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Maimane insists SONA 2018 is waste of millions of taxpayers’ monies

By Afikile Lugunya - Feb 2, 2018
Maimane insists SONA 2018 is waste of millions of taxpayers’ monies

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader, Musi Maimane, on Friday, said that the party refuses to have the 2018 State of the Nation (SONA) be delivered by someone, who faces criminal charges and whose future as President is uncertain.

While there have been rumours of high-level negotiations within the African National Congress (ANC) for President Jacob Zuma to step down before the end of his current term, he is still expected to deliver SONA 2018 on the 8th of February - next week Thursday.

Maimane, who was accompanied by Federal Chairperson, Athol Trollip, Eastern Cape Provincial Leader, Nqaba Bhanga, and Provincial Chair, Andrew Whitfield, was addressing journalists during his visit to Motherwell, Port Elizabeth, as part of his People’s Forum tour.

Early this week, he had written to National Assembly Speaker, Baleka Mbete, asking her to postpone SONA 2018 citing it as a waste of R11 million of taxpayers’ money since President Zuma would not be around for much longer.

He said that Zuma is facing possible prosecution in hundreds of criminal charges as part of the Spy Tapes saga, is not certain about his future as President after his Deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, emerged as the new ANC President at the party’s December congress – so he cannot deliver SONA.

“Jacob Zuma cannot walk in parliament; deliver a speech that will implicate the rest of Parliament without knowing if he will be there the following week,” Maimane said.

“Why do we want to lose R11 million attending and listening to a president, who doesn’t have the mandate of his own party, the parliament and the people?”

Instead, he called for Zuma’s removal from office.

“We must impeach Jacob Zuma and have an acting president according to the constitution,” Maimane said, adding; “We want the parliament to function, so let us have an election then after 30 days, we must elect a new president.”

Maimane said that other political parties at Parliament had not been approached about this, but he hopes that they will stand by the DA in boycotting SONA 2018.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) had applied for a separate debate on the motion of no confidence against Zuma before he delivers SONA 2018 – however, that debate is now scheduled for the 20th of February.