Fikile Mbalula is not Mr Razzmatazz for nothing – ANC to bring out their numbers at SONA

By Drum Digital
09 February 2017

Minister Fikile Mbalula is expected to bring numbers at today's ANC rally during the SONA

Talk of the town is the ANC’s planned rally now being called The People’s Assembly during President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address in Parliament today.

Fikile Mbalula, Minister of Sport and Recreation and Head of Organising and Campaigns at the ANC, is the brains behind the rally and experts say his celebrity status is being used to draw the attention of South Africans.

“He’s not called the Minister of Razzmatazz and Inja Ye Game for nothing, the ANC is using him for political marketing and they want to prove they have a greater share of the political market in the country,” says political analyst Aubrey Matshiqi

Opposition parties have had their fair share of criticism about the rally with DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen saying the ANC’s decision to host a rally is a sign that they are “running scared”.

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) Chief Whip Narend Singh, tells DRUM the EFF will also host a crowd of supporters outside Parliament during the Sona in an attempt to deviate attention from the ANC.

“These political parties are exercising their rights to mobilise support and active citizenry is always promoted, but we hope they will be able to control their crowds and make sure supporters behave.”

South Africans will be looking forward to what’s happening outside Parliament tonight just as much as they anticipate what will be happening inside the National Assembly during President Zuma’s speech.

“Last year the EFF caused chaos, while the DA and Cope staged a walk out. This year the ANC does not want to show that it suffers from alienation,” says Matshiqi.

The People’s Assembly will gather the Grand Parade not far from Parliament on Cape Town’s CBD, a sight of historical significance as it is where Nelson Mandela stood and gave a speech after he was released from prison.

“It’s a smart move by the ANC because they want to show that the ANC still stands for what Mandela stood for but the problem is many can see that there is a gap between what the ANC was under Mandela and what it is today,” he adds.

Matshiqi says there is a great significance when parties such as the DA stage walkouts inside the chambers because they want to prove like they did during the local elections last year that the ANC is failing to govern in the minds of South Africans.

Singh says the IFP is not interested in dramatic antics during the Sona because, unfortunately, Zuma is the president elected under the Constitution and if people are not happy about it, they must use the Constitution to remove him

“Until such a time as that happens, he will remain president until his term finishes and he will deliver his speech. We just have to accept it,” he says.

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