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Mon Oct 24 03:34:31 SAST 2016

Zuma must admit he let us down in State of the Nation Address: Buthelezi

Jenni Evans | 20 January, 2016 16:14
Mangosuthu Buthelezi. File photo

President Jacob Zuma needs to be honest during his State of the Nation address about how he and the ANC have let the nation down, IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi said on Wednesday.

"Whether one reads the palpable mood of the present, or the outcome of surveys like Afrobarometer, it is clear that many South Africans want the president to admit that he has let us down," he said at a Cape Town Press Club event. 

"Not the economy. Not the drought. Not the global downturn. But the president himself."

The club was giving opposition leaders the chance to present an alternative Sona address.

The Inkatha Freedom Party leader said the actual Sona had become "fluff" and an expensive public relations exercise.

People were already talking more about what the Economic Freedom Fighters would do during the address next month, than what Zuma would say, Buthelezi said.

With the Democratic Alliance being "goaded" by the EFF, this year's Sona and the run-up to the municipal elections were bound to be chaotic.

"I want the president to be honest about the depth of the economic crisis we find ourselves in, and about the fact that we didn't arrive here by accident, but because of poor economic policies and... dithering by political leaders.

"There is far too much the president doesn't say during Sona which needs to be said."

Buthelezi said phrases used during the president's address like "we are making enormous strides" and "we are hard at work", were meaningless.

He said he had given Zuma advice over the years, which he had "freely ignored".

Buthelezi said corruption, cadre deployment, mismanagement and drawn-out disciplinary inquiries could be the only reason for the country’s "excruciatingly slow" progress.

Political decisions were overriding what the country needed.

"Too often what South Africa needs is sacrificed on the altar of what the ANC wants," Buthelezi said.


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