Cyril Ramaphosa is 'missing in action': DA's Mmusi Maimane

17 July 2019 - 16:29 By THABO MOKONE
DA leader Mmusi Maimane said during the budget vote debate in parliament on Wednesday that President Cyril Ramaphosa is all promises but no action.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane said during the budget vote debate in parliament on Wednesday that President Cyril Ramaphosa is all promises but no action.
Image: Gallo Images / Jeffrey Abrahams

President Cyril Ramaphosa was no "doer of deeds". Instead, he was was a missing in action despite projecting himself as "the man in the arena".

These were the assertions of DA leader Mmusi Maimane during Ramaphosa's budget vote debate in parliament on Wednesday. Maimane said the president has been making far too many promises since first assuming office in 2018 - but has delivered little.

Maimane lashed out at Ramapahosa, saying that even the revelations from the state capture commission of inquiry, headed by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, had failed to prompt him into action.

Maimane told Ramaphosa that, under his watch, dodgy ANC figures implicated in allegations of state capture and other forms of corruption were now leading key parliamentary structures.

"That's not the man in the arena, Mr President. That's just the man watching the arena. Your office, the presidency, needs to be defined by actions, not words," said Maimane.

The DA leader said that in his state of the nation address in February, Ramaphosa had painted himself as a man of action but he had nothing to show for it so far.

"Invoking Theodore Roosevelt, you led us to believe that you were the man in the arena, the doer of deeds, whose face was marred by dust and sweat and blood.

"But in reality, all this presidency has produced so far is plans, commissions and promises. There is no sign yet of the man in the arena, the doer of deeds. You’ve spoken at length about cleaning up the state and government, but this never went beyond talk.

"The SIU is still lying dormant. The NPA has no money to operate. No one has been charged, arrested or prosecuted.

"If you were the man in the arena, Mr President, then the revelations at the Zondo commission would have spurred you into action. But yet we see nothing from you," he said.

Maimane, who described the testimony of former president Jacob Zuma at the Zondo commission at that of "a deranged man", said it was also time for Ramaphosa to provide his version of events before the commission.

"In Zuma's own words, those who now speak of 'nine wasted years' were party to the decisions taken during those nine years, or party to their implementation.

"You sat on that team, as the No 2 to Zuma's No 1, and you were silent then. Will you continue to be silent now, as your party is flayed and its entrails laid out at the commission?

"Don't you owe it to this house to return here tomorrow and assure us that you will go to the commission and set the record straight?

"We need a president who acts, not one who sits idly by," Maimane said.


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