SONA: Another chaotic session cannot be afforded - Maimane


Democratic Alliance (DA) Parliamentary leader, Mmusi Maimane, has said that a repeat of the chaotic August 21st sitting during President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address on Thursday would be a national embarrassment.

His comments comes after Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader, Julius Malema, announced last month that the party plans on disrupting Zuma’s speech out of protest for his failure to answer questions in the National Assembly about the R246-million security upgrades at his private Nkandla home.

Zuma has not appeared in Parliament since the August session after EFF MP began chanting pay back the money following Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s Nkandla report, which found that the President had unduly benefitted from the upgrades.

Speaking in a statement on the DA’s website, Maimane said Parliament’s failure to provide a clear answer as to whether the Public Order Policing Unit would be on standby to during the SONA, was “an insult to South Africans and the real issues facing them”.

“The ANC and EFF’s trading of threats of disruption and heavy-handed policing are making a mockery of this institution. South Africa is in a time of crisis – from electricity supply, to unemployment, to the scourge of drugs taking over our communities,” said Maimane.

“President Zuma is a deeply compromised man, but he must still account to Parliament, and to South Africans, for the state of our nation. And make no mistake, he must account for his wrongs as well”.

He also added that the State of the Nation should focus on the major problem affecting South Africans and that nothing would be achieved by “breaking this institution down”.