Many don't understand democracy: Zuma

2012-07-13 16:01

Kwadlangweza - Many South Africans need to be educated about democracy because they do not understand how it works, President Jacob Zuma said on Friday.

"We have not explained what democracy is. Democracy is complex. At times, among the protesters, you find comrades who have not understood democracy," he said.

Speaking to almost 2 000 delegates at the SA Communist Party’s 13th National Congress, Zuma questioned whether protesters had a democratic right to destroy property.

In an address that lasted almost 90 minutes, he praised the SACP, saying it had played a critical role in the ruling African National Congress, but it had to determine how influential it would be in the future.

"The party will not be influential if it is not armed with the revolutionary theory."

Zuma echoed earlier comments by Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, who said that a "radical approach is needed on the economic front".

Zuma said the country’s economic policies for improving the lot of ordinary South Africans "doesn’t seem to be working".


Continuing unemployment and casualisation of labour were a grave threat to the tripartite alliance.

"We are struggling to find solutions to defeat poverty and inequality," Zuma said.

Earlier, Vavi warned that the ANC risked losing working class support unless it tackled poverty.

"The liberation movement has the risk of falling out of favour with the working class," he said.

Vavi said members of the tripartite alliance agreed on what needed to be done, but lacked political will, "which leaves much to be desired".

He said that, on average, the position of black South Africans had deteriorated since the advent of democracy in 1994.

"We have not benefited for the past 18 years. There is no debate [on this fact]. In economic terms it is capital that has ripped the fruit of our hard-earned freedom."

He said that for economic transformation there needed to be unity in the tripartite alliance.

"No economic transformation can be led by a divided, factionalised organisation."

The working class was angry and frustrated because the "apartheid fault lines remained, in economic terms", Vavi said.

  • clinton.badenhorst - 2012-07-13 16:06

    Hahahaha! Now I can just imagine that cartoon of Zapiro of Zuma taking to himself in the mirror... What an idiot!

      kayley.segal - 2012-07-13 16:18

      ANC definition of democracy: 4 Wolves and 1 sheep deciding what to have for dinner.

      fussed.anderson - 2012-07-13 16:22

      So our grade 4 presedent knows but we dont. Take that spade away from him

      abdol.goebels - 2012-07-13 16:24

      Take this to Zuma - Democracy is just a fancy name Communism in a multi cultural society. It never can and will not work in a multi cultural society. That is a fact.

      tuco.angeleyes - 2012-07-13 16:26

      If Zuma understood Democracy he'd understand that a majority of South Africans do NOT want him to be President and step down.

      nrgx.nrg - 2012-07-13 16:33

      Thats rich coming from a dic(k)tator

      rob.baggaley - 2012-07-13 16:45

      If they did...The ANC would not be in power today ! Yes sheeple it's ok, tru's bob, to vote for an alternate party. You dont have to vote ANC. Yep, that's democracy !

      razz.tazz.9 - 2012-07-13 16:49

      Its not many, the majority doesn’t know how democracy works. This is where the ANC failed hopelessly. You should have educated your supporters first before implementing democracy. You are also one of those buying a car first then learn to drive and obtain a licence. Now the same democracy is failing you and your party. Political analysts say there will be no ANC by 2025. WATCH OUT your years are numbered!!!!

      daniel.jacobs.3766 - 2012-07-13 16:50

      Including you Mr Prez!!!!

      nrgx.nrg - 2012-07-13 17:01

      besides - even zuma himself looks confused in the picture!

      alastair.grant.98 - 2012-07-13 17:05

      Oh, this is rich! Dinosaurs like JZ are snuffling at the feeding trough BECAUSE the electorate doesn't understand democracy. When the average comrade discovers that he can use his (secret!) ballot to vote against the ANC, and so trigger change within the ruling party, these crooked relics will be consigned to the history books. - 2012-07-13 17:20

      They just don't get it, do they? They just keep on banging the same old drum, but never look at themselves critically to see where the real problem lies.

      fussed.anderson - 2012-07-13 17:28

      How many generations did it take the Oppenheimer family to work for there fortune. Now tell me how long it took your nephew to get R100 billion How did he do it

      claudia.meads - 2012-07-13 17:49

      An illiterate sex-crazed buffoon, telling uneducated communists, they do not understand democracy - ONLY IN AFRICA..! It is clear that old 'Dropfly-Dick' cannot comprehend that 'communism' is in every manner the antonym of 'democracy'. Democracy has nothing to do with 'majority rule' - as per the ANC Woodwork DIC-tionary... It has even less to do with the rights of a small group of illiterate black elite. Democracy is a system where the individual is the highest order of rights (in simple terms: all other laws- and rights are in service of the rights of the individual) - kindly refer to SA's labour laws and go figure for yourself if SA is a democracy. Frankly, the protestors understand ‘democracy’ far better than the ANC regime ever will. Zuma cannot blame the ‘protestors’ for destroying property – that responsibility belongs to the ANC, after all they are the ones who taught the masses that the only way, to get your way, is to (like children) destroy things. It seems the MONSTER IS NOW TURNING ON THE MASTER...

      denise.ryan.5203 - 2012-07-14 00:27

      Definition is everything. The denotative meanings of certain words show in their essential usages & forms. Take the phrase nascent democracy for instance. Nascent in its denotative sense describes a process that is just coming into existence & beginning to display signs of future potential; it describes something that is not yet fully developed. There is an ANC meaning for nascent though, especially when democracy comes after it. Nascent Democracy was the generally used term to excuse the early abuses of the electoral process, the wanton looting of public funds & everything in our democracy that made it look alien to democratic realities elsewhere, but had to be excused in the face of the public’s concern for a democracy that looked very much like an illegitimate child of the mother called democracy. To calm nerves, they came up with the hope inducing & soothing phrase nascent democracy. It worked. It worked because everything was excused under that phrase. A full blown free-for-all in government – nascent democracy. The president consistently abuses the constitution - nascent democracy. And so our nascent democracy continues until today & has evolved into what they call "home-grown democracy". They have debased democracy & given it an idiotic name called “home-grown democracy”. What is that? Their home-grown variant of democracy is pure euphemism for thuggery, rigging, violence, manipulation, falsehood, injustice, unfairness & their apparent inability to govern themselves.

      carpejugulim - 2012-07-14 06:31

      Who's version of democracy mr prez? Yours or the rest of the world's?

      glyn.morgan.96 - 2012-07-14 15:48

      You are right Zuma! You do not understand democracy! Apply this fact to your mind... Both the SACP and Cosatu members are members of the anc. Right? So they spread their influence and power via the SACP and Cosatus actions, strikes etc. That give them one "vote" in the anc power structure. They then vote for the anc and stand in positions of power within the anc. That give s them one "vote" in the and power structure. So the SACP and Cosatu members have two votes in the and while ordinary and members (who only vote within the and structures) only have one! This gives some and members twice the political power of the ordinary members! That is not democracy! What do the ordinary and members think of that? You are second class members of you organization! Ha! Ha! So vote DA!

      aristar.aristary - 2012-07-15 17:48

      Democracy: The system which allows two idiots to outvote one genius

      gert.grobler.94 - 2012-07-16 09:02

      @glyn morgan-The problem in SA is much more severe politically than what many believe. We simply think that the voters will vote for a different party exercising their political freedom and democratic right,when the anc really messes up. Yes many blacks are beginning to see the falseness of the anc but the anc will never be threatened at the polls. The corruption has gone too far and is too deeply seated. They have nothing to lose but everything to gain to rig the elections if they feel the votes are dwindling for them. It will be easy to oil the corruption machine come voting count time. The blacks have no opposition party to vote for. Lacota's Cope couldn't cope with what could have been a planted anc agent (in the name of Shalova) that "apparently" had differences with the anc and went over to Cope. He could still be on the anc pay list. With his doings he actually destroyed Cope and he fiddled with Cope funds. The hope that Cope gave is gone. We are stuck with the anc.

  • jason.children - 2012-07-13 16:08

    OK i didnt even finish reading the article...............He was discussing DEMOCRACY at a COMMUNIST part event???????? WTF!! come again.........this is too funny!

      jason.children - 2012-07-13 16:11

      just so we are clear: Communism and democracy are two different ideologies that have rendered great impact in the world. Communism can be termed as a socio economic structure that stands for the establishment of a classless, egalitarian and stateless society. Democracy is a political system of governance either carried out by the people directly or by elected representatives.

      Randomhero6661 - 2012-07-13 16:16

      ya im also baffled on this part.

      Bryan - 2012-07-13 16:17

      Laughing stock doesnt begin to explain it Jason!! It's like serving fillet steak at a vegetarian convention....WTF...WTF...WTF...EISH!!!

      nrgx.nrg - 2012-07-13 16:37

      yeah - its freaken hilarious! This clearly shows the level of intelligence (or lack of) and the desperation of the anc now!

      ebon.geist - 2012-07-13 16:44

      well technically communism and democracy are not as mutually exclusive as you would like to believe. Communism is more about economics than politics, where is democracy is more about politics than economics. The polar opposite of communism is actually capitalism, and the opposite of democracy is dictatorship. Although communist states tend to be dictatorships and capitalist states tend to be democratic, this is not entirely mandatory. Many socialist states follow democratic political principles in that the people decide who governs them, while the state allocates economic resources in a manner not dissimilar to communism.

      gerhard.kress.3 - 2012-07-13 17:20

      We do have a communist style government along soviet lines. The party, not the president rules supreme (JZ is looking over his shoulder now). They all were indoctrinated in Moskow. They can't free themselves from that outdated crap. That is why we are where we are today in this country. You still need innovative intelligence to rule, not tokoloshes and ancestors.

      liana.loots - 2012-07-13 17:24

      So speak the man who wants to change the constitution, curb freedom of speech and believes a shower will prevent aids. keep digging that hole with your mouth. or maybe has he a boertjie writing his speeches. haha

      Willie - 2012-07-13 17:29

      Same old hot air blah blah blah blah blah blah!!!!!!!!!!!

      Rodney - 2012-07-13 20:35

      @ ebon, do you really think Zuma and the ANC could ever hope to understand your statement? For him to claim the average black person is now worse off than under apartheid is classic, without realising it, he has told the world the ANC are useless at running a country and that apartheid wasn't actually such a bad idea. What a total moron.

      om.nom.nom.01 - 2012-07-13 22:51

      I'll never forget, when Gwede Mantashe told a crowd (who was complaining to him) that if they didn't vote for the ANC they had no right to complain.

      gerasimos.komnenus - 2012-07-15 18:08

      Zuma is dead right. If ALL voters had half a brain he and most of his cohort of criminals would be in jail for crimes against the nation. Now that would be democratic! The problem is the ANC leaders TALK democracy, practice fascism, employ nepotism, implement delusion, savour corruption and will ultimately cause destruction. Democracy was developed before the esteemed ancestors had the wheel or even an alphabet. How could it possibly be that a system so foreign to African culture can now be understood by the masses? All the ANC understand is a mish-mash of mob rule, outdated Marxist ideology, stone age tribalism, song and dance, stealing tax payers money in the name of capitalism and other than that just sitting around on their backsides and talking rubbish. No respect for "The Spear",........ ever.

      ebon.geist - 2012-07-16 13:06

      @Rodney: I am not sure what Zuma and ANC really understand on an intellectual level, and I certainly believe there are several inadequacies there. That being said, I think they understand their electorate pretty well, hence why they control such massive majority in this country. PS: Zuma wasn't the one saying blacks are worse off now than under apardheid. That was Vavi.

  • rowan.maulson - 2012-07-13 16:10

    I didn't read very much of the story, But yes, most people in this country do not understand Democracy at all, the fact that the ANC is still in power is evidence of that fact. And Jacob my son, you yourself and your party do not understand Democracy.

      Mark - 2012-07-13 17:35

      No one believes in democracy - you would find it nearly impossible to find someone who thinks an appropriate use of majority would be if 55% of South Africans decided to shoot the other 45%...

  • Ben - 2012-07-13 16:11

    Now please dont try to explain it to them. Let someone else do that.

  • jurgen.eksteen - 2012-07-13 16:12

    Case and point ... Mr Zuma.

  • godesha - 2012-07-13 16:12

    You are quite right JZ, many South Africans need to be educated. I am not sure though if you and your cronies understand what democracy is, how can you expect the people to understand it.

      fussed.anderson - 2012-07-13 16:24

      And you are not educating them, are you

  • EricksonTL - 2012-07-13 16:13

    Democracy in the ANC dictionary: keep em stupid, keep em breeding more than they can afford, and keep the numbers up. Profit. Politics for the ANC is not about being the best choice - it's about race and purely a numbers game. Sies.

  • Sascha Lipka - 2012-07-13 16:14


  • gerhard.kress.3 - 2012-07-13 16:15

    You can rely on JZ to put the foot in every time he opens his mouth.

      fussed.anderson - 2012-07-13 16:24

      No all he does is change feet

      gerhard.kress.3 - 2012-07-13 16:43

      JZ after admitting you and your cronies achieved nothing in 18 years, the honourable thing to do is to resign.

      Press - 2012-07-13 17:00

      Thats to simple a fact to validate regime change . . . .

  • James Thom - 2012-07-13 16:15

    Oh I ge

  • Santosh Maharaj - 2012-07-13 16:16

    You surely don't Mr President.

  • - 2012-07-13 16:17

    Ironically Zuma is one of the many.

  • julian.knight.7 - 2012-07-13 16:17

    Democracy is also not to be confused with Mob Rule as it is understood to be practiced by One Party States!

  • victor.peters.902 - 2012-07-13 16:17

    Zuma, surely how do you teach democracy to a communuist. Once again it tells that u are an idiot. Ha! Ha!

      BulletProof. - 2012-07-13 19:21

      This a very good question one philosofy doesn't have nothing to do with the other in fact they are in oposit directions.

  • ron.wale.3 - 2012-07-13 16:18

    No one in the ANC understands Democracy! Democracy and ANC policy are incongruous.

  • grace.andtruth.77 - 2012-07-13 16:19

    Zuma you need an education - full stop! You and your buddies! None of you understand democracy or the first thing about running a country! All you've done is rape this country and its people! You're a corrupt LIAR who takes advantage of uneducated, homeless, hungry and ill-informed majorities instead of empowering them

  • franco.beukman - 2012-07-13 16:20

    They won't knw cause grade 4 student Zuma is nt qualified to bring that across .So communist party let's educate them wot it is .show dem !! jacob show dem!!

  • andre.murrell2 - 2012-07-13 16:20

    30 Billion Rand lost due to Corruption in Government EVERY year.... that's how you solve poverty you're the one who doesn't understand what Democracy is!

  • ken.grimblegrumble - 2012-07-13 16:20

    "The liberation movement has the risk of falling out of favour with the working class," he said. Why should he worry there are fewer and fewer 'working' each year. I think he meant non-employable class

  • Ditantane - 2012-07-13 16:21

    and we have seen under ur leadership mr presitute, democracy replaced with dictatorship.

  • trevor.bush.9655 - 2012-07-13 16:21

    Zuma is an African joke of the highest order, right there with Robert GogGog Mugabe.

      john.doeslough - 2012-07-14 09:53

      The scary thought is people throughout Africa know who Zuma is....and they make fun of us!

  • bobby.mykonos - 2012-07-13 16:23

    I have Capital (Guilty) I invest this money in this country. I build a business. I employ people. I make a profit. I pay TAX on this profit. My staff pay TAX on the salary they receive. We all pay VAT on almost everything we buy. We pay excise duties. We pay death duties. We pay property TAX. We pay TAX on almost everything we do. We give all this TAX money to you Mr Zuma. In fact I give you more than 60% of the money I earn in some sort of TAX or another. Why are you complaining about Capital benefiting, when you receive 100% of your revenue from the proceeds of Capital at work. Stop wasting and stealing it and there will be MORE THAN ENOUGH money to go around. No one in this country needs to be hungry or cold. You are responsible for this suffering. Don't try to blame Capital. Sure I wish I was one of those rich mine owners. I wish I owned huge chucks of land. I don't, but at least I know that some of the profits those people make get handed over to my government as TAX, and I benefit indirectly.

  • peter.t.solomon - 2012-07-13 16:23

    No Mr pres, it's you and your organization who don't understand democracy.

      nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-07-13 17:13

      ahmen!!! its ironic that the ANC has a habit of accusing others of what it does, i.e. Hypocrisy at its best.

  • malusi.shumane.7 - 2012-07-13 16:23

    Zuma, do you have a democratic right not to be prosecuted for being corrupt. The only reason I want you to win in Mangaung z Malema. You are corrupt qha!!!

      nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-07-13 17:23

      yea but there are other options, both Zuma & Malema are trouble. But I do agree with u, rather Zuma (with all the corruption & uselessness) than Malema, Malema is disaster.

  • Abram - 2012-07-13 16:25

    IF this two headed president do understand democracy,he should have not talk 2 much about media tribuanal bill,this bafazini always contradict himself why bafowethu?

  • Mike - 2012-07-13 16:27

    The ANC is just so far behind the power curve that it is absurd. They simply do not even comprehend the basics of good governance and administration, they are floundering and grasping at straws, dragging everyone into the abyss.

  • Andre Du Preez - 2012-07-13 16:27

    To curb unemployment 1 chase the rest of africa back home ok and the commie chinas and their pakistani friends 2 Abolish trade unions and relax the labour law 3 Stop paying idiots to make babies

  • lucien.bushidi - 2012-07-13 16:28

    Actually nothing works since 1994. Educate everybody and the poverty will be solved within 20 years. Look at south Korea explamble.

      nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-07-13 17:16

      thank you, well said lucien, South Korea is the shining example of the world, Sometimes I wish I could load 10 million South Africans on a ship & take them to South Korea, they won't believe their eyes.

  • beak.speaks - 2012-07-13 16:28

    JZ them pearly whites need brushing brother......but then again with all the crap you speak it won't help.....

  • mark.haupt.31 - 2012-07-13 16:29

    It is complex to you, that's obvious when you stand there and praise the SACP. Honestly, my good fellow, do you know the difference between the two? Can you explain "revolutionary theory" in terms of a capitalistic economy?

  • ramohapelwa.berries - 2012-07-13 16:29

    Hooray, 1st time I agree with Zuma, no pun intended. Many don't understand democracy. They understand dictatorship.

  • ramohapelwa.berries - 2012-07-13 16:30

    Hooray, 1st time I agree with Zuma, no pun intended. Many don't understand democracy. They understand dictatorship.

  • Andre Du Preez - 2012-07-13 16:30

    Just look at the guy hes a flipen idiot

  • JohnDough - 2012-07-13 16:31

    Works for you perfectly, keep the masses stupid and bribe them for the vote with a Chinese made T-shirt.

  • llewellyn.williams - 2012-07-13 16:34


  • akhona.mashaya - 2012-07-13 16:34

    Instead of taking pot shots at the ANC and the president on his knowledge of democracy or lack thereof. Why dont we each teach 5 people about traditional democratic values so that they too can make educated decisions? Why do we reduce ourselves to whiners? As we all know, success for the ANC and success for the state are two different things. We need to take up more active roles in changing our country ourselves. Sitting back and bashing our political leaders will not change anything. We need to be the change we wanna see. We who know what democracy is, should look to share what we know. We have been through worse as a country.

      bobby.mykonos - 2012-07-13 16:39

      Agreed. I posted above about tax. I think if more South Africans realised that these politicians are buying fancy cars and houses with the money they pay in tax and Vat, they would not be so eager to let the corruption continue. I think a large percentage think that corruption is only affecting the rich and that it is somehow justified. If they realised that it is also their money being stolen they might feel differently.

      nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-07-13 17:19

      sounds fair, at least you are looking at solutions & not problems, thats what the difference is between leaders & dictators, I must say, I am encouraged that more & more black people are posting good positive comments, rather than the stereotypical racist rubbish that we have had in the past, perhaps we whites should make an effort to do the same.

  • andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-07-13 16:37

    I've known since 1994 that the comrades don't have a clue what democracy means. For them it is just another word in a dictionary!

      Esther - 2012-07-14 12:26

      I often wonder whether the people voting for the ANC realise there is a connection between their vote (making the cross on a piece of paper) and actual service delivery (or lack thereof)in the country. Or do they think their RIGHT to vote is standing alone is of no consequence to what happens after an election?

  • helmut.smrz - 2012-07-13 16:40

    I bett he can't spell it !

      alf.pop - 2012-07-15 17:43

      You have a point. He must be the only president in modern history, who makes spelling mistakes when he talks!

  • vivian.harris.73 - 2012-07-13 16:40

    Democracy- a process where u F*** over the people that put u in power, enrich yourself and keep them illiterate and living in poverty.

      vivian.harris.73 - 2012-07-13 16:52

      So sorry, was reading that definition from the ANC dictionary...Oxford English has a better explanation....

  • Hermann - 2012-07-13 16:47

    Whahaaa least of all the uneducated Guy who made the statement.

  • antin.herinck - 2012-07-13 16:48

    Of course, if one does not speak Zoomer, then a translation is needed: -"The party [SACP] will not be influential if it is not armed with the revolutionary theory." Translation: if the SACP don't do as we want -they can frack off. -"The country’s economic policies for improving the lot of ordinary South Africans doesn’t seem to be working". Translation: “We the ANC, as the ruling the country have failed crap down at the ground -but don't tell them anything they don't know. We need their votes. So we say: the economic policies did it. What do they know.” -"We are struggling to find solutions to defeat poverty and inequality," Translation: "we are too clueless and too busy with our own infighting and self-enrichment to be any good for anything." - "The liberation movement has the risk of falling out of favour with the working class," Translation: "We know that leeching our working tax-payers is becoming a bit much, but we need their money for grants to buy the votes of the unemployed.” (cont.)

  • antin.herinck - 2012-07-13 16:49

    -"on average, the position of black South Africans had deteriorated since the advent of democracy in 1994." Translation: “worse for the blacks, MUCH better for us, the ANC upper echelons, and also worse for the whites -but they can go frack themselves.” “We have not benefited for the past 18 years.” -Transl. “You, the idiot voters have not benefited. And I was born a dirt-poor goatherder. But look at me now; me and my family are billionaires many times over.” “In economic terms it is capital that has ripped the fruit of our hard-earned freedom.” -Transl. “Haha, and guess who really ripped SA's economy apart and who will use that to get even more control over SA's capital. Haha.”

  • TshilidziPhuravhathu - 2012-07-13 16:51

    Whats he talking about? "Democracy = every man for himself!" as you have tought us since you became president.

  • robin.stobbs.9 - 2012-07-13 16:53

    Oh, that's a good one coming from old showerhead! He may be able to convince the sheep but the rest of us have fully-functional brain cells!

  • sasha.walters.31 - 2012-07-13 16:54

    The primary reason that the ANC has been unsuccessful in tackling poverty is that the majority of their programmes for upfliftment focus on social handouts rather than social upliftment; a public funded middle class as opposed to an entrepenurial middle class - it is the latter that has no limits, and it is the latter which can tackle poverty.

  • DPMGG - 2012-07-13 16:56

    Democracy according to him is to get money from the rich, tenders for his family and friends and votes from the poor!

  • nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-07-13 16:56

    nor does the ANC, Elitist racist BEE, anti business rhetoric, intolerance to minorities, violation of the constitution & basic human rights.... the list is long...

  • william.letsong.5 - 2012-07-13 16:58

    Mr president or prostitute whatever you are called these days, you said that \Many South Africans need to be educated about democracy because they do not understand how it works\, now how do you expect us to get educated when your irresponsible Basic Education Minister Angie Textbook-burner Motshekga deliver sotho workbooks in a xhosa province and rather opt to burn Limpopo textbooks than delivering them to schools?

  • claire.c.stiles - 2012-07-13 17:02

    ZUMA needs to be EDUCATED.....

  • mzukisijola.jose1 - 2012-07-13 17:07

    Halalala zuma is going to educate the nation about democracy,but was not malema's democratic right to say mbeki is better then you. What democracy are you talking about