'Zuma faction still in charge': DA's Mazzone tells Ramaphosa ANC's chairpersons announcement felt like a 'left hook to the jaw'

Natasha Mazzone. (Supplied)
Natasha Mazzone. (Supplied)

The Zuma faction is still in charge, DA MP Natasha Mazzone told President Cyril Ramaphosa in the debate on his State of the Nation Address (SONA) during a joint sitting of the houses of Parliament on Tuesday.

Mazzone said she took umbrage at some of the MPs the ANC have nominated to become chairpersons of parliamentary committees.

"Speaker, through you, I use the opportunity I have today to speak to the president, not as a politician, not as a member of an opposing political party, but as a patriotic fellow South African. I am outraged and frustrated more than any words could explain at the blatant slap in the face that all South Africans were recently dealt when the ANC announced its proposed chairpersons of our parliamentary committees," she added.

"I took it as a personal left hook to the jaw when I read with utter disbelief that the very man who was accused of offering a blank cheque to advocate Ntuthuzelo Vanara, the evidence leader in the public enterprises inquiry into state capture at Eskom, will be rewarded with a chairperson's seat."

As she said this, the person she was referring to, the former minister of state security during former president Jacob Zuma's reign, Bongani Bongo, nodded.

"An ex-minister who has been repeatedly accused of interfering with the South African mining industry for the enrichment of the Gupta family will be rewarded with a chairperson's seat," Mazzone said while Mosebenzi Zwane glared at her. 

"The woman who destroyed what was left of the South African Broadcasting Corporation [SABC] will be rewarded with a chairperson's seat." 

Faith Muthambi laughed and spoke with the MPs sitting behind her. 

"The woman who without explanation sold off the entire South African strategic fuel reserve will be rewarded with a chairperson's seat."

Tina Joemat-Pettersson did not react at all.

"An ex-mayor of Buffalo City Municipality who was found guilty by a court of law for nine counts of fraud will be rewarded with a chairperson's seat.

"We have all been taken for fools"

"South African to South African, this is the straw that breaks the camel's back. This is one step too far. This is proof that the Zuma faction is still well and truly in charge of the ANC, and that it matters not if the driver has changed - the bus is still the same. We have all been taken for fools."

She asked Ramaphosa to "steel his resolve" and dismiss them from Parliament. 

The DA's chief whip, John Steenhuisen, warned Ramaphosa against the "vulture" Ace Magashule, the ANC's secretary general. 

"He is moving against you, Mr President," Steenhuisen said, adding that Magashule had deployed his people in key positions in Parliament to act as roadblocks to Ramaphosa's reform agenda.

He said the longer Ramaphosa took to deal with Magashule, "the harder you stamp on the dreams of citizens".

The general slant of the opposition parties' speeches was that Ramaphosa had not addressed the realities of South African life and did not have a plan to implement his vision.

Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula said the opposition had "44 out of 10 analysis" and blew "hot air".

He said the reforms DA leader Mmusi Maimane proposed is Thatcherism and not "reforms but deforms". 

Ramaphosa will respond to the debate on Wednesday at 14:00. 

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