Zuma to run gauntlet of restive parliament after bitter Sona debate
Babalo Ndenze | 2017-02-16 07:32:16.0
President Jacob Zuma in parliament.
Image by: ESA ALEXANDER
President Jacob Zuma will address a joint sitting of parliament today to reply to the rowdy and bad-tempered debate on his State of the Nation Address.
Yesterday‚ MPs from both houses met for a second day to debate Zuma’s speech‚ with some calling for the disbandment of parliament and for fresh elections to be held.
The first day was boycotted by Cope and the EFF‚ but Cope MPs made a surprise return during Wednesday’s debate. Cope MP Deidre Carter called for the disbandment of parliament.
She said Zuma was a president at “war with his own country” and at war with the constitution and the rule of law.
“He is at war with members of his own cabinet. He is ultimately at war with us‚ the citizens of South Africa. It is time to hold fresh elections to elect honourable men and women to put its people first and not its party‚” said Carter. The DA’s Solly Malatsi called Zuma a “false prophet” who preached the “gospel of deception” when he took to the podium last week.
“Mr Zuma is the modern-day false prophet Hananiah who we were warned about in the Book of Jeremiah. Every year he comes to this podium with a new scripture of false promises that he never fulfils. And just like the false prophet Hananiah who lied to the people of Judah that he was sent by the Lord to conquer King Nebuchadnezzar‚ he is the master of deceit‚” said Malatsi.
Many South Africans were squatters on the land of their ancestors and did not have title deeds to affirm ownership of the properties they lived in‚ Malatsi said.
Freedom Front Plus MP Pieter Groenewald said it was Zuma who had lost his “moral compass”‚ a reference to Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe’s speech on Tuesday.
Groenewald said Zuma blamed whites for his government’s shortcomings.
“You are the person who is supposed to set an example. You are the root cause of what we are having in South Africa. Every time there’s something wrong you blame the white people. You must say where you stand with the white people of South Africa‚” said Groenewald.
He said 11 people had been murdered on farms this month alone. “I say it’s a shame‚” said Groenewald. Small Business Minister Lindiwe Zulu came to Zuma’s defence‚ telling DA MPs that “there is a limit to how far you can push us” to loud jeers from the opposition‚ which accused her of threatening them.
Zulu admonished DA MP Natasha Mazzone for here attire‚ saying she should “dress properly” before attending the joint sitting.