Zuma must go before state of the nation address - EFF and DA

31 January 2018 - 11:15 By Timeslive
President Jacob Zuma
President Jacob Zuma
Image: Thuli Dlamini

The opposition Economic Freedom Fighters and the Democratic Alliance are attempting to block President Jacob Zuma from delivering next week's state of the nation address (Sona).

Mmusi Maimane of the DA said on Wednesday he had written to the Speaker of the National Assembly‚ Baleka Mbete‚ requesting that this year’s speech‚ scheduled for next Thursday 8 February‚ "be postponed until Zuma has been removed from office‚ and Parliament is afforded an opportunity to elect a new President".

"It is no secret that there is a battle within the ANC and the national executive - with each side holding starkly differing policies‚ ideological positions and plans of action. While Cyril Ramaphosa is the ANC president‚ Jacob Zuma remains president of South Africa‚ leaving the country not knowing which direction is being pursued.

"As things stand‚ it would not be in the best interests of South Africa for Zuma to deliver the state of the nation address when there exists great uncertainty as to whether he will remain President‚ and if so‚ for how long."

Maimane said while the ANC’s National Working Committee has requested Jacob Zuma be removed before Sona‚ the ANC’s Deputy Secretary-General‚ Jessie Duarte‚ has gone on record saying Jacob Zuma is 'going nowhere'.

"Last year’s address cost over R11-million. We cannot afford to waste this amount of public money for Jacob Zuma to deliver the government’s programme of action for the coming year in his Sona‚ when it is not likely that he will remain the President of the Republic much longer.

"...The Speaker must act in the interests of all South Africans‚ and postpone the State of the Nation Address until the ANC leadership battle has been resolved."

The EFF has also written to Mbete‚ with an implicit threat to disrupt the speech if it goes ahead‚ according to an overnight report in City Press.

The party is quoted as saying: "We write to the Speaker to request that she must start processes of rescheduling the Parliament programme if Zuma is still president. Failure to do so will leave us with no option‚ but to take up the issue during Sona."


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