Publication: Independent Online Issued: Date: 2003-09-24 Reporter: Sapa

'South Africans Are Too Politically Correct'



Independent Online

Date 2003-09-24



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South Africans are suffering from a political correctness that is endangering their young democracy, United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa said in Bloemfontein on Wednesday.

He was speaking at the Free State University, addressing the first national congress of his party's official affiliates for the youth, students and women.

"There is a mistaken believe being propagated that it is unpatriotic to draw attention to failures within our society," Holomisa said.

Referring to recent bribery allegations against Deputy President Jacob Zuma, Holomisa said the ruling African National Congress responded "by distributing the disease of political correctness.

"They say it is unpatriotic to call for the resignation of the deputy president. They say it will set a wrong precedent. What nonsense!"

Holomisa accused government of undermining statutory institutions like the auditor general, the Scorpions elite detective unit and parliament if they did not toe the party line.

A classic example was the treatment of Bulelani Ngcuka, head of the national prosecuting authority, Holomisa said.

He was referring to the clash between Zuma and Ngcuka since the Scorpions announced that they was investigating Zuma on bribery allegations related to the government's arms deal.

"The ANC, its allies and even the minister in the office of the president (Essop Pahad) have publicly attacked (Ngcuka) and sought to discredit his institution," Holomisa said.

"We have a government that promotes the disease of political correctness, which makes it a sin to differ with them. Hence, people can be labeled traitors, spies, racists or counter-revolutionary in order to silence them."

Political correctness always preceded the stagnation and disintegration of societies, he said.

"This is a disease that thrives when intelligent and committed people submit themselves to self-censorship. It is a disease that our young democracy cannot allow to take hold.

"Wherever tyranny has ruled, it has been with this insidious claim that the status quo must not be questioned," Holomisa said.

When asked whether his party will consider cooperation with another party in next year's elections, he responded that the UDM "will go it alone".

The congress is to continue on Thursday.

With acknowledgements to Sapa and Independent Online.