Regime change not a bad thing - prof

2014-12-04 21:27
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The replacement of the ANC by a new ruling party would just be democracy in practice, Professor Barney Pityana said on Thursday.

"Regime change is not a bad thing, and the South African Communist Party and ANC [need to be reminded] that we are in a democracy. It is the nature of a democracy."

Pityana was speaking at a "State of Democracy debate" at the Constitutional Hill in Braamfontein.

"I am convinced political parties don't change because it is nice to change... they change if they perceive a serious threat to their electorate...

"The ANC recognises the likelihood of a political threat... that I think is good for SA and for our democracy," said Pityana.

He said President Jacob Zuma had admitted at a recent ANC youth league event that the party was in trouble, which was a positive development.

"He said the African National Congress was in trouble... The leader of the ANC recognises that the party is in trouble."

Founding member of the Scorpions Dr Ruben Richards, who was also speaking at the debate, said there was a generational gap between young and older South Africans when it came to their views on democracy.

"Having been through the first decade of [our] democracy...when one looks back, one is tempted to feel disheartened," Richards said.

He said the older generation stood on a moral high ground for their role during the struggle for democratic freedom. The youth, who were born after democracy, felt unattached country's historical past.

"There is a huge disconnect."

He said the ruling party needed to reach out to the country's young electorate who were now eligible to vote, to show them how far the country had come.

Pityana also commented on the state of chaos at the National Assembly.

"The ruling party is in a panic and doesn't know how to handle a situation they haven't encountered before.

"It’s not a problem of Parliament but of the ANC. I got a chill down my spine seeing the Speaker sitting there, pointing fingers [and shouting orders]."

He said the Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete needed training on how to conduct herself.

"Conduct begins with the Speaker. The current Speaker doesn't have the dignity of the house that she expects of others."

He said Mbete and her deputy, Lechesa Tsenoli, needed to learn how to speak, manage their emotions and to take a step back from their personal political situations.

"I don't think anyone went to Parliament with the plan to destroy it. They are rebelling to the way it is being led."

Read more on:    anc  |  barney pityana  |  johannesburg  |  parliament 2014  |  politics

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