Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Voices of the SANC: Smuts Ngonyama

Smuts Ngonyama, former ANC spokesperson, chats briefly to David Ansara at the SA National Convention.

DA: Smuts Ngonyama, can I get a comment from you about today’s events? Encouraging? Disappointing? Where to from now?

SN: This event was quite exciting; informative, quite sobering I must say. It was sobering in the sense that… I mean I grew up in the ANC myself, I never thought that another formation would be able to pull a big gathering of this kind.

DA: Do you think it’s going to be able to sustain the momentum that it’s built up over the last couple of weeks?

SN: Definitely. It’s very clear that here we are going to see something that is going to roll for some time.

DA: What kind of policy proposals or trajectory do you think the new movement’s going to take?

SN: Already they have emphasized the question of rural development which is quite exciting. And the question of poverty, which means - contrary to what has been said – it is not an elitist thing. This formation is worried about what is happening on the ground with regards to poverty, the inequalities of our country and all that. But at the same time the unity and the values of our country; the unity of our society and across racial lines.

DA: Very important thing as well: constitutional principles.

SN: Absolutely.

DA: That was emphasized a lot, but how is that going to be defended? How is the autonomy of the courts, the judiciary [going to be upheld]?

SN: Very important, very important…

DA: Okay, thank you Mr. Ngonyama.

SN: Thank you very much.


Photo by Jared Jeffrey


  1. I was hoping Mr Ngonyama would commit himself more to DA's final question. Was he unsure of the answer, or reluctant to commit it to the Dictaphone? Or did he simply have somewhere else to be?

  2. Smuts was a little reluctant to elaborate wasn't he? I think uncertainty or he was just at a loss for words. Hence the prefix 'former-' in front of spokesperson. ;)

    But I think for all the rah-rah-defend-the-constitution stuff, nobody has actually articulated how this is to be done and I thought it worth asking what the plan is.

    P.S. When Murray says DA he means David Ansara - not that other party!