Presidential Tips Ahead of SONA 2016

2016-02-04 12:59

President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation address in 2015 was not a success. Not by anyone’s standard. Between the giggling and the bullying, between his disconnection from reality and the lack of meaningful conversation, it was a pretty dismal affair. If South Africans were expecting leadership and guidance and a firm hand grasping the wheel, they were most certainly left wanting.

And so, ahead of next weeks State of the Nation's and in order to avoid a repeat of that somewhat embarrassing event of last year, where we both laughed and cried through his address, I thought it would be helpful to provide at least some suggestions as to what he might choose to say.

Some pragmatic suggestions before he begins his address:

- No Giggling. This is a big one. South Africans, on the most part are done with a laughing President. Let’s hold that over until there is actually something to be amused by.

- If numbers are to be included in the Address, they should be written out in words and not numerically, as this can be very confusing.

- The President should read through the speech at least once in front of each of his wives, so that he can practice saying it multiple times. In the event of him not wishing to read it to the wife who tried to poison him, that is fully understandable and should just do so in front of any one of the Guptas. If none are available then he should call on David Van Rooyen who has more time than he had anticipated having, and has always been available to the President in the past.

“Honourable Members,” he should begin, because that sounds respectful, “ I have let you down.” He should then pause. Not to look at his notes, but gaze towards the Honourable Members (and the less Honourable ones) and then at the TV cameras because he is speaking to the people of the country that he has let down. And we will be watching and waiting. His should then cast his eyes downward so that we know he is truly sorry and that he means what he says.

“ I have agreed to pay back the Nkandla money as a 1st (READ: First) step in my 12 (READ: Twelve) step program to right-the-wrongs. I have damaged this magnificent country and disappointed her big hearted people. I have taken advantage of each citizen, and although I cannot make 45 Million (Read; Forty Five Million) calls to each person (because I am waiting for Telkom to come and fix my land-line and I don’t have great cellular reception where I am), I acknowledge that this is what I should be doing because I owe an apology to everyone.

“Every soul who has to pay more for food, every business that is floundering and that I have impacted because of my poor and selfish choices, every person who has paid tax but not received real benefit from their money. And to every person who deserves decent medical care but cannot receive it.

“I apologise to every child who didn’t receive a text book and who is desperate for quality education and to every one of the so many victims of crime. I apologise to the wonderful police men and women and to the Public Protector.

And, what-the-hell, even to Helen Zille.

“I apologise to my friends in the ANC who I have forced to back me when they knew that I was wrong but who were afraid that not doing so would result in them  being cast asunder.

“I unreservedly accept that the magnificent Judiciary should be independent and I accept that I did terrible damage with the al Bashir incident. The Judiciary needs to be fiercely protected and I now know that. I accept that I caused the country to be embarrassed internationally and that that is one of the primary reasons for the state of our currency and that South Africa is on the brink of Junk Status.

“I apologise for the Guptas.

“But mostly I apologise to the men and the women who fought so hard to achieve freedom and peace and transformation and whose dream I have turned to nightmare.

“South Africa deserves a future,” he would conclude, “and that means leadership with integrity. It is with sadness that I therefore step down as President of this country and ask any Honourable Members who do not believe that they have what it takes to save this beautiful and much loved country to do likewise.

With that, and perhaps with a tear in his eye, because there is no doubting that he didn’t want to end it this way, he bows his head and slowly and deliberately moves back to his seat. He wipes his brow and breathes a sigh of relief that this fight is over and that the chapter has closed. The Honourable Members are silent and then, each one, no matter which party they represent rise to their feet to applaud this brave and courageous decision.

And the President looks around and is comforted with his decision. Because just like paying your TV licence, “It’s the right thing to do”.

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