Sona violence 'resembled military dictatorship', Red berets fume

DA heads to court over disaster declaration

10 February 2023 - 09:50
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Chaos erupts at the 2023 state of the nation address in Cape Town on Thursday.
Chaos erupts at the 2023 state of the nation address in Cape Town on Thursday.
Image: Gallo Images/Jeffrey Abrahams

The EFF has vowed to continue to “confront” President Cyril Ramaphosa wherever he appears until he resigns. 

On Thursday night during the state of the nation address, the red berets tried to interrupt the president from addressing the nation by attempting to charge to the stage. 

In a statement, the EFF said it will continue to “confront him [Ramaphosa] wherever he rears his ugly head and make the comfortable uncomfortable, until his eventual resignation!”

Party leader Julius Malema said the scenes in the parliamentary precinct on Thursday after speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula’s call for security services to intervene resembled countries which are under military dictatorship.

“Members of parliament were violently attacked at the state of the nation address by a mob of what is presumably a mixture of law enforcement agencies, including possibly members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), who entered the assembly chambers without any instruction from the speaker of the National Assembly,” he said.

“The security, which was ordered to remove all EFF MPs from the chambers, formed a ring around an embattled Ramaphosa as he sat on stage while others prevented the opposition MPs from charging towards him.

“This violence was inflicted on members to prevent a peaceful protest and the display of placards raising concerns on the actual state of the nation after the speaker undemocratically and unconstitutionally denied members the right to raise points of order.

“The scenes are reflective of the kind of presidency Ramaphosa leads.

“In scenes that resemble countries which are under military dictatorship, it is one of the suppression of democratic debate, abuse of state organs and law enforcement agencies to undermine accountability and unrepentant violence.

“Ramaphosa is a dictator who will weaponise the state at the slightest inconvenience or confrontation of his poor and destructive leadership.”

Malema lambasted the sitting for allegedly preventing members of the media to exercise their right to media freedom.

“The abuse of media, the undermining of media freedom, coupled with their restriction of movement is the hallmark of the collapse of democracy. Only governments that commit torture and human rights atrocities restrict access to the media during political confrontations and disputes.

The EFF announced it would also be taking Mapisa-Nqakula to court for “violating the rights of members of parliament and mistreating them as a group, instead of as individuals who have every right to speak in accordance with the rules”.

“South Africa has entered a phase where democracy is a thing of the past,” said Malema.

“The votes of our people have been disrespected and trampled upon, by the boots of thugs, police and military men, and our democracy sits at the altar of a sadistic puppet of imperialism called Cyril Ramaphosa.”

The red berets commended their parliamentary caucus for its fearlessness, and commitment to continuing the fight against Ramaphosa “by any means necessary”.

DA heads to court over disaster declaration

Meanwhile, the DA says it has instructed its lawyers to challenge the announcement of the national state of disaster by Ramaphosa.

DA leader John Steenhuisen said the state of disaster was under the guise of dealing with the load-shedding crisis but would empower the ANC to abuse procurement processes and issue nonsensical regulations that have nothing to do with the electricity crisis.

“The DA will not sit back and allow the ANC to abuse the electricity disaster it created to loot and further abuse the people of South Africa. Instead of punishing the people with a sweeping disaster declaration for the damage wrought by decades of ANC corruption and cadre deployment at Eskom, the DA has consistently called for urgent and focused interventions in the energy sector.

“He talked of electric cars in a country that does not have electricity. He talked of hope in a country that has lost all hope.

“He also created yet another minister to add to the other two already getting in the way of a solution to the energy crisis.

“History has overtaken Cyril Ramaphosa. He has failed.”

LISTEN | Sona suspended briefly after EFF refuses to go without a fight


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