Not freedom to insult, Nzimande says

2012-05-24 22:33

Johannesburg - Freedom of speech is not the same as freedom to insult, SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande said on Thursday.

"There is a big difference between freedom of speech and freedom to insult," he told a National Union of Mineworkers' congress in Ekurhuleni, in reference to a painting depicting President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed.

"It is not you who are insulting us who must tell us how we must feel, but it is us who know how we feel. We have been insulted, our dignity has been assaulted and violated, and we have been made to feel naked," Nzimande said.

The portrait indicated that some South Africans had not accepted the building of a socially cohesive, non-racial country.

"We must... make it absolutely clear that the body of the president is not for sale."

Nzimande called for a boycott of City Press newspaper, which published the picture on its website.

"We must from now onwards not buy this newspaper... until it withdraws this portrait from its pages and website and issues an apology to the nation."

Calling the portrait "deeply offensive", Nzimande said it was one of the most serious violations of the black body in recent times.

It was part of a tradition of racist thinking in South Africa.

"This portrait is the same as what was done to Sarah Baartman," he said, referring to the Khoisan woman who was displayed as a freak in 19th-century Europe.

Nzimande also spoke out against corruption and self-enrichment in the revolutionary movement, calling it the "new tendency".

This trend was found not only in the ANC, but across all revolutionary organisations, including trade unions.

"It is wrong to think that the only place where leaders can be corrupted or co-opted is in the ANC or government," he said.

Leadership positions were used to access either union funds and business, or to enter into business generally.

Employers even paid individuals within the NUM to turn it into a "sweetheart" union, he said.

"Those who seek to buy members in our organisations, will tomorrow also sell our organisations and ultimately our country to the highest imperialist bidder."

Capitalism crisis

Global capitalism was facing one of its most severe crises since the 1929 depression, he said.

It had no strategy to resolve its own crises, but punished workers and the middle class with austerity measures, and cut back social services.

This crisis was reinforcing socio-economic challenges in South Africa, including poverty, inequality and structural unemployment.

However, important policy breakthroughs had been made since the ANC's Polokwane conference.

These included the development of an overarching industrial policy, a more active role for the state in economic development and a commitment to a more radical redistribution of land.

The SACP supported moves for the creation of a state-owned mining company and a proposed mining rents regime, which would include a windfall tax.

It was also in favour of companies winning major infrastructure projects not using labour brokers, but training their workers.

Health and education were also prioritised.

The SACP was calling for the increased socialisation of the finance sector. Workers should have an effective say over the investments of their pension and provident funds.

The public works department and municipalities should have the capacity to construct social infrastructure, limiting tenders, he said.

  • tobydt - 2012-05-24 22:48

    "We must... make it absolutely clear that the body of the president is not for sale." Somebody forgot to tell the Guptas.

      Werner - 2012-05-25 06:52

      What about things like "tee lady" "cockroach" and every other insult that the youth league throws at the DA?

      carpejugulim - 2012-05-25 07:53

      When the prez actually does something to warrant respect then I may choose to respect him. There seems to be vast double standards when it comes to the insulted and the insultees ... while it is ok for one party to hurl insults at another it is certainly not ok for them to be insulted themselves. "Calling the portrait "deeply offensive", Nzimande said it was one of the most serious violations of the black body in recent times." How can that be when, by choice, genitals are displayed whilst urinating on the side of a public road and by choice, breasts are displayed at the annual Reed Dance? Or is this again being very selective?

      Martin - 2012-05-25 08:13

      the day walker must shut up, we do not recognise communists in sa. go sort the education out as promised

      eric.vanvuuren - 2012-05-25 09:43

      That’s really funny. I mean, as anc, in say the last 5 years, there has been little but freedom to insult for anyone with an anc or cosato t-shirt. Sore losers much???

      sabongam - 2012-05-25 10:28

      @carpejugulim - agreed, respect is a two-way street...But for you to compare the Reed Dance and people urinating in the street is highly offensive to black people...Maybe you just don't give a rat's a** about that...Firstly, and I'm assuming here, which means I could be wrong, what do you know about the Reed Dance and the cultural aspects surrounding it? Do you know the reason behind it? By the way it's not for pornographic purposes as you probably percieve it to be...Get educated before making ignorant comments because that will show your shallow capacity of reasoning if you do reason at all that is...But from the look of things it doesn't seem like you are level-headed in your way of reasoning...Secondly, a person urinating and exposing his/her genitals in the street is not a cultural thing...If you see a black male pissing in the street that doesn't mean it's a habit of all black men...It's merely a choice, manners and how you respect yourself and others...And yes, I would say this is selective on your part...By the way a lot of people have been going on and on about this issue(The Spear) but let me ask, what is it that is being shown in this "controversial" portrait? His genitals. In other words his private parts - PRIVATE being the operative word...How would you feel if an artist drew a potrait of your own mother with her vagina exposed? As wrong, corrupt and with sin as Zuma may be, he is also a father...How do you think his kids feel, the illegitimate ones included?

      eric.vanvuuren - 2012-05-25 11:39

      @sabongam - Well done so there are decent black folks around, south of the Zambezi. Reason, it’s not often that people on this forum uses reason. But willingness to reason can only grow and fruit where there is no form of prejudice. Yes there is actually white people too, who are amended on a daily basses by this thing i.e. threats of genocide, how you are made cheep because of what you are even though as a person, an individual you have no reasonable guilt to speak of. So yes, we are hurt and yes many are hateful, and most don't trust a black person at all. You guys are being portrait in such a negative, and then the majority actually openly supports the racist views of this government. While we are on the topic of his (zuma) children, what kind of legacy do you think he is leaving for his kids? African history needs a new chapter. This government model is the same as all over Africa. If we (Me & You) just blindly go along for our own selfish reasons then there is no point. I travelled in Africa and some similarities are all too evident. There should be no colour distinction, no religious distinction and no capitalism, i.e. No traitorous politicians who open us to the vultures of the world who can safely hide behind far flung boarders. And so I can go on and on...

  • Tsotsi-Baby - 2012-05-24 22:50

    True that comrade.Whats freedom with no responsibility and respect? #Power to the people

      maarten.slabbert.7 - 2012-05-24 23:07

      Not often I agree with you. With greater freedom comes greater responsability.

      Marius - 2012-05-25 07:36

      You absolute chops. There is no middle ground between freedom of expression in a secular, democratic state, and a totalitarian state where freedom of expression, freedom of association, and even freedom of conscience is prohibited. The "freedom to insult" must be the most absurd non-sequitor I have ever heard of. Being insulted is a completely relative concept. I feel insulted by your comments here, so by your (and Blade's) reasoning, you should not be allowed to make your comments, and your right to do so should be removed from the constitution and upheld by the judiciary. North Korea anyone? As I have said before, politics is far to important to be left to politicians, especially chops like Blade.

      mariuskowie - 2012-05-25 08:13

      Zuma spear = insult. Helen topless = joke. Being insulted is truly relative to how the "insulted" party acts. The current spear hysterics did more to insulting Zuma than the painting itself. What punishment are the politicians going to issue for self insult?

  • authorized - 2012-05-24 22:51

    The body of the president isn't for sale, its free to any of his wives. As for the corruption claims. So corruption is justified because it happens globally?

  • Crracker - 2012-05-24 22:53

    Freedom of expression actually includes the freedom (and right) to insult. Suddenly we hear the lovey-dovey sentiments. Rubbish man. We, the rest of this country, are not fools. So don't come with bullocks. The SACP, Cosatu and the ANC (and the ANCYL) habitually insult others. So don't talk K.K Nzimande. You are a hypocrite but it is understandable. You are trying to stay in your political comfort zone.

      Crracker - 2012-05-24 23:07

      If the people in the Soviet Union were allowed to insult Joseph Stalin (the rubbish which was produced by the mad communist doctrines and party politics) there may have been a hell of a lot less mass murders in that country. But they were'nt allowed that freedom. They were made slaves of silence and passive respect. Just as the SACP by mouth of their current leader here is trying to foster the same culture. We do not need the same situation to develope in this country. On the one hand Cosatu and the SACP preach the removal of the Swazi regal. Insult him in the process because it suits their communist leanings. But here in South Africa they preach a doctrine of respect. Hypocrites.

      maarten.slabbert.7 - 2012-05-24 23:12

      Actually, there is NOTHING that gives you any "right" to insult anybody. Other than your own arrogance.

      Crracker - 2012-05-24 23:22

      Actually Maarten you do not seem to grasp what the issues are.

      maarten.slabbert.7 - 2012-05-24 23:24

      @Crracker, now you are just showing your ignorism. Stalin had nothing what so ever to do with the founding of communism. The name you where looking for was Karl Marx.

      maarten.slabbert.7 - 2012-05-24 23:31

      No son, YOU do not seem to grasp what the issues are. This "art" is demeaning and hurtfull to a large number of people. There is absolutely no justification for that. Read the comments here. Nobody who defends this so called art defends it on the basis of it being art. Rather you get inane comments on people having the right to insult. Why dont you just google the right to freedom of speech.

      Crracker - 2012-05-24 23:32

      @ Maarten, Can you read? Where did I say anythging about the origins of communism? Anyway, I have a reasnably well-grounded knowledge of history and etc.... I will not enter into a discussion with a fool. You have shown yourself with your comments to be one. Call me arrogant but sometimes I think I have reason to think my non-flattery opinion of some here are absolutely justified.

      maarten.slabbert.7 - 2012-05-24 23:40

      Well grounded knowledge of communism? Obviously not. Nor of good manners it seems. Nobody can blame you for having an opinion. Even when it is ill founded, ill informed or just plain wrong. Again I will point out to you the glaring fault in your reasoning. Having an opinion does NOT give you the right to to infringe on the rights of others. Or do I have to teach you semantics as well as politics? If I am using big too "big" words for you, don't worry. JFGI

      Crracker - 2012-05-24 23:44

      @ maarten... You should re-read the article and the comments. I think I have a fair grasp of the issues. I don't think you have. Get off your little high horse.

      maarten.slabbert.7 - 2012-05-25 00:01

      I will leave you with two trueisms: Mankind is divided into rich and poor, into property owners and exploited; and to abstract oneself from this fundamental division, and from the antagonism between poor and rich, means abstracting oneself from fundamental facts. And, The confidence of the people in the worker-directors of the economy is a great thing, Comrades. The leaders come and go, but the people remain. Only the people are immortal, everything else is ephemeral. That is why it is necessary to appreciate the full value of the confidence of the people. Yes, that was from the lips of Joseph Stalin whom you are so quick to deride. But probably most applicable to this conversation..... I know that the gentlemen in the enemy camp may think of me however they like. I consider it beneath me to try to change the minds of these gentlemen.

      James - 2012-05-25 00:38

      Well actually Marxism has it's origins out of the Holy Talmud.

      Marius - 2012-05-25 06:20

      Actually this discussion you are having here, according to Blade, should be illegal and your right to have it should be removed from the constitution Now isnt that ironic?

      maarten.slabbert.7 - 2012-05-25 06:41

      @Micheal, You assign rights to art. Rights that artists have been claiming for centuries. Let me ask you this. How does art contribute to society? Can you eat art? Can you feed it to a hungry child? Is that a warm fuzzy feeling in his tummy, or is it hunger pains that keeps him awake at night? Art HAS no rights. Especially not to infringe on the RIGHT to dignity. That is called Liable. As to Mr. David Davis, why not go find out who he really is, and what he stands for before quoting him. But then, as young Crracker said... i am just a fool. So I point you to my last trueism. And as to opinions on the conduct of other cultures and their customs. Judge a person by the standard of His/Her own culture. Not that of your own narrow minded views. Because you have just proven Mr. Stalin right about education being a weapon. And then, let me ask you this. how seriously do I take a person who cannot even read well enough to spell my name correctly? Note, I return the favour.

      Christopher - 2012-05-25 09:26

      Haha...Marten 0 the rest of the world 6 000 000 000. Get a life Marten. Even in the 15th Century They had a better grasp on art and the freedom of expression than you do in the 20th Century!

  • swmabotja - 2012-05-24 22:54

    When you take up the Yoke of being the "Head" of a Democratic state, you're implying that you will lead according the population's will. You are there because of the people and not because of who you are. So in that sense, you're opening your self up to scrutiny, to harsh criticism by these people you lead, be it vocally, artistically or otherwise, they will make their voice be heard. And as the leader of a Democratic state you have no right to shut them up, for that would be hypocrisy, not democracy.

      James - 2012-05-25 00:42

      HEY Kagiso not all public figures should be humiliated. Just the ones that act like savages. Respect and class and dignity does not fall from the sky.

      Bless Boswell - 2012-05-25 07:12

      Kagiso: go and look at Mail & Guardians website, under the Zapiro tab. There you will see some examples of satire aimed at many individuals. Black, white and every colour I between. To the best of my knowledge the "victims" of that satire have accepted it and move on with their lives. It is not an attack to bring someone down, but a depiction of how the people see the individual concerned. Zuma has dealt with this very poorly. He should rather just have ignored it and moved on. That inaction would have scored him many more points. Public figures must expect ridicule - it is the nature of the beast.

      Shirley - 2012-05-25 13:02

      I couldn't agree with you more. Well put.

  • Vince.York - 2012-05-24 23:05

    Another rough and very 'blunt spear' appears as the swarm of troll trogladytes ponderously emerge from counting their ill begotten gains to protect the mother of all maggots. NO ONE WOULD THINK OF BUYING THAT BODY.

  • Pieter - 2012-05-24 23:10

    "Calling the portrait "deeply offensive", Nzimande said it was one of the most serious violations of the black body in recent times." You mean a yellow body? ..or am I colorblind?

  • Slick - 2012-05-24 23:11

    Oh Blade why don't you shut the HELL up, U are NOTHING! You are a bigger AIR head than JuJu ever was and now that he's gone you trying to jump on his band wagon. So typical of a communist. U Fail!! Go suck up to your leader Putin n Stalin and the rest of the communist bigots! Communism ended a long time ago dude...DEAL WITH IT!

  • Pieter - 2012-05-24 23:18

    Oh, I think I now understand it. You wanted it to be black, so that is why you used the black paint? Yellow was not good enough?

  • EricksonTL - 2012-05-24 23:42

    Ahem... dubul ibhunu? Pot, I'd like you to meet kettle. Except in this case, ONE person got their feelings hurt. In the other, millions of people were threatened...

  • Marc De Jager - 2012-05-24 23:55

    Please be sure not to use twitter, Facebook or the Internet for that matter as that picture has gone completely viral. Where would you like to stop Blade? Presidents body is not for sale? Thank GOD for small mercies!

  • Blip - 2012-05-25 01:32

    Wrong, Blade. Freedom isn't real freedom unless it includes the freedom to insult and to offend.

      Martin - 2012-05-25 08:18

      yeah its like comparative advertising, we need it, feelings are the owners responsibility, they have the issue and they need to deal with it on a personal level....there are no different levels of freedom

  • Tony Lapson - 2012-05-25 02:16

    Freedom of **expression**.

  • Jerry - 2012-05-25 02:53

    But you are insulting us by your comments Blade

  • Marius Bloemhof - 2012-05-25 05:56

    Of course yes, our freedoms can only apply up until the point you want them to Animal farm, anyone? Well at least we know he is a communist....

  • sibusiso.s.ndaba - 2012-05-25 06:13

    Ok nice speech now tell why every tym some thing is done to an ANC member u r fast in sayin' you r racist!?

  • Kevin - 2012-05-25 06:23

    Comrade Blade you and kin - the countries leadership bear the responsibility of what our society has become and reaps today - our society has no respect for life, for duty,for decent values - so much energy and resources spent on a painting this shows us where your focus is ....!

  • Michael Kleber - 2012-05-25 06:24

    when you enter politics you must have no skeletons in the closet because they will come out no matter what , to be a leader you have to be someone that people can look up to , be honest with good morals then you will be respected

  • Herbert - 2012-05-25 06:35

    Ignore the Zuma stuff. Notice what he says about the global economic crisis. Communism is not the answer. "Communism's downfall was in its failure to find the unselfish man" -Nikita Kruschev

  • Rendani - 2012-05-25 06:53

    Mr Nzimande he don't know what he's talking about he just talk because he had a mouth

  • Makotofa - 2012-05-25 07:28

    Go get a facial wenaaa Blade!

  • Graham - 2012-05-25 07:29

    Blade. When malema insulted all whites zooma sat on stage with his single digit iq smile. He was condoning and agreeing with the fat boys comments. Amazing how he bleats when he is on the receiving end. Behavior befitting his iq?

  • Mark - 2012-05-25 07:45

    Just as a mandate to govern is not the same as a license to loot. Blade you should stick to something you understand. Don't know what that is because it sure as hell ain't education but I'm sure you must be capable of something more than just opening you mouth and letting the words dribble out.

  • Ansie Van Der Gryp - 2012-05-25 07:51

    oh my !!! but we can just take the pipi out and pee where ever we want, there is no shame in that, what a culture,oh me oh my !!!!

  • thandazab - 2012-05-25 08:16

    Yo as an outsider looking in if City Press really wants to sell its papers they should maybe stop reading da News24 comments from the white side (who don't buy da paper anyway) n really take their black customers seriously! Mayb its time for humble pie now. I understand that in business u have to think about the bottom line (PROFIT). CP u have made your statement n nw da pic is all over the web anyway so takin it down now won't change anything. Jus remove da damn thing. From what I see u have already lost half of the black customers. I wish that I did buy yo paper but sadly I don't coz I would of still bought it regardless of what who says. You know how influential da ANC n Zuma is especially in KZN. White ppl r not going to buy all the copies on the stands. Jus sit down and really think about what's good for the paper. U can publish other controversial pieces later now its time for damage control. Personally I don't feel that u did anything wrong but oh well...

      Michael - 2012-05-25 09:12

      Shame Thanda,everyday's a strugle hey!!Ama Victim,grow up.

      Loo - 2012-05-25 09:52

      Ok so what you saying is ... QUOTE : "Personally I don't feel that u did anything wrong but oh well..." THAT is exactly the problem in SA. Even if your'e not in the wrong you must eat humble pie ???? NO DUDE .. spine is called for here, and you dude ,, are a hypocrite

  • Craig - 2012-05-25 08:26

    Did Murray actually claim that the painting was of Zuma?

  • Grant - 2012-05-25 08:55

    I must ask whether we are not elevating mediocre art just because it touches a sensitive nerve. The crude phallic spear image is barely intelligent. I have seen more wit and insight in a Zapiro cartoon, in News24 reader commentaries, in Marvel comic books and on the walls of toilet cubicles.

  • Roy - 2012-05-25 09:28

    Perhaps if the piece was displayed on the wall in a Mcdonalds it would have been more appropriate - I think the ANC is upset cos they weren't able to pay for it via their government issue credit card and disguise it as a business lunch!!

  • Loo - 2012-05-25 09:55

    BLADE . .when you open your mouth someone usually get insulted... WHAT the hell is wrong with you lot ?? Don't you have a memory ,,, GO READ records of your public utterances for a change .. LOL .. Damn ... Politicians are really really DOM, Seriously

  • eyesears.handsfeet - 2012-05-25 10:19

    nzimande, I would not talk too much if I were you. Calling for a boycott versus the mess that the Department of Higher Education (which is filtering to other departments) are in, speaks for itself. This is the freedom of OPINION!

  • Andricca - 2012-05-25 10:52

    I remember when he was marrying his 6th wife some weeks ago – he warned her that now that other wives didn’t block her to married by him, she will also be expected not to do the same – stupidly implying that he is still set to marry more. So you tell me, does ANC really believe the Country deserve to be led by such a man – Zuma is just a liability to our beautiful country – nobody want to respect him locally and internationally – he must face it – can malema ensure that we get rid of Zuma

  • Ernest - 2012-05-26 02:44

    the only insult is corruption, poore service delivery,nepotism, cadre deployment,denialism.etc

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