Senior ANC figure Tokyo Sexwale was not perturbed on Thursday about reports that he was jeered at the party's policy conference in Midrand.
“As a leader there are times when you are cheered and times when you are jeered,” the ANC national executive committee member said.
“The ANC is a very beautiful organisation, where it can even have a very nondescript person standing up to say 'point of order', and when they say that, there is no leader above any point of order,” Sexwale said.
“Do you know how many points of order have been in all the branches of the ANC coming here? You know how many points of order there were just at the meeting of the national executive committee?”
He was reportedly jeered when he warned delegates at the opening of the conference on Tuesday not to sing derogatory songs, or songs in support of leaders.
“It's a very minor thing,” Sexwale said.
He said it was the essence of a true democracy and was glad it was demonstrated in public.
“The essence of democracy is about when somebody stood up in Durban and said to Nelson Mandela 'point of order' when Madiba was saying 14-year-olds should vote. We said 16,” said Sexwale.
“No leader is above the point of order and this is how people are not seeing it.”
He said “points of order” were people saying something should not be discussed at that time.
“An interjection during a meeting by a member, who does not have the floor, to call the attention of the chair to an alleged violation or breach of the assembly's or meeting's rules of order.”
“Point of order belongs to people who've got no power... So it's the most welcome thing,” Sexwale said. This was how people should see it.
“It's not Tokyo (who) is being jeered, so what is going to happen? This is the incorrect way of seeing this thing. I'm glad it played itself (out) in front of people.”
Sexwale said it showed he had not “paid anybody” to stand up and sing for him.
“Now you've seen real, pure, honest democracy. Today you get cheered, another day you get jeered at.” – Sapa