Hon Speaker, the unfortunate remarks made by President Zuma last week show a fundamental flaw in his understanding of what democracy is. In trying to answer the question on union membership posed in this House, the President showed his true colours by stating that smaller unions have fewer rights because they are a minority. This for him means that people represented by minority parties in this Parliament have fewer rights than those represented by the ANC. The obvious but sad implication of this is that you either join the ANC and have more rights or you join the minority parties and have no rights, because democracy means that the only people who count are those that are represented by the ANC.
The President should desist from uttering controversial and ill-informed definitions of democracy because democracy is more than just numbers. The narrow-minded definition he gave last week works to further the narrow- minded interests of those he was speaking of.
The Presidency then released a statement over the weekend, saying that the President's remarks were misconstrued. But for goodness' sake, these words were spoken in this House and they were self-explanatory! The President seems to have brought Animal Farm's famous quote to life and to rephrase it in our context: All political parties are equal, but some are more equal than others. To the President, I say, basic Politics 101, that is not democracy. I thank you.