While we thought we’ve seen it all in the just-concluded SONA, the Democratic Alliance (DA) says we haven’t seen anything yet.
The party has assured South Africans of a fiercer attack on President Jacob Zuma during his remaining SONAs in 2018 and 2019.
President Zuma has indicated he will not be available for a third term. This means he remains the country’s president until 2019 unless the ANC decides otherwise.
Addressing the media on Friday on the DA’s plan to head to the court for another violent SONA, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said Zuma’s remaining SONA will be a nightmare.
He said the blue party will not continue to pamper and tolerate a sitting president who has defied the constitution on a good number of times.
As for National Speaker Baleka Mbete, the DA lambasted her for breaking Parliament and protecting a man who has remained unfazed despite breaking the constitution.
DA’s Maimane emphasized that Mbete erred when she called in the Parliamentary Protection officers to beat up the members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), adding that she didn’t follow the rules.
He explained: “There is a big difference between removing and beating up people. And the ANC are proud of those actions. The rules were completely flouted. She has not capacitated Parliament to remove people in a dignified manner.”
In a separate speech, the secretary-general of the African National Congress (ANC) Gwede Mantashe said National Speaker Baleka Mbete shouldn’t have waited for one hour before pulling in Parliamentary protection officers to push out the EFF members.
Weighing in on the Parliamentary brawl, Mantashe described the disruptions as pathetic and blamed Mbete for being too ‘soft’ on the fighters. He stressed that the reason why most South Africans were interested in the event was to watch Zuma speak and not to watch the EFF mar the event.
However, DA chief whip John Steenhuisen thinks otherwise. Commenting on the sideline of the event – just shortly after the EFF members were bundled out, Steenhuisen described the use of force and the deployment of military and riot police in Parliament as wholly unlawful.
He said: The full-speed removal of the EFF was done with excessive force that was not justifiable. It is unacceptable to be treated in that manner. The Parliamentary precinct has been turned into a police and military state.”
It’s obvious that President Zuma under extreme pressure within the ANC, while the ANC is under extreme pressure from the electorate. The number of ruling party’s followership continues to drop with each passing day, with many crossing over to rival boats.
Even within the party’s camp, top leaders couldn’t agree more that Zuma is the worst president the party has ever produced. But then, what baffles many is that the embattled president still commands the respect and loyal of some party members.
Of course, we all know them – starting from Baleka Mbete – who the EFF alleged was used by Zuma – to the ANC Women’s League and a host of others.
No doubt, for some people, the president still stands tall but do you think that Zuma will win if he runs for a third term?
Talk to us.