Maimane blasts SONA “fashion parade”


Democratic Alliance (DA) Parliamentary leader, Mmusi Maimane, has said that the party will not take part in the red carpet build-up to President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address in Parliament this evening,  as well as the post event festivities.

“At a time when our country is in crisis, we are not celebrating this as a red carpet occasion. South Africans want Parliament to work, and MPs to do their jobs. We are here this evening for the President to account to Parliament on the real state of our nation, nothing more,” he told journalists at a parliamentary press briefing in Cape Town earlier today.

Following an announcement by Eskom that all load shedding had been put on-hold to avoid a potential blackout, Maimane said that the party will only get involved with proceedings if the lights do go off.

“The fact that power cuts may need to happen even as the President prepares to tell us a good story, is a telling sign of the real crises facing South Africa.”

In statement on Tuesday, and responding to the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) threats to disrupt Zuma’s speech, Maimane said that Parliament could not afford a repeat of the August 21st chaos, before adding that the mud-slinging between the ANC and EFF had resulted in Parliament losing focus on the real issues facing South Africans.

“The ANC’s protection of President Zuma, and the EFF’s theatrics serve no purpose other than to undermine Parliament’s constitutional role. Neither side advances the important cause of accountability for those in power”, he said.

Eyewitness News has since reported EFF leader Julius Malema as saying that the party will merely ask Zuma questions and that initial reports of them wanting to disrupt proceedings are untrue.

“Because the president has gone AWOL and never reported to Parliament for the question and answer session and we do not trust that he will come back, this is an opportunity for us to ask him critical questions, get answers and get done with that part and then proceed with SONA,” he is quoted as saying, adding that they would only call order if Zuma proceeded directly into his address.


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