Drama in South Africa’s Parliament When President Zuma Addresses Nation
Houses of Parliament, Cape Town
National Assembly, Cape Town, South Africa
The most notorious event of the past week in South Africa was President Zuma’s annual State of the Nation Address (SoNA) on Thursday, February 9th.
In order to prevent a repeat of previous years' violent clashes outside parliament, President Zuma deployed 6,600 police officers and 440 soldiers.
Opposition parties and critics objected to this heavy, intimidating security, and especially to the presence of soldiers.
"The DA will not stand by and allow for the 'people's parliament' to be turned into a security-state show of force, meant to intimidate opposition both inside and outside of the ANC," said the leader of the DA.
"We know for sure that this initiative by Mr Zuma is done to intimidate the media and the EFF,” said the spokesman of the EFF. "He now hopes to use SANDF (SA's military) to suppress opposition to his illegitimacy as a constitutional delinquent!"
"It is only in a state of emergency or a war that you deploy soldiers on civilians," complained opposition party COPE.
These unarmed 'white shirts' are supposed to protect members of parliament against each other -
Dignitaries arrived lavishly dressed for the occasion
While protesters kept the police and soldiers busy, dignitaries made their way down the red carpet.
Ceremonial elegance and splendour
Pomp and ceremony were provided by the National Ceremonial Guard, the SA Military Health Service Band, and the Cape Field Artillery. The latter conducted a 21-round gun salute and salute flight simultaneously.
A song of praise for the president
According to African tradition, a praise singer was selected to praise the president. For SoNA 2017, the honor was bestowed on 11-year-old Given Lubisi. Praise singing is a gift from God, said Given's father, who is a praise singer himself.
However, while the boy praised the president, the EFF opposition party led by Julius Malema, shouted, "Tsotsi, tsotsi, tsotsi, tsotsi...". Translated into English, "Thief, thief, thief..."
Negative comments about the praise singer -
Madi&*#tsha: "... that boy was annoying........Zuma is not King, but President, such things do not have a place in parliament...."
TheRealMidnite: "There's nothing "adorable" about political elites flaunting their obscene egos in South África's face - whether it be with a display of militaristic intimidation or a prattling 12-year old sycophant."
And now for another fiasco in South Africa's Parliament
Of course, South Africans expected to see the umpteenth debacle in Parliament, as the blunt revolutionary left-wing opposition party – the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), as well as the second largest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), and, in fact, all opposition parties, had developed an intense aversion to President Zuma and the leading African National Congress (ANC) party.
1. Since April 2016, President Zuma and his cadres are ignoring a High Court ruling that the dropping of 783 charges of corruption, fraud, and money-laundering against him was ‘irrational’, and that they should be reviewed and set aside. These charges were dropped in April 2009 in order to allow Zuma to be elected as president of South Africa.
2. The State Capture Report that was published by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela in October 2016, relating to allegations that the Gupta family influenced President Zuma in his decisions to remove and appoint ministers and directors of state-owned entities - unethical conduct that caused the rewarding of state contracts and benefits to the Guptas and possible kickbacks to all involved state officials - is still unresolved. Remedial action that was set out in the report - that the President to appoint, within 30 days, a commission of inquiry headed by a judge solely selected by the Chief Justice who shall provide one name to the President - has been ignored by the president until December when the DA filed papers in the Constitutional Court to seek a declaratory order that the president has violated his constitutional obligations in not giving effect to the remedial action. The president then finally approached the High Court to review the remedial action. In his affidavit he states that the action “violates the rule of law that it is inconsistent with the Constitution and breaches the separation of powers principle”.
3. Although President Zuma has paid back the tax-payers’ money he had used for non-security upgrades to his private Nkandla home, the damning judgement of the Constitutional Court - that he failed to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the land - was in fact a confirmation that he is a constitutional delinquent. Opposition parties therefore want the ANC to replace him.
4. Numerous callings for Jacob Zuma to step down are being ignored. Members of the ANC, who are a majority of 62.25%, supported him during seven motions of no confidence since he became president in 2008.
5. The Speaker and Deputy Speaker are both members of the ANC. Their bias rulings in favor of the President and the ANC infuriate members of the opposition parties.
Above reasons and some others seem to be the reason of SA's Parliament's deterioration into something between a circus, a comedy show and a horror.
See for yourself....
Opposition party, COPE.. on a point of order
The DA walks out...
Did you hear that?
Did you hear the members of South Africa's leading party shouting insults at their opposition?
Yip, all that shouting and cussing in the background came from the honorable members of the ANC.
President Zuma enjoys debacles in Parliament. Making a mockery of his opposition's issues seems to be one of his most noteworthy talents.
See and hear him laugh, and get an idea why members of opposition parties don't recognize him as SA's legitimate president.
President Zuma finally addressed the nation
Published on South Africa's Government website is President Zuma's speech. Loaded with promises, it could easily be seen as the end for some and the beginning for others.
The next election will be in 2019.
Opinion of an owfma-sa
An orchestra is as good as his conductor, and a country is as good as his president.
What more can I say?
I am counting my blessings daily while looking forward to the end of post-Apartheid challenges and the beginning of a true democratic South Africa.
After all, I am an owfma-sa (ordinary white female middle-aged South African), and like everyone else, I am harvesting the seed that was sown by previous generations.
Sowing seeds of love and compassion is my daily challenge. I deliberately use the word 'challenge', as the climate in South Africa makes the sowing of 'positive seed' almost impossible.
Fortunately, perseverance will be rewarded.