President Jacob Zuma to respond to Post- SONA debate

FEBRUARY 19, 2015

President Jacob Zuma is expected to respond to a Post-State of the Nation Address parliamentary debate session on Thursday – a climax to a week of drama in the National Assembly. The President was attacked again on the second day of the debate on Wednesday by opposition parties.

As witnessed on Parliament’s TV channel, no amount of appeals for order from the presiding officers deterred Members of Parliament from taking shots at one another causing pandemonium in the benches. The President was not also spared from these attacks by speaker after speaker.  

The FF Plus accused the President of looking for scapegoats for what it says are government's failures. Party leader Pieter Mulder says foreigners are being used as scapegoats for the government's failure to address the land issue.

“Sir you are currently the problem, leave scapegoat politics respect democratic values and stop attacking and driving me as an Afrikaner and other groups away. You will not get rid of us and you will also not solve this country's problem without us, there are good people in all the different communities. Let us acknowledge this and take hands to make a success of South Africa.”

In another episode, Justice and Correctional Services Minister, Mike Masuta, defended the decision by presiding officers of parliament to call in the police to forcibly eject Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MPs during the address.

EFF MPs were forcibly removed from the House after repeatedly asking President Zuma when he will pay back the money used for non-security upgrades at his private residence in Nkandla.

Masuta says even members of the South African National Defence Force can be deployed in the chambers.

During the first day of debates, the Democractic Alliance (DA) Parliamentary Leader, Mmusi Maimane, went as far as to call the President 'a broken man'.

The Congress of the People leader Mosiuoa Lekota argued that the Powers and Privileges Immunities Act should be reviewed. The Act empowers the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces to command security services.

Lekota says the Act contradicts the constitution.

“It contradicts the constitution, it is therefore in terms of the constitution null and void, it's vital and urgent that Mr president you read that act that act be reviewed and corrected it is the only way one can see how it came to pass that man and woman in stage uniforms not constituted under any law in this country could walk in here and beat up members of the house.”

Eskom's Medupi power station online

Meanwhile, the Minister of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown, has announced new developments at the Medupi power station.

“I'm very pleased to announce that Medupi unit 6 turbine commissioning has reached a critical milestone it is now running at the optimum speed of 3000 megawatts.”