Wits academics: ANC morally bankrupt

2011-10-06 07:44

Johannesburg - University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) academics protesting over the Dalai Lama visa debacle accused the ruling party on Wednesday of being intellectually dishonest.

"This is the second time this happens. It's really unfortunate and very disingenuous of government. It's embarrassing," said professor Patrick FitzGerald, a deputy vice-chancellor.

Assistant lecturer Margaux Giannaros said: "As a country that experienced and defeated apartheid, we should be a free-thinking nation."

His colleague Kuba Szczygielski also questioned the way in which the government had handled the Tibetan spiritual leader's visa application.

"The hypocrisy of the whole thing! They would allow [former Libyan leader Muammar] Gaddafi and [Zimbabwe's president Robert] Mugabe in the country, but they can't accept a spiritual leader? It's amazing."

The university's vice chancellor Loyiso Nongxa said in a statement he was "disappointed and outraged" over parallels between the present government and the actions of the previous regime.

"It is not consistent with our African soul to make a prospective guest feel unwelcome," said Nongxa.

"I was brought up to believe that a guest brings blessings and South Africa in the 21st century sends signals that some guests are unwanted. It is deeply, deeply disappointing."

Shame ANC!

The Dalai Lama announced on Tuesday he had cancelled a planned trip to South Africa to attend Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu's 80th birthday celebrations at the weekend.

At the time he was still awaiting a decision from the government on his application for a visa.

Students and academics gathered for the protest at Wits, in Johannesburg, on Wednesday afternoon.

They held placards criticising the African National Congress and the government for its handling of the visa application.

A poster held up by an academic in his robe read: "Shame ANC! Intellectually dishonest, morally bankrupt and unworthy of South Africa."

FitzGerald challenged the government to explain what happened around the visa application so that the matter could be debated.

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu earlier said the ANC was not "micro-managing" the government and was therefore not to blame for the situation.

It was also incorrect to equate the ANC government to the "repressive and divisive" apartheid regime - which never cared for the majority, he said.

Mthembu called on the department of international relations to take South Africans into its confidence on the issue.

It should reveal what happened so that everyone could be on the same page.

He called upon South Africans to stay calm and afford the government an opportunity to take everyone into its confidence around the issue.


  • daaivark - 2011-10-06 07:49

    Only intellectually?

      Pencilgraffiti - 2011-10-06 08:21

      I'm also pretty sure that if the info bill is passed, China could say that the Dalai Lama is an igniter of terrorism, therefore S.A. would block his visa and they wouldn't have to give an answer - Because of "State Security".

      AMS-Dammer - 2011-10-06 08:21

      "....Johannesburg - University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) academics protesting over the Dalai Lama visa debacle accused the ruling party on Wednesday of being intellectually dishonest...." IF IT TAKE "ACADEMICS" 17 years to SEE THROUGH the ANC... IMAGINE HOW LONG it is going to take the ILLITERATE MASSES, that vote FOR the ANC, TO CHANGE THERE MINDS!!!!!!!

      gary.dasilva - 2011-10-06 08:24

      How can you tell when an cANCer official is lying - his / her lips are moving - The ANC is her to tell us lies al of the time.

      Vlooi - 2011-10-06 08:28

      intellectually dishonest - should read: intellectually challenged.

      Rolie - 2011-10-06 08:31

      'He called upon South Africans to stay calm and afford the government an opportunity to take everyone into its confidence around the issue.' - That feeling of confidence in the ANC left the building a looooong time ago!!

      StoneFlint - 2011-10-06 08:33

      Well done guys, although it took you awfully long to come to the conclusion, never the less there is light at the end of the tunnel.

      The Wonderer - 2011-10-06 09:23

      "ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu earlier said the ANC was not "micro-managing" the government and was therefore not to blame for the situation." I'm thinking, maybe if they somehow managed to start micro-managing, they'll start cutting down on fraud & corruption, but then again, probably the very reason WHY they DON'T micro-manage...

      Matt :-) - 2011-10-06 09:49

      "Wits academics: ANC morally bankrupt" As if we needed Wits to tell us that... even a retard knows this already

  • Brainbow - 2011-10-06 07:50

    Let us revive the struggle and fight these pirates who have hijacked our beautiful country. Let us pray.

      Question All - 2011-10-06 08:27

      What does 'let us pray' mean - first God grants victory at blood river, then he/she/it takes it away in 94, now you want him/her/it to take it away again??

      check-checke - 2011-10-06 08:46

      Amen and Amen

      Vlooi - 2011-10-06 08:46

      I think your comment just solved the puzzle. The original memo was "Let us pray". Poor little secretary which managed to get through school on her 30% average made a small spelling mistake and the memo became "Let is prey". Ever since they prey on anything with cash, integrity and intellect.

  • daaivark - 2011-10-06 07:51

    "Take South Africans into it's confidence".... So what's the big secret? Really Jackson, you simply don't make the most basic sense.

      v3 - 2011-10-06 08:31

      Tell us how much the Chinese donated to... - ummm - invested in the ANC.

  • Rakgadi - 2011-10-06 07:58

    " Dear Dalai Lama, fly to Zim, walk over the border, thanks to our Goverment, no VISA required, see you on Friday!!!" This is a joke doing the rounds..... but so true.....

  • NEWDADUDE - 2011-10-06 07:59

    Only terrorist and dictators are allowed on our shores!!!! the anc is not a Christian party nor are they spiritual. This they have shown the world over and over again. No moral, no ethics and certainly no brains!!

      proudly - 2011-10-06 08:21

      It must be terrible for Nelson Mandela to see what is becoming of his dream ANC party

      qwerst - 2011-10-06 21:16

      You are so write cause they worship their fore fatherly spirits and salute the Tokkelosh.They can never become Christians even if they try.

  • Freelance Writer - 2011-10-06 08:00

    Wits academics say the ANC is morally bankrupt? Took them a while but then academics tend to go through life with their heads stuffed up their a**es anyway.

  • SuperCal - 2011-10-06 08:04

    I dont think any one realizes the true extent of the corruption. This clearly shows that the ANC have been compromised by China....Once you have been bought there is no going back....If China gets pissed off you will suddenly see a barrage of leaked documents and secrets about member of the government....Let the games begin...Popcorn anyone?

  • spiral - 2011-10-06 08:04

    nothing new there... ANC have been that way for a long time!

  • mal.emmer - 2011-10-06 08:05

    Morally bankrupt, intellectually void, dictatorial, directionless and corrupt. Soon to be chased into the sea by freedom seeking men with anti aircraft guns on Toyota bakkies.

  • John Maynard - 2011-10-06 08:07

    Mal, you mean taxis? Toyota bakkie drivers are watching the rugby.

  • Kenko - 2011-10-06 08:08

    Why drag in the previous Apartheid into this? Why always mentioning that which is gone? Fookit, call it by name and just blame the ANC's incompetence! Don't compare everything the ANC screws up with the "previous government" like you can't really accept that the ANC is rotten to the core, all on their own!

      pcpcoetzee89 - 2011-10-06 08:24

      Eish Kenko ... you speak them truth so, so clearly and brilliantly!! Of course this ANC had the virus of rot and incompetence deeply embedded in its dark soul ... since many years ago ...

  • briaker - 2011-10-06 08:16

    The tide is rolling, like it was in the 80's against the Nats, starting in our academic halls. Let Wits be the new UWC (University of Western Cape. Aluta Continua!

  • Question All - 2011-10-06 08:18

    Why are we westerners making such a issue over a religious figure. One who belives in reincarnation and predestination. I mean, he has seen it all before. I bet that he is having a quiet giggle to himself. I also bet that the brouhaha has nothing to do with the way his visa application was dealt with or with the China syndrome (I bet that they, China, are also having a quiet giggle to themselves watching us westerners get all hot under the coller with each other.) I will put my money on the fact that it has mostly to do with going against anything the SA government and or the ruling party says or does; just becouse we can. Government bashing is afterall the flavour of the day. I bet that the media machine are enjoying all the hive of activity behind this controversy; lots of money is being made. Then again, I have never been a good gambler. But maybe, just maybe, this time my money is safe.

      Libertador - 2011-10-06 08:27

      Your moniker says it all.

      Dr. Zeek - 2011-10-06 08:50

      How stupid are you? No really, HOW STUPID are you to blame the "media". Troll.

      Realist - 2011-10-06 10:58

      You're an idiot

      Dylan - 2011-10-07 08:29

      We arent "westerners".

  • werner.smidt - 2011-10-06 08:19

    The Dalai Lama doesn't matter. . .what has he done for you? It is prudent not to piss off China.

      Colin - 2011-10-07 08:24

      And screw morality hey Werner? The Nats would have loved you!

  • Mike - 2011-10-06 08:21

    You don't need to be an acedemic to make that observation...

  • semaj - 2011-10-06 08:21

    The spinning around the story is making me giddy. Never have I heard such idiotic explanations of where, when and why. Of course it takes a while to get a visa, if one is Joe Soap with few or no credentials, but for a world figure? Is it a known fact that the Dalai was coming to destabilise the country? This time around it is astounding that this government is prepared to believe that we are indeed a bunch of sheep and are prepared to have the wool pulled over our eyes.

      KluLess - 2011-10-06 12:52

      It would be ironic then, that the Dalai Lama NOT coming, might be the thing that sparks the destabilising of the country...

  • John.L - 2011-10-06 08:21

    So South Africa's new colonial masters (China) are already calling the shots??!! Kry vir jou!!

  • Kent - 2011-10-06 08:23

    This is poor - a set back of 20 years with regards to international recognition. Tutu should make a point and celebrate his birthday in Tibet! ANC is backwards!

      Libertador - 2011-10-06 08:28

      International recognition by who, NATO?

      Kent - 2011-10-06 08:40 are right - perhaps FIFA...

  • Johnny - 2011-10-06 08:24

    perhaps its time to micro manage, start by sacking Jackson Mthembu

  • nicn44 - 2011-10-06 08:24

    Every government has one, there was saddam's Comical Ali, there is Gaddaffi's spokesman, and now we have 'Comical Clayson" they just deny deny deny until they believe what they say.But i dont think they have RSA fooled, only the dimwits in ANC/ANCYL

  • barry.mcbride - 2011-10-06 08:25

    Cape Town: Coldplay's singer, Chris Martin, laughingly told the crowd that the group only returned to South Africa after 12 years "because we had to wait for a visa".

      vogue1704 - 2011-10-06 10:42


  • opinionater - 2011-10-06 08:26

    OH SNAP! THE ANC IS GETTING INTO SO MUCH SHIT! :) i can see a change in the wind of support very sooonn... :D

      allie - 2011-10-06 08:55

      If it was`nt for the township fodder,the ANC would have been history long time ago.

      AMS-Dammer - 2011-10-06 10:04

      So true @ Allie... If you STEAL BLATANTLY.... you are seen as a HERO in the Township Fodder's eyes!

  • SabaticalG - 2011-10-06 08:29

    we are not a free thinking nation anymore we are a communist country now ... run by china in the back gound.

  • v3 - 2011-10-06 08:30

    This is the second major embarrassing international incident that Minister Maite "Bag Lady" Nkoana-Mashabane's International Relations department has caused in two months. First her quarter-of-a-million-of-tax-money on an ego trip because of her misplaced sense of grandiosity, now this. On the other hand, were the applicant Mugabe, Gaddafi or one of the other "investing in the ANC" tyrants the ANC prefers, there would have been no delay.

  • unrealchris - 2011-10-06 08:40

    Free thinking nation, under anc? What a joke!

  • Libertador - 2011-10-06 08:45

    South Africa’s and Africa's future economic development is linked more to China and Russia rather than the west. The SA government understands its unique complex position which may even become a trap of its own making. We cannot live in blissful isolation. The losers dont get to dictate the state of play anymore.

      Phlegm - 2011-10-06 08:55

      Wow, your understanding of global economics is astounding, tell me, oh wise one, what exactly is China and Russia going to do in South Africa and Africa that is going to drag the entire country and continent out of poverty, starvation, civil war and reliance on international aid to survive? Or do you believe that China has only the best intentions and will ignore the plight of their 1.5 billion population to economically empower African's, eish, vuka bruda!

      Libertador - 2011-10-06 11:32

      Chinese influence is already well advanced in Africa . What's interesting about how they conduct themselves here is that they have parked the sanctimonious and patronising codswallop mouthed by the West and offered improvements in basic services and infrastructure in return for access to raw materials. Given the size of Chinese investment and engineering in Africa, some imperfection in their work is not avoidable and nothing surprising. You can criticize what the Chinese are doing if you yourself have any better ideas. The Western model does not have any better ideas. Instead, it has a decades-long record of dismal failure. Please Please all these wise people in the West, please stop telling us in AFRICA, how to deal with China. That is our business as Africans. We can handle our own business.

      CPII - 2011-10-06 14:44

      I agree with you. China is economically becoming a giant. As an ardent capitalist I'll stick to them.

      frans.visserdsb - 2011-10-07 08:18

      @Libertador.. the Chinese model for aid is very shrewd. and it is a form of modern slavery. First they offer aid in the form of massive loans for infrastructure development. However - there is a catch - it has to be done by Chinese companies. Then the project is built (dubious quality) by Chinese companies who imports EVERYTHING - including the unskilled labour, steel, cement...which means that there is no benefit for the local economy. (They use prisoners as labour, living in horrid conditions and paid virtually nothing) The beneficiary countryends up with huge debt, which is then offset by giving them raw materials...

  • rob barrie - 2011-10-06 08:45

    ANC been corrupt and since ruling from '94 just became more arrogant and openly benefit the few greedy whilst the proclaimed democratic inclination slowely disappeared. Beside not a demopcratic country anymore investors will go away and the financialimplications will drive towards the Zim model. Intellectually there is just not much lefy

  • letsee - 2011-10-06 08:48

    That's it. It also shows its incompetence. Governing is more comples than the ANC knows about.

  • viam - 2011-10-06 08:49

    The ANC has become so focused on implementing the NDR that it has lost all perpective and all its values.

  • rusren50 - 2011-10-06 08:52

    Good to see astute people and organizations realising that the ANC/government has lost their moral and any good spiritual basics. Time for Madiba to come out of his shell and add his most influential opinion.

  • Eric Every - 2011-10-06 08:54

    Again News24, what about our counter-protest? Nongxa, Fitzgerald and their cronies don't represent the majority of Wits students and are in fact extremely unpopular. Almost every single student who was present at the march was protesting AGAINST Nongxa, not with him. Quite clearly News24 doesn't care about objectivity, it cares only about defaming the ANC.

      daaivark - 2011-10-06 10:18

      Dear Eric, with respect, someone who has actually passed and acquired a degree (or more than one) and is now tutoring people who have acquired a watered down matric and are starting with tertiary educationcommand a little more respect than a group of people so unfortunate as to be hoodwinked by this rather juvenile display of political blind-man's-buff. The ANC, as it presents itself today, needs to be defamed.

      Realist - 2011-10-06 11:04

      Typical. Find someone to blame other than the ANC for their own it true then about perpetuated behaviour!!!

      Eric Every - 2011-10-06 22:26

      Daaivark, this wasn't a pro-ANC protest, it was a protest against the hypocrisy of management in claiming to stand up for human rights (a cheap publicity stunt on management's part) while standing by as the rights of workers on campus to fair labour practice is violated day in and day out by the companies that Wits outsources to do cleaning, gardening and catering, and while management continues to erode the right of students to an education by raising fees every year, to levels that increasingly make it difficult for students who aren't on financial aid (which, due to practical constraints, can't cover everyone) and who come from poor backgrounds to continue their studies: fee increments that never result in any improvement in the University's facilities or infrastructure, nor in better staff salaries (except for management; most of the rest of the money seems to go toward an inefficient and cumbersome bureaucracy). We hoped to embarrass management in front of the media, because they never listen to us otherwise.

      Eric Every - 2011-10-06 23:07

      One other thing, and I can't believe I forgot to mention this earlier: To the best of my knowledge, none of the academics who joined Nongxa's march were from the social sciences. In other words, those who dedicate their time toward studying society, and by extension politics, were absent from Nongxa's march. In fact, there were three academics (from the social sciences) in our counter-protest (and I know of a few more who were too busy to join; plus there were a lot more who weren't informed about our counter-protest). I personally think social scientists command more respect in matters pertaining to society and politics than mathematicians (like Nongxa), physicists, archaeologists or any of the other academics who marched with Nongxa.

  • JCWR56 - 2011-10-06 08:57

    Interesting comments. For a group of people that spend their lives in academia and one assumes a intellectual level with the capability and time on their collective hands to think, i would have expected this type of reaction 2 weeks ago when this issue broke. in fact, why are they silent on all other issues such as Secrecy Bill, Land Grab, ANCYL, Corruption etc in general. if it is not their place to comment on these issues, why select the DL issue to voice their disapproval - safety - looking after their government funding? It is good that they "protest" on the DL issue, but how about a bit more structured criticism against the regime on more pressing issues?

      Kent - 2011-10-06 09:05


  • Sekhohliwe - 2011-10-06 09:02

    The government excuses for compromising and bending over-backwards of this country foreign policy is, to say least, humiliating and embarassing. Regrettably this mirrors the macrocosm plaguing most “independent” African countries. It easily bows to the global invested interests in Africa's resources by non-African countries and their concomitant global multi-nationals corporations. The continued outward trappings of international sovereignty and theoretical independences of African countries serve these interests. In reality their economic decisions and policy directives are decided outside Africa. Therefore, it does not take the African genius of ancient Egypt to figure out that the prevailing status quo benefits, largely non-Africans, uncoloured communities in Africa, and few new elites. That is what we get for letting Africa being led and managed by men and women with purchasable souls.

  • kilo39 - 2011-10-06 09:17

    This debacle proves that anyone who disagrees with China's human rights abuses and their persecution of the Dalai Lama and his countrymen, is an 'enemy' of this Government. Let the world know that the people of this country welcomes the Dalai to our shores, but that this government is China's bitch and is already heavily indebted on their payroll. We the people need to send a strong message to China...we do not support this government's policies....BOYCOTT EVERYTHING 'Made in China' now !!! Bombard the Chinese government with e-mails and messages now.

  • Badballie - 2011-10-06 09:24

    ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu needs to remember that for all intents and purposes the ANC is the Government, A failing of Government is therefor solely and directly a failure of the ANC. The idea that the ANC and Government are separate organs at this juncture is little more than "pass the buck" mentality and typical of the regimes mind set....or should that be developmental stage?. Look around you Mr ANC, the world is changing faster than you can control it, I am one of the 99% and we will bring your house crashing down around you.

  • unalong - 2011-10-06 09:24

    the only way we're gonna sort this out is at the voting South Africans, we have the power to change this, thats the best part about democracy.

  • Badballie - 2011-10-06 09:42

    If you live in South Africa you are most definitely not a Westerner, you haven't been since '94 The who-haw is over the tendency of government to try to dictate policy in a Democratic country. South Africa should also be the forerunner and a beacon to the rest of the world on how a Democracy really works, Internationally people are tired of being lied to on a daily basis by the 1%, The global 99% network is building momentum with stock market take overs scheduled for 15th October in Australia, Britain, Greece, Turkey and an unconfirmed take over in Germany and France. The barter system is coming back to replace cash as the principle means of trade as already seen in Greece. The Bank of America in St Louis yesterday called in SWAT teams to prevent people from drawing money or closing their accounts. The Federal Reserve, which for the record is not a state organ but in fact a privately owned company has printed more money than there is collateral to cover it, the 1% have and are manipulating stock markets to prevent the inevitable global collapse of the dollar, China has announced it will issue a new international standards currency to replace the dollar and will use it for all further international loans and trade agreements. I could go on for hours and everything I have said can be verified.The systems going to fall soon and that's a concrete cold fact.

  • André Swanepoel - 2011-10-06 09:46

    "Intellectually dishonest?" - Is this an clever way of saying devious? Just wondering! Does the ANC really think that the rest of this country is dumb - or are they conveniently deaf to the minority - democracy they say, I say hypocracy!

  • AndV - 2011-10-06 09:49

    Lead by corrupt and weak leaders what else can you expect? This country deseves the best and it is time the 80% wonderfull citizens stand up to these thugs ruining our country. Good on you for speaking our sir!

  • JontyB - 2011-10-06 10:26

    At least Wits stands up for what is right, just like it did in the 80's when universities like Stellenbosch were conspicuous in their silence.

  • ausy - 2011-10-06 10:38

    why do we all pretend we dont know what the ANC is about?Do we really expect people who have no moral fibre no concience to really give a hoot about the Dalai Lama, i mean people who sleep with their friend's daughters(incestous),young enough to be their daughters, impregnate them,and actually ask their own daughters to testify for them that they had consentual extramarital sex with a girl their equal... and we expect such people,dont tell me to not make sweeping statements because all of them sided with this incestuos amoral one,to care what the world thinks about us? You have to have gone to school to have that thing that will tell you "this is undoable" and I'm not talking about concsience here!I'm talking about that ingredient that separates the learned from the rest,mind you I did not say the educated!

  • IC1 - 2011-10-06 10:48

    @The ANC Govt/Party: Wallow in the murky Denial all you want, you have shown a very large part of the SA Voters what you are truly about and stand for, and how morally corrupt your so called leaders are, you as a party and govt are sick.

  • GT - 2011-10-06 11:07

    I think some folk need to read up on the history of Tibet. The chinese did 90% of the population a favour!

  • Sambok - 2011-10-06 11:23

    Those same Wits academics probably fought to get the ANC into power. Idiots!

  • sekunjalo1 - 2011-10-06 11:51

    Guys this was not a state visit Dalia Lama was visting his old time friend and He was suppose to be granted Visa without any hicups. ANC we are warning you stop this immorality. The only thing that these people are good at is corruption and jobs for pals nothing for the Country. I hope this will be a wake up call for the ruling party.

  • zackie - 2011-10-06 11:52

    the anc is not micro or managing anything SA is runing with out a govt if u excludee Ancyl that would explain the current state of chaos

  • EnglishBoer - 2011-10-06 12:12

    And how long did it take them to reach this conclusion? And they are referred to as academics?

      cobus van zyl - 2011-10-07 08:26

      I agree with you. It's scary actually!!!

  • Darwinian - 2011-10-06 12:15

    "It was also incorrect to equate the ANC government to the "repressive and divisive" apartheid regime - which never cared for the majority, he said." Like your service delivery and RUBBERBULLETS???

  • JR - 2011-10-06 12:19

    Was there any doubt about the ANC's total lack of morals? All you have to do is look at the deloyment of cadres around the country and how they have enriched themselves by criminal means and then abuse their power to cover it up despite the fact we all know it. Now the ANC is focused on muzzeling the press who let us know what the ANC are up to in their criminal schemes. Morals? They dont even have it in their dictionary or vocab

  • limphow - 2011-10-06 12:28

    Dalai Lama=Nelson Mandela morally.ANC=CANCER,really.