Motlanthe hopes book raises tough questions

2012-10-11 22:27

Johannesburg - Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe hopes his biography will encourage people to question the status quo, he said on Thursday.

"It is important the book should raise the questions that pull us out of our comfort zones," he told a packed hall at the University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg.

He was speaking at the launch of Kgalema Motlanthe: A political biography by Ebrahim Harvey.

Motlanthe said he had agreed to the writing of the book after a friend persuaded him that as a political activist he would not find the time to write a book himself.

He told how he was inspired by a school in Italy that prepares toddlers for school using modern technology.

This would work well in South Africa. "Many of our problems arise because of rigidity... Yet, we live in a world that's ever-changing. These children will learn that things are always changing."

This was met by applause and laughter as the audience rolled their hands in the sign used to indicate a soccer substitution.

This sign has been used by those supporting Motlanthe's election as African National Congress president at the party's national conference in Mangaung in December.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe, sitting on the podium, laughed.

Appearing surprised, Motlanthe tried to interrupt.

"The irony is really lost on me," he said.

"This is about science, it's not about names of places. I can see that you are trapped within the geographical name of Mangaung."

Motlanthe said he would like his tombstone to read: "Others made suggestions and he implemented."

Among those in the audience were senior ANC members Tokyo Sexwale, Mathews Phosa, Ahmed Kathrada, Trevor Manuel and human rights lawyer George Bizos.

  • george.pito - 2012-10-11 23:54

    Interesting the book now just before Mangaung. The unrest just before Mangaung punting Malemo before Mangaung. We are caught in a power struggle between Mothlante and Zuma and they happily destroy the country for there own agenda. Every time there is a hickup in the ANC the whole economy must stop. No tenders coming out, jobs in progress get cancelled, new management structures, new buddies will move in. The comment about silverbacks makes so much sense a real animal farm.

      tebogo.makaneta - 2012-10-12 04:14

      Ey...Russel you just made me think twice about the comment that i've made above about the deputy pres. He got me worried when he said that his tombstone should read \Others made suggestions and he implemented.\

      J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-10-12 07:37

      Tebogo, I've read your comments posted 3.37 nd 4.03 and, together with the one you post immediately above, make the best sense on this strip. I believe Motlanthe's executive abilties exceed those of Mandela and Mbeki, and as for the "others" we have to take the chance of them. As for Motlanthe's background, it is very similar to Mandela's.

  • - 2012-10-12 01:02

    The good guys are out of the ANC these second rate politicians refer to colour, race and wealth to hide their lack of ability. Where are the educated black elite? Are they not seeing what is happening? Look, if you look into the crystal ball (10-40years ahead), do the elite really think they will be inline for a hand out, or their kids and family??? The wheel turns and what goes around comes around....

      gerald.nchabeleng - 2012-10-12 07:08

      think you raise an interesting question one that leads to the very creation and demise of the ANC. Since inception in 1912 the ANC has always represented a confluence of indegenous intellectual elitism. From the John Dube's and Sol Plaatjies of the founders, to the formulation of racial segregation into government policy did not deter the rise of African intellctuals. The group areas act of 1950 did not stop them meeting, the Bantu education act of 1953 did not still their intellectual curiosity. They stood resolute during the sharpville massacre in 1960 and a defiant Albert Lutuli would eventually win a Nobel peace prize in 1961. Even the consigning underground of liberation movements following the Rivonia trial of 1964 where one man profaned racial segregation and chose death led to the rise of other intellectuals. The Steve Biko's, Robert Sobukwe's, Chris Hani's whose deaths by security agents did not break their collective resolve. Come now post 1994 in the bling age of the African baron, the age of Johnny Walker blue and cognac, of Cubans a dozen and black ML63's, learning and intellectual prosperity has taken a back seat to consumerism. Even children don't want to be lawyers and engineers, they want to be tenderpreneurs. Sharp minds like Thabo and Moeketsi Mbeki are amiss, the truth is the ANC is hemorrhaging thinkers fast and i don't see them attract new academics. The ANC must cleanse itself, especially of BEE if it is to surviveif

      gerald.nchabeleng - 2012-10-12 07:24

      what kills intellectual growth even more is the moratorium on self expression and debate. This is more so because of the carreerism now associated with this once great altruistic movement. When you criticize a style of leadership they astrocise you, their leader has the arrogance to tell you that it is cold out there, outside the ANC. This crude statement speaks volumes. It immediately tells you that the ANC is bigger than the people, that it does not serve the people but is in turn served by the people. It is a behemoth that is self propagating and affirming at the expense of society, and its individual members are leeches holding on, feeding off of it. How can then intellectuality thrive in such a constrictive rigid space? What happened to the likes of Frank Chikane? People like him should be kept even after changes of leadership otherwise it become too costly to keep training people. Individual politics within a movement should never take precedence over the politics is a collective. That is called cancer, unprogrammed uncontrolled cell growth. Cancers must be excised, else the whole collapses. People like Kgalema Motlanthe, Fikile Mbalula represent hope for me, the ANC must save itself

      LongSword - 2012-10-12 07:32

      Somebody is on fire today, ne? Dr!

      DuToitCoetzee - 2012-10-12 07:40

      @gerald. That is why my statement always say."The old ANC is dead"! When people was fighting for freedom there were intellectuals, but when gained the power struggle started. Power and money hungry. After the first few old school leaders were replaced the "handbook" was thrown away. The strategy is easy. Gain power, self enrichment and keep the masses uneducated and away from info/what is really going on. This strategy is working so good that they keep on repeating it. I was wondering many times why the new black intellectuals not stand up and help us, but I than realized that they also being held down and just have to try to work as hard as me to try to make a living. Not even mentioning the pressure and risk these ruling "gangsters" can put them under. We have to admit that the ANC is the biggest party and therefore will provide the leaders, but they have an intellectual vacuum. Mark my words. The ones that will disagree with me will be those ones having the same problem.

  • kingKanete - 2012-10-12 01:11

    the irony of publishing a book when students don't have textbooks during exams...

  • dan.ledwaba.5 - 2012-10-12 02:42

    Well, at least he has co-written a book... Has he ever had a headline in the news for doing something positive for the South African people?

      johnny.matsetse - 2012-10-12 05:44

      @ Dan Ledwaba I do not undstnd in whivh part of these Country u coming from DON'T U REMEMBER THIS I Qoute 'Motlanthe asked the Public Protector to investigate him after a Sunday Times report on March 11, 2012 about an Iranian deal`When last have u ever heard of a politician Requesting To be Probed for CORRUPTION

      dan.ledwaba.5 - 2012-10-12 11:17

      Johnny, that was a request for investigation to keep HIMSELF out of trouble. It has nothing to do with doing something positive for the SOUTH AFRICAN PEOPLE.

      dan.ledwaba.5 - 2012-10-12 11:26

      @Johnny, but yes I have to agree with you, his request is unheard of in anc circles.

  • don.mug.3 - 2012-10-12 04:41

    This guy has nothing to lose,he is on a pension already.

  • iwhite.whitebone - 2012-10-12 06:10

    GAMES,GAMES,GAMES......people (majority) are not clever enough to understand it.......

  • gary.doyle.520 - 2012-10-12 06:26

    He'll make points of oppression and the still struggling poor majority but ironically its a few dimwit elite that will buy his book.

  • Mn Mlilo - 2012-10-12 06:36

    Frankly speaking,whatever Montlante is tryna achieve with his book whether politically or otherwise,doesnt make him any better than Zuma coz they just have the same principles,they have the same ideology,thet from the same stable,We need leaders not struggle veterans to lead this great nation,SA is just too complex for grudged war veteran to lead us to prosperity

  • khathu.rasi - 2012-10-12 07:25

    The only problem i have with Motlante is that, He does not have energy, He is not active enough, but otherwys He is humble gentleman

      DuToitCoetzee - 2012-10-12 07:56

      Yes, I remember the time he was acting president. He always seams like a "sitting duck", but than we all known the dancing Zuma's results as well. I remember I liked him at that time, but are not so sure anymore. He needs to show his hand more to know. I really hope there are other better choices.

  • sphala - 2012-10-12 07:33

    Is it already available on the shelves,I need a copy for myself

      Andrea - 2012-10-12 09:36

      It's unfortunately not printed in two ply.

  • beverly.young3 - 2012-10-12 07:40

    Who the hell is gonna read it?

  • khathu.rasi - 2012-10-12 08:07

    Well we dont need qstions, we need answers,There have been too many qstions over the past, we cant keep on asking qstions whereas we dont answer, egText book issues, miners strikes, service delivery

  • sbusiso.dlamini.79 - 2012-10-12 08:19

    Does any politician in sa speaks in full sentences, status quo, what that means. Can't monthlante just say zuma our president has failled the country, he is the worste thing ever happen to sa, just maybe he will get our support, monthlante is himself protecting his organisation at the expense of everyone else

  • Johnny31456 - 2012-10-12 08:22

    A very very feasible alternative to the ANC: The Ubuntu Party! Please visit

  • mzondistanley - 2012-10-12 09:19

    You are Camining Mr Deputy President and can be taken befpre a Court Of Law or Disciplinery hearing!! No justification of issues to be discused at Manqoun!! You oportunistic and hence rocking the Boat!! You are part of Cabinet and top decision making bodies in Government? You are also silent but very Rude!!!!!!!!!!

  • Andrea - 2012-10-12 09:33

    The tombstone should finish with "... because he could not think for himself". What an intellectual giant we have here.

  • graham.craig.148 - 2012-10-12 09:56

    With so many social commentators abound, maybe the real lesson to learn would be spelling? Reading through the comments it is evident the real problem in South Africa is education!

      bradley.liebenberg1 - 2012-10-12 10:29

      Read Themba's comments below .... case in point...!! What a Donkey's arse!

      sihlangu.hokweni - 2012-10-12 11:22

      Judging by the above 2 by @themba.mabona.33

  • tshepo.maganedisa - 2012-10-12 10:04

    My President!

  • themba.mabona.33 - 2012-10-12 10:16

    atleast motlanthe has a yes boss who rites about him. Wait till all blacks has white slaves in their homes.

      sihlangu.hokweni - 2012-10-12 10:19

      Please don't spew bile

  • themba.mabona.33 - 2012-10-12 10:21

    the status quo are the polokwane resolution that king malema has been talking about. Economic freedom. I can't wait for malema to be the president after visiting ZIMBERBWE

  • sihlangu.hokweni - 2012-10-12 10:42

    THE ONLY THING THAT DOESN'T CHANGE IS CHANE ITSELFOnly if he could facilitate tthe timeous delivery of PTSM (Pupil Teacher Support Material).Then the toddlers he's concerned about:will be EQUIPED to read

  • - 2012-10-12 10:48

    The champion Fence sitter has got off it!

  • - 2012-10-12 10:50

    Well he better not get the ANC to manage the delivery of this book. It will never get to the shelves.

  • ignatius.makhura - 2012-10-12 11:00

    Something dat ppl dont understand is that no matter who will be elected as president after the mangaun it doesen't mean he will b better than (mandela,mbeki or zuma) as long as that person will still going to use anc policy i dont c any question is u want motlanthe because he doesen't have many wife's or do u see any change dat he can make

  • ignatius.makhura - 2012-10-12 11:01

    Something dat ppl dont understand is that no matter who will be elected as president after the mangaun it doesen't mean he will b better than (mandela,mbeki or zuma) as long as that person will still going to use anc policy i dont c any question is u want motlanthe because he doesen't have many wife's or do u see any change dat he can make

      sihlangu.hokweni - 2012-10-12 11:18

      I've already commented to that effect.Thanks to the view that it seems easy when u a not yet the Appointed.Once u take the seat u become Hamstrung by policies,funders who want their kickbacks or er er are they paybacks

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-10-12 13:19

    "Others made suggestions and he implemented". That is exactly what I am afraid of.

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