Minister defends conduct at Press Club

2012-05-04 22:01

Johannesburg - Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson defended her refusal on Friday to speak at the Cape Town Press Club in the presence of a DA shadow minister.

"Minister Joemat-Pettersson said she was under the impression that being invited to a press club meant addressing members of the media, not politicians," her adviser Rams Mabote said in a statement.

Joemat-Pettersson refused to speak at the club's breakfast briefing on Friday, unless Democratic Alliance shadow minister Pieter van Dalen, a member of the club, left.

Van Dalen said he agreed to do so because he did not want to deny the audience the opportunity of hearing her speak.

Mabote said: "The minister told the press club that respectfully, if they invite one political party, then they should invite all other political parties."

Had she known it would be a political event, she would have attended in her capacity as member of the African National Congress's national executive and national working committees.

Mabote said he could not understand why the club took exception to the minister's reaction.

"The minister goes to Parliament... she addresses politicians every day, so why is she expected to at the Press Club? Why don't they invite other political parties, then?"

He said Joemat-Pettersson's office did not know her shadow minister would be at the event, contending this was not the appropriate setting for political debate.

Joemat-Pettersson did not ask Van Dalen to leave, but communicated this through the club's chairperson Donwald Pressly.

"The minister even offered to leave herself if the Press Club had issues with her misgivings."

Mabote said it appeared Van Dalen wished to capitalise on the briefing to continue a disagreement the two had during her budget vote speech on Thursday.


Earlier, Van Dalen said Joemat-Pettersson's conduct was unacceptable.

"If minister Joemat-Pettersson can't take the heat, she needs get out of the kitchen," he said.

Pressly was similarly unimpressed: "One is surprised that an elected politician and servant of the entire electorate is unable to take the heat of probing questions from whatever quarter."

National Press Club chairperson Yusuf Abramjee said the minister's conduct "smacks of arrogance and this nonsense must stop".

Van Dalen said he had been looking forward to hearing her, as she did not often speak with the media or public.

Van Dalen said the minister's behaviour indicated "a disregard for basic principles on which our democracy is based, such as accountable and responsive governance".

Joemat-Pettersson had allowed her personal sentiments to affect her ability to do her job, he said.

On Thursday, he called on Joemat-Pettersson to resign during the debate on her department's budget vote due to "her questionable performance over the last three years and the poor state of her department".


Van Dalen said her conduct at the Press Club was "irrational".

"I am even more resolute in my belief that the minister is unfit to hold public office".

Pressly said Joemat-Pettersson's office had accused the club of dishonesty over its guest list to the breakfast meeting.

"Van Dalen is a fully paid-up member of the Cape Town Press Club, and as such is entitled to attend any Cape Town Press Club event he chooses to attend," he said in a statement.

Pressly said the minister's office had "no prerogative" to dictate to the club which of its members were allowed to attend its own meetings.

"Perhaps it is a case of the answers being potentially embarrassing, rather than the questions," he said.

Abramjee said he would not have allowed Joemat-Pettersson to address the meeting if she was not prepared to speak in front of Van Dalen.

He said it was "disrespectful" of her to use the public platform provided by the Cape Town Press club for "petty politicking".

  • Smile - 2012-05-04 22:18

    Tina Joemat-Pettersson is just another ANC CONDOM COMRADE! "Minister Joemat-Pettersson said she was under the impression that being invited to a press club meant addressing members of the media, not politicians," SO WHAT? HE WAS IN THE CROWD LISTENING? It's a terrible excuse! YOU ARE INCOMPETENT! YOU ARE CORRUPT! YOU ARE A COWARD! YOU ARE A ANC CONDOM COMRADE! Need I say more?

      Sean - 2012-05-04 23:03

      Smile you forgot one :) - Joemat-Pettersson is also a IMBECILE , like the rest of the ANC

      Smile - 2012-05-04 23:11

      Well said Sean!

      Louwhan - 2012-05-04 23:17

      I find it impossible to disagree with both of you.

      William - 2012-05-05 04:47

      Su is clearly nie "jou maat" nie

      Lynne - 2012-05-05 06:02

      obviously scared she might give out a state secret by mistake!

      Slick - 2012-05-05 22:44

      @ Smile.I could not have stated what you have any better than you have! The Minister talks about routing out corruption and fraud etc etc. MADAM ARE A LIAR! Why don't you tell the public YOU AND YOUR Department are part of the Heinous Cabal in Government facing a Claim in excess of R400 Million. Which was registered in Middle of 2011 with the NCC. That she and her Department have also been reported to the Public Protector for investigation. This for allowing Astronomical Fraud, Corruption, Collusion and Health Abuses against the unsuspecting public. Regarding either NON COMPLIANT AND OR INCORRECTLY MARKED,LABELED AND DECLARED FOOD AND BEVERAGE PRODUCTS THAT ARE ADVERTISED,MARKETED AND SOLD ON THE SOUTH AFRICAN MARKET. This for more years than can even be guessed at! Her Department has been challenged to a Public Debate since 2010 but REFUSE to attend. REFUSE to inform the public as to what as been exposed and continues to be exposed by a MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC. Whose every complaint lodged against the DAFF has been validated by her very own dysfunctional, despicable, immoral & unethical department. AS CORRECT! DENY THE ABOVE, MADAM MINISTER.... I DARE YOU!! The public WILL soon be made aware and hopefully a massive percentage of these unsuspecting population will realize and comprehend what has been occurring against them and continues to occur against them UNABATED. Likewise WILL bring about the biggest CIVIL uproar and uprising South Africa has EVER KNOWN!

  • IcemanGP - 2012-05-04 22:30

    Obviously was scared of the DA. Man these politicians behave like nursery school children.

      Jacobus - 2012-05-05 07:04

      She is the best candidate for the job....... in the arsenal of the ANC, that is. Shows the lack of depth in real leadership and skills... yet the masses vote for them. Are everybody so blinded by hate that they will destroy themselves?

  • Dave - 2012-05-04 22:31

    I don't want to play, I'm taking my ball home.

  • michelle.kirsten - 2012-05-04 22:43

    Holy cr@p. In my experience as teacher, that conduct means: I did not prepare properly, I was going to wing it, but now there is someone who can call my bluff...

  • Mark - 2012-05-04 22:54

    She is running scared of van Dalen, who has her measure and who had already called for her resignation on grounds of incompetence.

  • Squeegee - 2012-05-04 23:00

    Incredible arrogance, no class.

  • sachasea - 2012-05-04 23:08

    As someone holding public office her behaviour is immature, reprehensible and inexcusable. If I was the Press Club's chairperson I would have told her to leave for her actions and that she could return when she grows up. Silly woman. She deserves all of the stinging rebukes she receives.

  • Chris - 2012-05-04 23:11

    Tiny minded Tina

  • Wayne - 2012-05-04 23:40

    Typical response from a person who dont know a fish from a horse.

  • Thato - 2012-05-05 01:00

    Not to be all into politics stuff but:- Last time I checked the press should be independent and not take sides when reporting, now the presence of a person from an opposition party claiming to be attending the PRESS conference in their capacity as member of a press club will obviously impact on the objectivity of their questions and comments as a media representative; and the presence/ permission of a representative of only 1 other political party is unfair to other parties not represented at the media conference- this is undemocratic. The DA shadow minister must understand that they had their chance on the political platform and that the media must be given equal opportunity without political interference. On those grounds I agree with the motion of Kicking out the DA minister out of the party, No gate-crushers here, Here you behave or else you Jump- Get out of here!!!!

      Adil Smit - 2012-05-05 02:48

      Have attended one of the press club meetings - the audience had several members that were opposed to the speaker's point of view and it was quite a heated session but the speaker was confident and handled it very well. The press is about free speech and as this was not a political meeting but a public one, she should not have done that - it makes her look weak and insecure. She should have just taken him on.

      William - 2012-05-05 04:51

      @thato you forgot to add "bloody agents!" ha ha ha, you silly kid. If u know nothing, rather just keep quiet. Your knee-jerk defense of arrogance is pitiful & u will never know true freedom.

      Manu - 2012-05-05 13:29

      I agree with you Thato. There is definitely a conflict of interest here and if I were placed in the same situation I too would object. The job of a journalist is to gather stories and information through question and investigations, and then to objectively report them. Now when a journalist becomes part of the story then how can the journalist be expected to be objective. Here was a person in the conference with insider knowledge and outside the conference the same person occupyies an adversarial position. It's like being invited to dinner and at the opposite side of the table you discover that there is a cannon directed at you. Then the host accuses you of arrogance for refusing to sit down opposite the cannon. People need to be reasonable, people need to be fair. But what surprises me about this story is that nobody has questioned why a minister is also a member of the press club. I am a strong believer in democracy, and democracy falters when politicians dabble in the media. When policians involve themselves in the journalistic process the result is propaganda. A healthy democracy only benefits when politicians are not involved in the media. Very odd.

      Thato - 2012-05-05 21:37

      Yes Manu, thats one of the other thoughts that came to my mind. @ all, Like I said, Not to be all political& stuff. I know you were stung by the last part of my comment, (@ Juju, hahaha), but if you think of it- a politician cannot be part of a media club and vice-verse and that is the bases of independence and objectivity in the media. understand this and you will realise the truth in my commment. Politicians stay in parliament and news reporters work in media conferences... An ANC political representative will be out of place, with a camera& a note book, at a DA Press Conference. If he is part of the media club then he must SHUTT UP during the entire proceedings and hold their own conference in responce of what was discussed/ stated. so please don't blame the Minister for upholding the principle of indepentent& objective media in South Africa, by removing potential risk of conflict of interest*

  • Lucy - 2012-05-05 01:14

    if it wasnt so sad it would be funny.....

  • Dennis - 2012-05-05 04:44

    What a itch with a capital B !!!

  • Erna - 2012-05-05 06:00

    How petty and childish! If this is the calibre of politician we have, no wonder the country is in the state it is in.

  • andrew.mackie.90 - 2012-05-05 06:54

    Another weak lament by a weak minister who does not have a clue. She should remove herself from politics if she cannot or will no allow open debate or answer questions of concern to the public. But I suppose the gravy train is more to her liking and thinks her position is more important than the people she is supposed to serve, after all she nothing more than a public servant.

  • nico.vandermerwe.54 - 2012-05-05 07:00

    Tina should have taken her deputy minister with. At least he can speech a mile a minute.

  • MartinJU - 2012-05-05 07:23


  • Nigel - 2012-05-05 07:24

    fark u Joemat, don't come here with your lying tendencies, apologize now!!!!, we demand an apology, & it better be heartfelt.

      Shirley - 2012-05-05 10:06

      She has no heart-she is an anc clone!

  • gerry.klos - 2012-05-05 07:26

    Obviously too stupid to talk, like all her other vcomrades from the Absolute No Credibility (ANC) club.

  • Nigel - 2012-05-05 07:27

    we demand that the resigns, resign now!

  • Andile - 2012-05-05 07:36

    The honourable Mnr. Van Dalen's doing will give these people who want media Bill passed a boost. This was surely wrong for the Press Club to invite him knowing very well that he is a DA senior member. Its like we fight in a bar, than being a policeman I leave first, go put on my uniform than I arrest you for drunk driving outside the Bar. Having disageed in parliament, surely Mnr Van Dalen was going to use the Press conference to further his political advances. Its the same thing we always complain about of ANC members using Government events for political gains, its wrong. This was wrong too, let members of parliament wear the correct 'hat' at the appropriate time

      Piet - 2012-05-05 07:42

      yes andile we have to respect the sainthood of the ANC! TILL JESUS COMES!

      Muffin_man_can - 2012-05-05 07:58

      Van Dalen is doing what every citizen in this country should do, hold these incompetent ministers accountable.. As tax payers paying their ridiculously large salaries its our right!

      Shirley - 2012-05-05 10:07

      He is a paid up member-has every right to be there!!!!!!!!!

      nettie.potgieter.5 - 2012-05-05 17:31

      Andile wat was the color of her hat and what secrets did she want to tell the press that the DA was not to know about? Hehehe your resoning amuses me.

  • melania.nel - 2012-05-05 08:01

    Imagine the freedom front chasing away a press member who happens to be high up in the cANCer. Can you imagine what the reaction would be... It won't be defended anywhere, yet I see people defending joemat.

  • Leon - 2012-05-05 08:04

    she is trash

  • Erich - 2012-05-05 08:12

    She was not in the best of moods. Did she perhaps sleep in her car again?

  • David - 2012-05-05 08:16

    Why doesn,t she just go out and spend a few million rands of our money on luxury accomodation and travel and she will feel better?--she knows more about monery wastage than agriculture anyway

  • Alf - 2012-05-05 08:24

    Instead of throwing tantrums, she should start focusing on her job! But she meets the government standards: Single digit IQ and always making sure she finds out from her boss what her opinion has to be for the day! A pity her parents did not use contraception!

      Lerato - 2012-05-05 09:18

      Duh, so did your parents

      Jacqui - 2012-05-05 11:07

      Lerato and your parents.

  • Lerato - 2012-05-05 09:06

    I would do the same if Van Dalen is shadowing me!

      Jacqui - 2012-05-05 11:08

      Lerato, wishful thinking will get you nowhere.

      nettie.potgieter.5 - 2012-05-05 17:21

      Do you know what shadowing mean it is not the same as \stalking\

      Lerato - 2012-05-05 20:44

      Shadowing won't get you anywhere either, @Nettie thanks I know what it is, Zille is the Shadow President of SA and Bafana are the shadow World Cup winners - lol

      nettie.potgieter.5 - 2012-05-05 21:58

      Your humor is good Bafana Hahahaha but the ANC must watch out shadow's have a way to cautht up to you!

  • Shirley - 2012-05-05 09:22

    Who died and made this woman important????? Just another anc power hungry,corrupt wannabe!

  • Johnnie - 2012-05-05 09:38

    van Dalen was not invited, he is a member of the club,and therefore has the right to be there. He does not need an invitation. The Minister has to be invited if she wants to be there, and to think this woman is a Minister of a country. Only Africa.

  • Siegeknives - 2012-05-05 10:32

    If she can't stand up and speak in front of people she shouldn't be in politics. The whole situation seems really petty to me. If you have something important to say, say it. Don't waste everyone's time because you aren't 100% happy with the people in front of you.

  • henk63 - 2012-05-05 10:35

    Shame, she has now admitted that she is in over her head. Well I have news for you Madame Minister, yor position requires some intelligence, morals, honour and guts. You clearly have none of the above. You, like the rest of the ANC, are an insult to the country and it's citizens. If you had any dignity you would know what to do.

  • Jacqui - 2012-05-05 11:03

    Joemat-Petterson is suffering from an illusion of grandeur. She is hopeless as a Minister and makes a fool of herself most of the time. Maybe it is time she moves to her luxurious appartment in Sweden for good.

  • nettie.potgieter.5 - 2012-05-05 17:38

    Lol I wonder what secrets did she wanted to tell the press that the DA and rest of the country must not know.

  • raath - 2012-05-05 22:05

    I love the picture they used on the landing page ( - it is like Truth said "pucker up Tina, and kiss my @$$" LOL :p

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