Opinionista Njabulo S. Ndebele 22 February 2018

EFF hypocrisy on full view through their heckling of Lekota during SONA debate

Mosiuoa Lekota’s contribution to the debate in Parliament was far from irrational. It deserved to be listened to and reflected on.

I was appalled by the manner in which COPE’s Mosiuoa Lekota was treated in Parliament this week. There are two points I want to make in this regard.

The first: Lekota’s contribution to the debate in Parliament was far from irrational. It deserved to be listened to and reflected on. I understood the essence of his message to be a fundamental critique of what had come across from Julius Malema as an unreasonable proposition: anyone against the principle of expropriation without compensation “is an enemy of the people”. This proposition does not make sense.

In reality, “the people” are not an undifferentiated mass making a single, simple demand. Within “the people” is a universe of very diverse histories and interests. This is a fundamental fact of the composition of the South African population. It is a useful starting point for any political, economic, social, and cultural conversation designed to lead to constitutional and policy outcomes.

Lekota’s point was that any serious conversation on the land issue has to engage with and navigate through the terrain of multiple, diverse interests and histories in the South African population. You arrive at rigorous generalisation from having learnt more from the unavoidable reality of specific experiences.

The second point concerns the howling down of Lekota initiated by the EFF. This after Malema had sensibly urged what would be an important attribute of the leadership of President Ramaphosa: to listen to even those he did not agree with.

But when it came to listening to Lekota, the EFF would not listen, but howl. Their leader, Malema, who had just spoken about the importance of listening, did nothing to call to order the members of his own party. Either they defied their leader, or his statement earlier had been an act of hypocrisy.

It will be sad that in the post-Zuma phase the EFF and other political parties in Parliament did not reflect on the behavioural requirements of a new phase in the business of Parliament. DM

Gallery

Are You A South AfriCAN or a South AfriCAN'T?

Maverick Insider is more than a reader revenue scheme. While not quite a "state of mind", it is a mindset: it's about believing that independent journalism makes a genuine difference to our country and it's about having the will to support that endeavour.

From the #GuptaLeaks into State Capture to the Scorpio exposés into SARS, Daily Maverick investigations have made an enormous impact on South Africa and it's political landscape. As we enter an election year, our mission to Defend Truth has never been more important. A free press is one of the essential lines of defence against election fraud; without it, national polls can turn very nasty, very quickly as we have seen recently in the Congo.

If you would like a practical, tangible way to make a difference in South Africa consider signing up to become a Maverick Insider. You choose how much to contribute and how often (monthly or annually) and in exchange, you will receive a host of awesome benefits. The greatest benefit of all (besides inner peace)? Making a real difference to a country that needs your support.


NEWSFLASH

Bosasa goes under as banks ditch company linked to State Capture

By Rebecca Davis

Green screens are green because the colour does not match any natural skin tone of an actor.