SONA represents irreconcilable divisions: SACC
Ernest Mabuza | 2017-02-10 09:18:05.0
Thursday evening’s chaotic state of the nation address in Parliament has come to represent the unfortunate nation of irreconcilable divisions‚ feelings and the politics of disdain.
This is the view of the South African Council of Churches‚ which also said South Africa and the rest of the continent have now become accustomed to the annual February tragicomical theatre of the country’s Parliament.
The speech by President Jacob Zuma was delayed for over an hour as MPs hurled insults at one another before the Economic Freedom Fighters MPs were forcibly removed from Parliament.
The council said the drama had also come to represent insults and concomitant violent engagement by security forces‚ the chemical assault on the public gallery and the treatment of journalists outside the chamber‚ all bordering seriously on the margins of constitutionalism.
“The spectre of police in riot gear in the hallowed precincts of Parliament was a regrettable sight.”
It said that although it appreciated the need to make differences of opinions known‚ the degeneration of the house to a brawl was a shame.
“The capacity to engage soberly and in earnest on differing views‚ of taking responsibility for mistakes and creating the environment for amends‚ and for healthy self-criticism is the core challenge of leadership and society in general in our country at all levels.”
The council said all needed to take responsibility to respect themselves as individuals‚ to respect the institutions they represent and to respect the citizenry whose fate depends on a functional state system across the board.
– TMG Digital