News24

Phosa: Debates don't mean disunity

2012-04-04 11:23

Johannesburg - Debating issues does not mean that the ANC's leadership is not united, its treasurer general Mathews Phosa said on Wednesday.

"I don't think anything suggests that there is no unity," Phosa said during an interview on SAfm.
"There are no divisions. It's a debate... We are not robots or zombies."

Phosa was talking after the ANC's leaders held a press briefing in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

The briefing was said to be a show of solidarity by the party's heavyweights over verbal attacks launched against its president Jacob Zuma.

"We needed to talk as a collective," said Phosa.

On Friday, ANC Youth League president Julius Malema, who was speaking at a centenary lecture at the University of the Witwatersrand, said Zuma was a dictator and that he was suppressing the league.

Malema was sharing the stage with Phosa, who also addressed university students.

Asked on Wednesday if he considered Malema's comments as an insult, Phosa said it was wrong for leaders to take part in public spats.

"The masses are interested in bread and butter, not in public spats by leaders," he said, reiterating what he had said during his address at the university.

He said he would have taught the youth nothing if he had engaged in a tit-for-tat.

"We can't restrict the thinking of university students... As a country we must not be scared of new ideas."

Phosa said none of the ANC's leaders were above criticism.

He said the ANC would come down harder on those who violated the party's constitution.
"We've said publicly, enough is enough," he said.

Comments
  • E=MC2 - 2012-04-04 11:29

    "There are no divisions"? so what was Malema expelled for doing? AND still is doing... ANC, the party of smoke & mirrors

      Gigo - 2012-04-04 11:32

      Please keep quite Einstein

      Herman - 2012-04-04 11:41

      anc, party of criminal and incompetent fools

      Sizwe - 2012-04-04 12:49

      None of your business how we conduct our internal processes and not your business how many get conducted......

      alansmartSnr - 2012-04-05 02:50

      @ E=MC2.. Why E = MC2.. It's not the same as E=MC² (MC squared).Just well intended help. You get it with Alt+0178.

  • Tony Lapson - 2012-04-04 11:32

    We are Borg

  • bongani.madela - 2012-04-04 11:38

    Go to hell Mr phosa.

      Assegai - 2012-04-04 12:31

      I agree!

  • Inkwazi - 2012-04-04 11:39

    the AGENTS are trying to use the media to infiltrate, confuse and divide US so they rule(WITH STICK) again......

  • ditantane.kganakga - 2012-04-04 11:44

    "Phosa said none of the ANC's leaders were above criticism" at least i can see that you agree with the ANCYL, thank you we will take you along to mangaung.

  • IAnon - 2012-04-04 11:45

    About time that the Voters say to you 'Enough is Enough'!

  • Anthony - 2012-04-04 11:47

    wow---the press conference last night said it all-----in 1994 many many people said that the ANC was incapable of governing this country ---now 18 years down the line, can there be any thinking person who has not seen the evidence on a day to day basis of the wheels coming off ---the list of dramatic failures,corruption and crass stupidity is far greater than south africa can afford THERE CAN BE NO DOUBT THAT SOUTH AFRICA AND THE ANC IS IN DEEP TROUBLE NOW-- the ANC is undoubetly incompetent and incapable of governing this beautiful country

      Herman - 2012-04-04 11:51

      Yip, it started when they plundered their tea club pre'94, and they got a country for free to plunder afterwards..........

      gunofminez - 2012-04-04 12:03

      got a country for free? IDIOT they fought for it and still taking it back from the THIEVES who took it- (now hit unlike) cause truth hurts i know

      Themba - 2012-04-04 12:25

      South Africa is not in trouble, you whites have problems. When blacks lead you do not like it you create fear. Why don't you go home if you think you are in trouble in SA or you jump to the sea? Sis

      Stille - 2012-04-04 12:26

      @guno - yes the truth hurts, like the only thing the anc and its supporters did to the country the white man built out of trash was stealing and destryoing

      Rob - 2012-04-04 14:42

      Yes, guno, for free!! When van Riebeeck arrived, there was no country, just bush! That's the real truth!

  • louis.langenhoven - 2012-04-04 11:53

    my take on Matthews Phosa was always as a "voice of reason" but lately he clearly backs Malema although he tries to pretend he's not. Maybe he sees a possibility of becoming president and it appeals to him?

  • Mashudu - 2012-04-04 12:03

    Lets face it, Malema is losing this one.

  • Ivan - 2012-04-04 12:07

    Debating is important yes. It is part of free speech. But doing it in public on top level is dangerous for risk of possibly undermining allready reached milestones. Politics just like Business is much about perception. It takes hard work to build positive perception and one misplaced word or expression shatters it all and creates negative perception on the topic, with most of the times with dire effect. Debating on top level by leaders should be confined to their meetings and private gatherings where certain subjects with explosive possibilities could be analysed out of public eye and ear, where a decision can be made on what direction or stance on certain topics they should take. Everyone allways instinctively reacts on leader's statements. It's those on top-level that can have the most positive or negative impact. The listener do not necessarily know statements from leaders or high profile people were meant as debating statements. They immediately just believe it is fact and/or decisions from the highest levels. Thus high profile people must watch what they say or what opinions they express in public to ensure positive sentiment. The Malema debacle is a good example of what happens when negative perception is created. Nothing really good comes from public debate. It only creates more uncertainty which makes everything else unstable. And instability is the first step to anarchy.

      Rob - 2012-04-04 15:08

      No, the first step to anarchy is the supression of open debate. The risk taken by opening subjects to debate must be managed by intelligent phrasing and presentation, not by supression of the debate.

      Ivan - 2012-04-04 18:03

      Nobody is asking for suppression of debate. But every intelligent person screams for responsible, uplifting debate which should end in constructive debate rather than destructive debate. You are right in saying: "...debate must be managed by intelligent phrasing and presentation...". That doesn't seem to happen.

  • Lacrimose - 2012-04-04 12:23

    Somewhere between yesterday and today, 'bickering' turned into 'debating'. If they were debating, why did the top 6 have to have a press conference? Or is debating not allowed?

      Ivan - 2012-04-04 12:45

      Debating are allways allowed but not allways conducive to positive sentiment.

  • Stanley - 2012-04-04 13:34

    How do we call this now in Zuma's term. During Mbeki's term all the insults and humiliations where in the ANC constitution

  • Roy - 2012-04-04 14:04

    No wonder this country is in such a mess. You have"maaifoedies" who "govern" the country but cannot govern themselves and whenever they open their mouths,they make a hash of it. The rest of the world must really be laughing their heads off when they read how this beautiful country is being destroyed by a bunch of corrupt thieving ass----s

  • Roy - 2012-04-04 14:51

    Yes Themba,us whites do have problems with you blacks who "lead" the country because you are leading everyone into the valley of no return and if we had a home we would return but we were born here,we built this country up and now it is being destroyed by the ANC and all who keep them in power.

  • Rob - 2012-04-04 15:02

    'Talking as a collective' really is the problem! Collective mentality is a prime driver for the lack of accountability in society. It simply creates places to hide.

  • Cilliers - 2012-04-04 15:35

    Matthews tried to ride the Malema horse but got it shot out from under him by Jacob and Gwede. Now he runs around trying to mount that other horse, the "issues" that Malema and the Youth League so opportunistically and insincerely champion. But wait! Gwede has already tamed and claimed that horse, too. I see a long and hard walk for Matthews, saddle over his shoulder, across the desert to Mangaung.

  • Mark - 2012-04-05 08:20

    You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all the time but, with respect Mr Phosa, you can't fool all the people all the time. For too long you lot have been spreading your socialistic clap trap but your people have now wised up so get your act together whilst you still can.

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