows dat the youth of sa despite their race nd background r more concernd abt education n unemployment...so mayb instead of wanting a zimbabwe in south africa we shud concentrate on job creation education...dats my view

      nomzamo.kongola - 2012-06-06 13:35

      Wel it aint the disfunctional youth... I tnk we hv alot of issuez to concern ourselves wit...i knw the expropriation issue is highly contentious nd da \willing seller, willing buyer\ model is nt working bt bt the zim styl land grabs the ancyl wants wil nt work, they shud go bck 2 da drawing board and a recent study shows dat the youth of sa despite their race nd background r more concernd abt education n unemployment...so mayb instead of wanting a zimbabwe in south africa we shud concentrate on job creation education...dats my view

      nomzamo.kongola - 2012-06-06 13:36

      Wel it aint the disfunctional youth... I tnk we hv alot of issuez to concern ourselves wit...i knw the expropriation issue is highly contentious nd da \willing seller, willing buyer\ model is nt working bt bt the zim styl land grabs the ancyl wants wil nt work, they shud go bck 2 da drawing board and a recent study shows dat the youth of sa despite their race nd background r more concernd abt education n unemployment...so mayb instead of wanting a zimbabwe in south africa we shud concentrate on job creation education...dats my view

  • nomzamo.kongola - 2012-06-06 13:12

    I totaly agree, finaly a leadr speaks out in response 2 da ancyl mindles utterances...the constitution cnt b changd arbitrarily the youth league shud focus more on debating issues abt education n youth unemployment...i dnt c hw the changes they want 2 the constitution wil help the country or even help the youth...

      yola.dabula - 2012-06-07 08:43

      Can u perharps give me a link to these recent studies u speak of?

  • Andre - 2012-06-06 13:13

    you forgot to mention corruption

  • Sonja - 2012-06-06 13:18

    says the lamb to the sheep

  • Jacqui - 2012-06-06 13:20

    Phosa should stop tampering with the bloody fences he is for ever sitting on. Malema come back tomorrow there will Phosa be. Zuma wins a second term, there wll Phosa be. Ali Baba arrive tomorrow there will Phosa be. Isn't this called Will-o'-the wisp?.

      John - 2012-06-06 18:29

      True, true

  • Ryno - 2012-06-06 13:23

    and there is a very very dim, flickering light at the end of the tunnel...

  • nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-06-06 13:24

    Phosa, for once I agree with you.

  • nomzamo.kongola - 2012-06-06 13:24

    I challenge the ancyl 2 enlighten me abt their proposals in relatn to scrappin s25, i wud like 2 c their policy plan, detailing exactly hw they propose dis whole tng wil work and wat wil hppen aftr the scrappin of s25 nd the land is taken hw wil it b gvn 2 the ppl, who wil get it, wat wil b the proces for hw long wat wil hppen 2 da farmz who wil run em, wat impact wil dis hv on the agric industry, economy n food supply...plz enlighten me i m wiling 2 read it and research abt it n write an article bcz frm wat m readin in the media i c no thot behind ur utterances

  • Deon - 2012-06-06 13:26

    Well done, this is more important than trivial things like the Spear and finding a racist behind every bush when people disagree with the party.

  • cylvesta.tshungu - 2012-06-06 13:28

    Well said Mr Phosa i wish your comrades had the same spirit.

  • neo.mogatusi - 2012-06-06 13:28

    i suspect that's where they'll get us as far as media freedom and other crucial issues are concerned...only people who change the constitution for political reasons is them becoz they are in charge and they know it...

  • Tolo - 2012-06-06 13:29

    At least the some1 with brains in the camp but phosa take secrecy bill out of this...

  • wesley.bischoff - 2012-06-06 13:35

    Ah someone in the ANC with an intellect, other than Ms Mandosela

  • sandy.langenstrass - 2012-06-06 13:40

    I can only hope Phosa means what he says....we have come to mistrust ministers....because they usually say what suits their pocket or position in government. I would sigh with relief...if someone could start to talk some sense for a change....and if someone could halt that ancyl...who are talking war talk....youth don't realize the implications of our country being in a state war....after all the destroying..it would never get rebuilt again....then they will know poverty.

  • slritchie - 2012-06-06 13:43

    To quote Dr. manning, a black pastor from the US: 'When it comes to understanding the world, theres no difference between a black thief and a black doctor'. You can train a black person to be a rocket scientist or a doctor, but he still dont understand the world. This is evidenced by the fact there has never been a prosperous black run nation.... They just dont know how! This not racism at all, especially coming from a black doctor/pastor with a Phd degree.... Go see him for yourself.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCu4yV6vgIk

      tuwanir - 2012-06-06 13:55

      Nonsensical! I don't get its relevance to what Mr Phosa is saying. Another way of racialising debate in SA. Maybe it's because I'm Black?

      Ted - 2012-06-06 14:09

      If this was a white world, the chap could easily be a member of the so-called liberals and he would be executed or excommunicated. But we know these people;, those who can mutilate their own bodies to please their gods. He obviously thought getting a PHD made him better than me, and closer to a race he wrongly believed was better. I remember Jeremiah Wright and Obama. You always have people in your family who wish they could be in some family somewhere else.

      slritchie - 2012-06-06 14:15

      @Tuwanir.... It is very relevant to matthew's speech, because these black politicians dont understand the world and cant be allowed to change the constitution, when its impossible for them to do it in the best interests of the citizenry they are supposed to be serving... @Ted.... the facts speak for themselves, and you've done nothing to disprove a single one of them....because its all true... you can speculate all you like about his Phd and how it makes him feel, but Dr. Manning is 100% brutally accurate and truthful in what he says....

      Rob - 2012-06-06 14:23

      What about Hiati?

  • Rob - 2012-06-06 13:59

    First ammendment suggestion: If an ammendment benefits the ruling party more than others it can not be implemented whatever the majority it gains. This falls into the principle of avoiding the tyranny of the majority (Tocqueville)

  • tuwanir - 2012-06-06 13:59

    This is comforting given the fact that it's coming from one of the ANC's top five. I think our country needs such assurances from the ANC.

  • Vic - 2012-06-06 14:06

    Really, Mr Phosa? And who's going to listen to you? If it doesn't suit ANC, it won't be changed. Follows on from Zuma's comment " join the ANC and have a say in decision- making." Come on, get real !

  • Sagin - 2012-06-06 14:07

    it is foolish to accept at face value what phosa or indeed anyone in the anc has to say. they all speak with forked tongues. the only changes the anc wants to make to the constitution is to strenghten its own grip on power. self serving, greedy criminals.

  • Allan - 2012-06-06 14:43

    In the just released discussion document by the ANC titled ‘The Second Transition: Building a National Democratic Society and the Balance of Forces in 2012'it says that the Constitution‘has proved inadequate and even inappropriate for a second social and economic transformation phase Being a member of the ANC NEC you would no doubt have read this document and its aims are very different to what you have been telling the National Wool Growers' Association. Looks like you also speak to the crowd just like JZ or are you trying to soften the coming blow?

  • Bob - 2012-06-06 14:49

    We do not need to change the constitution…! We need to change the Government…!

  • George - 2012-06-06 14:55

    I agree. But now the question is, how are you going to put your speach into action Mr Phosa.

  • Megan - 2012-06-06 15:02

    If this constitution is about owning land,hahahah there they go again,what a joke,blacks wants everything,they don't wanne work they just want!and be carefull farm owners,ANC wants more votes,its all a conspiracy thing,and yet again people are so gulable to even believe this BS!start adding up to your savings,a bread will soon be R1000.i sense war in this country

      pholux.molefe - 2012-06-06 15:39

      What do you mean blacks don't wanner work for anything? That's so stupid of you, who are the people that are fill taxis and q's in the morning to go to work? Who does your garden? Who cleans for you if you have a helper? Please let's be factual and stop saying blacks don't wanner work. Do you call taking farms/land with a gun working hard? Megan don't be an idiot

  • gail.evans.9275 - 2012-06-06 15:34

    Perhaps with new leadership in the ANC, they can get back on track. The Mbeki and Zuma years, with the Arms Deal, the diabolical rip off of the E Toll, the proposed Nuclear facilities, and the corruption that is rife in government departments that have wasted billions that could have been spent on schools, hospitals , roads, infrastructure and small business development might at last be corrected. Lets hope that a new leader will not be so tyranical as to destroy one of the best Constitutions and Bill of Rights in the world today.

  • John - 2012-06-06 18:19

    I agree fully. At least only one speaking some sense of late

  • Mantsho - 2012-06-06 19:29

    Shawa ya re sokodisa, shower needs to go, please people.

  • Hugh - 2012-06-07 09:36

    Trying to score brownie points? Leopards dont change their spots..

  • julius.theledi - 2012-06-10 10:29

    CHANGE YOUR PRESIDENT FIRST

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