Post SONA Sitting Day 1 Part 2: Zuma laughed in the face of Parliament - Maimane

BY CHARL BOSCH - FEBRUARY 18, 2015

Democratic Alliance (DA) Parliamentary leader, Mmusi Maimane, has accused President Jacob Zuma of “breaking and then laughing in the face of Parliament” following the forceful ejection of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) from his State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament last Thursday.

Maimane made the comments during the first day of the post-SONA debate in Parliament yesterday, saying that Zuma is the only person holding the country back from achieving former President Nelson Mandela’s vision.

“Honourable President, in these very chambers, just five days ago, you broke Parliament. Please understand, Honourable President, when I use the term “honourable”, I do it out of respect for the traditions and conventions of this august House.

“But please do not take it literally. For you Honourable President, are not an honourable man. You are a broken man, presiding over a broken society,” Maimane said.

He accused Zuma of being willing to break every democratic institution to try and fix the legal matters against him, and then laughing about it following the jamming of cellphone signals and the deployment of riot police during his address.

“You laughed while the people of South Africa cried for their beloved country. You laughed while trampling Madiba’s legacy – in the very week that we celebrated 25 years since his release. We will never forgive you for what you have done,” Maimane said.

He went on to describe Zuma’s speech, delivered after the party had walked out, as being “cold” and read from a “prepared text by a broken man presiding over a broken society”.

“For six years, he has run from the 783 counts of corruption, fraud and racketeering that have haunted him from before the day he was elected. This broken man has spent his waking hours plotting and planning to avoid his day in court.

“In this broken man’s path of destruction, lies a litany of broken institutions. Each one of them targeted because of their constitutional power to hold him to account,” said Maimane, before citing the South African Revenue Service (SARS), National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the Hawks, National Police Service and the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) as examples.

He also took a swipe at Zuma’s approach to the country’s escalating energy crisis, increasing unemployment and downturn in economy by describing the list of promises made as “empty and broken”.

 

CAPTION: Still image showing Democratic Alliance (DA) Parliamentary leader, Mmusi Maimane, addressing President Jacob Zuma during yesterday's post-SONA debate in Parliament. IMAGE sourced from eNCA

 

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