Post SONA debate day 1: Sisulu warns DA as debate becomes heated

BY CHARL BOSCH - FEBRUARY 17, 2016

Humans Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu on Tuesday launched a stinging attack against Democratic Alliance (DA) MP’s, during the first day of Parliament’s debate into President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Speaking at the end of the near five-hour sitting, Sisulu took exception to comments made earlier in the day by DA leader Mmusi Maimane, that Zuma had lost touch with the people of South Africa, and was living on a parallel planet dubbed Planet Zuma.

“All we heard today are the same repeats, moan and groans [from the opposition],” Sisulu said, accusing Maimane of showing a “weak mind” by coming up with the Planet Zuma designation.

She also took aim at recent incidents of racism in the party, saying it would struggle to make any progress into black areas during the forthcoming local government elections.

“Look very carefully at your party. The DA’s success in making inroads in black society will be determined by vigorous soul searching within your party of how you have overcome prejudices that were held by the whites before we gave them freedom. Watch-it,” she said.

“Weak minds discuss people and that it what the DA has been doing right through this debate. Honrouble Maimane and his party offered no proposals, only expressing their hate for the President. What he heard from you was hate and howling without any dignity”.

Tensions before her statement had become heated after DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen made several jibes at ministers and premiers, before stating that Zuma had thrown most of his caucus, who had defended the R246-million security upgrades at his private Nkandla home, under the wheels of the bus.

“Instead of the struggle songs we will be hearing going into the elections, they will be signing the wheels of the bus go round and round, round and round. We now know why you bought those large busses that don’t fit anywhere in Port Elizabeth.

“It is because, President, you needed something to throw your caucus underneath,” Steenhuisen said, referring to the busses bought for the city’s much delayed Bus Rapid Transport system, which were discovered to be too wide for the lanes they were meant for.

Delivering his address directly before Sisulu, Steenhuisen remarked it could be seen as ironic that she would be defending Zuma when her brother and previous Speaker Max Sisulu, “was the first to be thrown under the bus for putting this Parliament first and calling for an investigating into Nkandla”. Sisulu responded by calling Steenhuisen “the esteemed chief clown” before starting her speech.

The debate is expected to continue later this afternoon with Zuma due to address the criticism on Thursday.

 

RELATED

Post SONA debate day 1: DA and EFF react to Zuma’s speech

 

 

IMAGE sourced from Parliament of South Africa on YouTube