Ahead of the much-anticipated State of the Nations Address (SONA), the leader of the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL), Bathabile Dlamini says the league will not hesitate to rescue President Zuma from the claws of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), should the Fighters disrupt the event.
Speaking during a prayer service in Phillipi, Cape Town on Wednesday morning, Dlamini urged her fellow comrades not to take the presence of the EFF for granted.
She said she’s certain that this year’s SONA would be peaceful but also encouraged members of the league to be alert and ready to fight off the EFF anytime they fire their darts and arrows at president Jacob Zuma.
“We know what they’re doing, and we actually know it much better. The areas we come from on a daily basis, there were fights there with the enemy,” ANC Women’s League leader said.
Ahead of the SONA, the EFF has continued to send a wait-and-see signal to President Zuma. The EFF’s patience got exhausted on Wednesday morning when President Zuma announced in a letter that he would be deploying over 400 SANDF members to SONA.
That notwithstanding, members of the red block iterated that they will not allow a “delinquent head of state” to address them, neither will they be fazed with the overwhelming number of SANDF members.
The party said:
“As the EFF, we shall never be deterred. No amount of security and intimidation will deter us from holding Zuma accountable in terms of the constitution. We will defend the constitution to the end and with whatever revolutionary means possible.”
The ANC Women’s League leader said this because since the EFF won seats in 2014, members of the Economic Freedom Fighters’ party (EFF) have marred past state of the nation speeches in parliament.
The Fighters had publicly declared Zuma a criminal for abusing state funds and upgrading his Nkandla homestead at the expense of taxpayers.
In 2015, EFF members were removed from the chamber by Parliament VIP security guards, known as “white shirts” for disrupting Zuma’s speech. The story was the same in 2016.
President Zuma’s leadership style has also gained the attention of SA South Africa conveyor, Sipho Pityana, an anti-apartheid activist and an African National Congress member.
In a recent meeting tagged, “the Real State of Address”, Pityana slammed Zuma’s government and urged Parliament speaker Baleka Mbete to refrain from addressing Zuma as “honourable”
“You must know that as a nation we no longer have confidence in you as a president. You have used every opportunity to bring shame to a glorious movement, the African National Congress,” he told Save SA supporters on Wednesday.
BuzzSouthafrica understands that South African Defence Force (SANDF) troops were spotted making their way to Parliament on Thursday morning, in preparation for Zuma’s address at 19:00.
The CBD is said to be heavily invaded by police officers. The Wale Street is not also left out, as police vehicles were seen in the morning transporting barbed wire behind the street.
Cape Town’s Plein Street, which is strategically located in front of Parliament, has also been abuzz with activity. The street has so far witnessed the presence of several high-profile parliamentary employees and security officials since morning.
This is Zuma’s last state of the nation address, as his presidential term is due to end in 2019.
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