Ricochet News

'2018 SONA postponement first step - now let's elect a new President': Maimane

Feb 6, 2018
'2018 SONA postponement first step - now let's elect a new President': Maimane

The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Tuesday said that it welcomes the decision by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, to accede to its request to postpone the State of the Nation Address (SONA).

"This follows a meeting today with the Chief Whips of political parties represented in Parliament," said DA leader, Mmusi Maimane.

"Last week, I wrote to the Speaker requesting that SONA be postponed indefinitely until the current leadership crisis within the ANC is resolved. We cannot waste money, time, nor another iota of our dwindling credibility on the international stage by allowing Jacob Zuma to deliver the State of the Nation Address."

Maimane said that the ANC is in complete turmoil and being held to ransom by Jacob Zuma.

"At a price tag of over R11 million in taxpayers money, SONA cannot be reduced to a public relations exercise for a man on the precipice of impeachment and possible jail time.

"South Africa only works when Parliament works, and SONA is an integral part of the country's legislative agenda. It is therefore imperative that we work towards circumstances that allow SONA to proceed," he described.

"However, this can only happen once Jacob Zuma is removed as President of South Africa.

"To this end, the DA will be writing to Speaker Baleka Mbete to ensure that our impeachment motion, tabled last year, is urgently placed back on the order paper and the rules governing the impeachment process are finalised this week."

Maimane said that following this, Parliament must elect a new President, and this must be done via a special sitting of Parliament next week.

"One thing we cannot postpone is removing Jacob Zuma and electing a new President. This must be done in the next week," he added.

"Lastly, we flatly reject any amnesty agreement or special deal for Jacob Zuma. He is not above the law, and must still face the 783 charges of fraud, money laundering and racketeering against him which were erroneously dropped almost a decade ago."