Wonkie believes one could not ask for a more accurate, brutal representation of the true state of South Africa than what was witnessed yesterday at Jacob Zuma’s parliamentary 2015 State of the Nation address. The comical event covered it all:
1. The pathetic, albeit scary, attempt by the national executive to muzzle citizens and journalists by illegally cutting mobile phone transmissions from within the parliamentary chamber. No doubt the ruling ANC party will justify this with some garbage rhetoric and find some lowly bearer to act as a scapegoat, but welcome South Africa, to the police state.
2. The television broadcast of SONA2015 itself reflects the state of the poor SABC leadership – convenient intermittent loss of audio and video footage, broadcasting the same voice overlapping itself so viewers can barely make out the content, zero coverage of the true chaos that was taking place on the floor. The best case scenario is that this was plain incompetence on the part of the SABC, the worst case of course, being that the ruling party is happily able to censor action against itself.
In the interests of transparency, below is a video of what actually took place in parliament when the EFF ‘leadership’ were forcibly removed:
Video courtesy: EWN
3. Most surprisingly, other than a few tweeters sitting on their high horses and all caught up with pomp and ceremony, many citizens were rooting for the likes of Julius Malema. Nobody really cares if the forum was inappropriate to raise questions about Zuma’s Nkandla home – perhaps on paper it was, however if one is unable to get resolution at the proper forums it could be argued that one is left with no choice but to adopt an unconventional, activist approach. After all, isn’t that how apartheid was ended?
4. Given that the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) was asking questions based on point-of-order and privilege and they weren’t ejected from parliament, it is clear that the Baleka Mbete was acting with prejudice when it came to the EFF. Furthermore, disregarding rules and inviting armed police to remove members sets further precedent for the executive to do whatever they like when things aren’t going their way. But wait, given that there is already zero accountability in government they do that anyway so even that accurately reflects the state of the nation.
It should be pointed out, in fairness, that there is not much else the ANC could have done to control the situation. The EFF members would probably not have left willingly.
5. On to the actual address itself, it was as boring and content-free as usual (further evidenced by the number of MPs casually dozing off in the audience). Not that one expects detailed solutions in such a presentation, but some real leadership would be to clearly acknowledge the challenges for the gruesome messes that they are, and give some non-bureaucratic comfort that real action is going to be taken. Instead, South Africa gets the feeling another 5-year planning committee consisting of some pseudo-intellectual gnats will be assembled at great tax-payer expense, and that the only problem they will manage to resolve at the end of it will be how to keep the lights on in Nkandla.
6. As though viewing the parliamentary spectacle were not enough, Zuma also declared a leap forward in much-needed local land reform – by stating that foreign nationals will not be allowed to purchase land outright in South Africa. Sigh.
In short, a pessimist would suggest that this is a glimpse into South Africa’s rather lawless future. What do you think?
PS: If you would like a transcript of the entire presidential State of the Nation speech, please visit The Presidency website.
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