Opposition must learn respect for Zuma: Ace Magashule
Opposition parties in South Africa needed to learn to respect their president, Free State premier Ace Magashule said on Wednesday.
Magashule - together with North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo and Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza - are said to be part of the premier league which wants to secure president Jacob Zuma a third term.
The ANC has however since denied that such a league exists.
Magashule said he witnessed "weak minds" during last week's State of the Nation address in Parliament where Zuma was heckled and the start of his speech delayed by an hour.
“Minister Lindiwe Sisulu says great minds discuss ideas and average minds discuss events and weak minds discuss people. What we see in parliament now is a sign of weak minds,” he said.
Opposition parties made things difficult for the president. The DA's MPs heckled, mumbled and laughed throughout Zuma’s speech.
This was after the EFF and Cope walked out of the National Assembly.
The EFF walked out an hour after the start of SONA, chanting “Zupta must fall”.
While Zuma delivered his speech, mostly focusing on the economy, opposition parties wanted to know if he was going to resign.
“We expected all this drama and we as the ANC say, enough is enough. In which country is the president not respected? You will never see such happen in Zimbabwe or even Botswana," said Magashule.
"We are too patient and too democratic. But now it is the right time for government to act and the president will eventually act,” he said.
He also accused the EFF of copying other countries in an effort to gain popularity with citizens.
He said the ANC has been patient and endured the unfair criticism, but that opposition parties who were calling for the president to resign, have shown they would not nurture or groom young leaders.
“No young person will be able to identify with the people who are behaving in such a manner as their role model,” he said.