'MPs swan around in matric dance outfits like Hollywood stars': Mashaba on boycotting Sona

10 February 2020 - 11:31 By Kgaugelo Masweneng
Herman Mashaba will not be attending the state of the nation address on Thursday.
Herman Mashaba will not be attending the state of the nation address on Thursday.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

Herman Mashaba, founder of The People’s Dialogue, says he will boycott this year's state of the nation address (Sona).

President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the country in parliament on Thursday.

“Year after year, we are confronted by this display of political disconnection from the lived experiences of the people of our country,” Mashaba said in a statement on Monday.

“Presidents, one year after the next, stand before us and describe a country that leaves most of us wondering which country they live in. Members of Parliament swan around in their matric dance outfits, walking down red carpets like Hollywood stars,” he added.

The debates that followed would predictably be more about “witty comebacks”, political point-scoring and affirmation from equally out of touch MPs, he said.

“What will we hear this year about fighting corruption when not one single high-profile prosecution has taken place? What tough talk will we hear about our ailing state-owned entities (SOEs), while we continue to sink billions into these failings businesses? How many jobs will we be told will be created in the year ahead?

“Watching this bizarre ritual, I find myself asking the question: how does any of this benefit the people of our country? I am still searching for an answer.”

Mashaba added that Sona was a symptom of “our broken political system in that it serves itself — the politicians and parties within it. The majority of our voting-aged population have given up on our political system, and watching Sona will show you why.”


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