Opposition parties wants 'anyone but Zuma' to deliver SONA 2018

2018-02-02 19:02
President Jacob Zuma. (AFP)

President Jacob Zuma. (AFP)

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Cape Town – Anyone but Zuma. That is the person who opposition parties want to deliver Thursday's State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Addressing the media on Friday in Johannesburg, a group of leaders from the EFF, IFP, UDM and ACDP said, if President Jacob Zuma delivers the SONA it "will confirm the ANC’s inability, or unwillingness, to do what is right for South Africa".

"The acute refusal of the ANC to remove President Zuma from office is well documented and the governing party’s resistance clearly indicates that it is not committed to the rule of law and the ethics of good governance," reads the combined statement, delivered by UDM leader Bantu Holomisa. 

READ: ‘We’ll block Zuma’s Sona’

DA leader Mmusi Maimane and FF Plus leader Pieter Groenewald could not attend the meeting but, according to Holomisa, the opposition was united "in assuring South Africans that it will continue to energetically fight for the eradication of corruption and capture and for the establishment of the ethics of good governance".

"The ANC's continued foolhardy inability to remove President Zuma clearly indicates that the ANC cannot be trusted and cannot be relied upon to bring about the changes promised by its newly elected leadership," said Holomisa.

"The ANC installed Zuma as President in the full knowledge of the enormous legal and ethical and moral liabilities attaching to him.

"The ANC’s protection of President Zuma has reduced this once proud nation, rich in resources and hope, to a near backwater – downgraded, distrusted, disrespected."

'Anybody but Zuma' 

The leaders agreed to send an official letter to Parliament's presiding officers, National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete and National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise, "expressing [their] concerns in allowing the proposed SONA to go ahead on 8 February 2018".

"We will listen to anybody but Zuma," Holomisa said later while answering questions. 

On Thursday, Mbete and Modise were adamant that the SONA would go ahead as planned.

On Friday, Mbete announced in a statement that the motion of no confidence in Zuma, called for by the EFF, will be debated on February 22, the day after Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba's maiden budget address.

The opposition leaders also expressed their concern about advocate Shaun Abrahams' ongoing tenure as head of the National Prosecuting Authority. 

"We are gravely concerned that the High Court had found the appointment of the head of the NPA, advocate Shaun Abrahams, responsible for reinstating the corruption charges against Zuma invalid, saying that he had demonstrated that he is unfit for high office and that he should vacate his office.

"We are also gravely concerned that Deputy President (Cyril) Ramaphosa, is being thwarted, again by the guiles of Zuma, to appoint a new National Director of Public Prosecutions in answer to a High Court order."

They want Abrahams to recuse himself and have the corruption charges against Zuma reinstated by someone else.

Read more on:    anc  |  udm  |  eff  |  sona  |  jacob zuma

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