A disgraceful SONA, the worst ever – Save SA

2017-02-10 17:29
People speaking at Save South Africa's 'real State of the Nation Address' say citizens are fed up with the state of the country under the current administration. (Paul Herman, News24, file)

People speaking at Save South Africa's 'real State of the Nation Address' say citizens are fed up with the state of the country under the current administration. (Paul Herman, News24, file)

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WATCH: After SONA fracas, Zuma plays golf

2017-02-10 15:09

President Zuma, as part of the SONA activities, took part in the Presidential Golf Challenge on Friday. The aim of the event was to raise funds for a CSI initiative by Zuma, with this year's contributions to be made to the Jacob Zuma Education Trust. Watch.WATCH

Durban - The 2017 State of the Nation Address was disgraceful - the worst ever - and delivered by the worst head of state in the country’s democracy, Save South Africa said on Friday.

"At a time when South Africans are crying out for political leadership, our people were subjected to a lacklustre president outlining a meaningless set of new, typically undefined, promises of what he calls 'radical' socio-economic change," the organisation said.

President Jacob Zuma’s address followed an "unprecedented show of force and aggression".

Thursday’s speech in the National Assembly was delayed by more than an hour due to points of order and interjections, most of them from the EFF benches. The party’s MPs were violently removed from the House. The DA walked out shortly afterward.

Save SA said the country needed a president who could articulate concrete measures to address high levels of inequality and the lack of progress in developing an inclusive economy, and do so urgently.

As it happened: Another dramatic #SONA as chaos erupts inside and outside Parliament

'Crisis in Parliament'

Zuma’s previous attempts to do so had culminated in state capture.

"Consequently his new wish list must be treated with the scepticism that it will once again be a vehicle to benefit his cronies. State resources amounting to R1.4 trillion are at stake."

Zuma had failed to assure the nation that he was concerned about corruption or taking steps to deal with it.

Even though Zuma had concerns about former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s recommendations in her State of Capture report, he could still have made a commitment to get to the bottom of the questions it raised, the organisation said.

"His failure to acknowledge issues raised by the Public Protector meant he was unable to deal with concerns raised by opposition MPs about his legitimacy. Instead, he contributed to the crisis in Parliament."

The organisation criticised National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and NCOP chairperson Thandi Modise for declining the DA’s request for a moment of silence to honour the 94 Health Esidimeni patients who died after being transferred to unlicensed NGOs.

'Tired, empty speech'

It would have been the right thing to do, as ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe had pointed out.

When Zuma eventually took to the podium after the EFF MPs were thrown out, he did his trade-mark giggle. This was confirmation of Save SA’s assertion that he was cold, emotionless, and cruel.

"It was business as usual: A tired, empty speech that typified his lame-duck presidency."

The country deserved a better president, one who would provide solutions to its problems. Intensified and united civil society action was essential to fast-track Zuma’s departure.

"This man must go, before he causes even further damage.”

The organisation called on people to add their voices to the call to remove Zuma by demonstrating and signing the People’s Motion of No Confidence.

Read more on:    save sa  |  jacob zuma  |  politics  |  sona 2017

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