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Highlights from the #EWNDebate

18 February 2015 2:57 PM
EWN hosted a debate this morning, in response to the events that have unfolded after all the events that came out of #SONA2015.

"To reduce democracy to the fact that we have won an election, to me is a very narrow and a poor understanding of democracy. Because a democracy there a certain values that you need to begin to unearth, and one of those values is accountability". - Proudly SA CEO, Leslie Sedibe kicks off the #EWNDebate

This morning EWN hosted the #EWNDebate, the debate was meant to contextualize and discuss the events that unfolded during and since the President's State of the Nation Address last week.

Photo: Wits University Vice Chancellor, Adam Habib and Proudly SA's Leslie Sedibe. Picture: Tim Moolman.

Wits Vice Chancellor, Professor Adam Habib; Proudly SA CEO, Leslie Sedibe; former Cabinet member, Jay Naidoo, Daily Maverick Associate Editor, Ranjeni Munsamy and Political Commentator, Eusebius McKaiser made up the panel that was to debate "Media Freedom and the State of Our Democracy".

The event was video streamed, and we've shared some of the highlights from the event below.

Media Freedom in a democracy:

The debate began with each panelist defining the role of the media in a democracy, and the purpose of the media in a democracy following the jamming of the signal in Parliament last week.

The trick in a democracy is to get a plurality of voices and it is precisely in that plurality that the checks and balances exist.

Professor Adam Habib, Wits University Vice Chancellor

Is President Jacob Zuma a "broken man"?

During the SONA debate yesterday, DA Parliamentary leader, Mmusi Maimane's commented that the President is a "broken man ruling over a broken society". Katopodis asked the panel to weigh in:

I don't think he's broken in that sense, I do think however that he is an incapable leader. And I think incapable leader is a much more accurate description of his abilities in this regard. You asked the question why didn't he take leadership on Thursday night. I don't think he saw it as his role, I think he was complacent.

Professor Adam Habib, Wits University Vice Chancellor

Can the Parliamentary Speaker wear two hats?

Over the weekend, Parliamentary Speaker and ANC Chairperson, Baleka Mbete referred to opposition party leader, Julius Malema and some of his colleagues as "cockroaches".

It was the State of the Nation Address on Thursday and this week the State of the Nation Address Debate, over which she should preside. It was a crucial time. Yes she had a right to speak at the ANC Conference but it was the most inappropriate time for the Speaker to say those things.

Ranjeni Munusamy, Daily Maverick Associate Editor

Full #EWNDebate video :

18 February 2015 2:57 PM