No new dawn - and don't steal the DA's ideas: Steenhuisen takes shots at Ramaphosa

19 February 2020 - 13:04 By Unathi Nkanjeni
DA interim leader John Steenhuisen at the Sona debate on Tuesday, where he took shots at President Cyril Ramaphosa.
DA interim leader John Steenhuisen at the Sona debate on Tuesday, where he took shots at President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image: Esa Alexander/Sunday Times

DA interim leader John Steenhuisen has fired shots at President Cyril Ramaphosa, saying since Ramaphosa became president “things have got worse”.

In what looked like a “jab fest”, Steenhuisen did not hold back on Tuesday when he called Ramaphosa out for certain things he said in his state of the nation address (Sona) on Thursday last week.

Here are eight jabs from Steenhuisen to Ramaphosa.

Not a leader

“Honourable president, I was one of those who had hope. I saw in you a man who could just maybe lead us out of the turbulent times and point us in the direction of prosperity. Instead of turning the corner and getting better, things have got worse.”


“Since you delivered your first Sona speech in this house two years ago, well over a million more people have joined the ranks of the unemployed. This number now stands at almost 10.4-million working-age South Africans.”

Blew it

“Great leaders recognise their defining moment and they have the courage to do what they know in their hearts is right, even if this is met with resistance by those around them. Your moment came on Thursday, and you blew it.”

Nightmare of a legacy

“That will be your legacy. The man who dared us to dream, but led us into a nightmare.”

No guts

“You're not the reformer that SA thought you were. You don't have the guts to make the tough choices that our country needs.”

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No new dawn

“You don’t have the courage to deal decisively with the corrupt people in your own party. That’s why, instead of a new dawn, there’s a new despair.”

Capable state with incapable government

“South Africans don’t want fantasies. They want to know how we are going to get through this crisis we’re in. The capable state will remain a distant dream as long as you try to build it with an incapable government.”

'Hijacking' DA ideas

“Yes, your speech had some good ideas, Mr President, but here's the thing, you can't claim that those are your ideas. The DA has been offering you these solutions for years.”

DA Leader John Steenhuisen MP responds to President Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address in Parliament.