'Zuma is one big fake news site' - Pityana

Sipho Pityana (Paul Herman, News24)
Sipho Pityana (Paul Herman, News24)

Cape Town - Save SA convener Sipho Pityana says South Africans should expect more empty promises from President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation Address next week.

Pityana told guests at the Cape Town Press Club on Thursday that Zuma will not be short of words during his address next Thursday, but he will gloss over the issues that matter

"He will have plenty to say, but will gloss over the mistakes that have been made, he will ignore the rampant corruption and abuse that causes the current crisis that we face as a nation.

"He will roll out another set of promises replete with unintelligible numbers, a lot of which he will not be able to read."

Pityana listed many areas in which the Zuma administration had failed over the years. He tracked promises Zuma had made regarding unemployment, education, health and other sectors at previous SONA addresses since 2010.

The unemployment rate and poverty line have both increased since 2010, he said.

The country's maths and science output was recently ranked 138th out of 140 countries, despite the government having one of the highest education budgets relative to its GDP: 8.5%.

"There is no value for money," Pityana said.

"To be honest, sometimes Zuma just feels like one big fake news on a website."

He said the main problem for these outcomes was corruption and looters attempting to capture state resources.

'Worst president, con man, dishonourable'

He said it was likely to be the most underwhelming State of the Nation Address since democracy, delivered by the worst president of the country, and the worst president of the ANC.

"Each year, he climbs the podium at Parliament and promises us a better future that he has no intention to deliver because he has no respect for the people of the country.

"He has five-point plans, nine priority areas, or whatever formulation takes his fancy, and speaks of a government that has a good story to tell," Pityana said.

"The reality is starkly different. His leadership has set the country back on so many fronts.

"A simple analysis of previous SONA addresses shows Zuma is nothing more than a con man and dishonourable leader."

Pityana said the Save SA campaign will host the "real" state of the nation address on Wednesday next week at St George's Cathedral in Cape Town.

He has asked South Africans to attend in their masses, and they will be given a platform to air their voice on the "real" state of the nation.

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