After a state of the nation address rife with verbal attacks, interruptions, and no official proceedings, the EFF was physically removed by security and the DA was told to leave.
The event began with EFF partisans calling Zuma ‘tsotsi’, with ANC partisans rebutting with the chant of ‘ANC’.
The DA began the proceedings by calling for a moment of silence to remember the 94 patients who died due to ANC incompetence. This was declined. The EFF followed with repeated calls for Zuma to step down due to violating the Constitution. Eventually, after heated attacks by many EFF members on Zuma, with EFF National Spokesperson Ndlozi calling Zuma a “constitutional delinquent”, the EFF was told to leave and refused.
A fight ensued. Teargas was allegedly used, but evidence for this is anecdotal. The fight did become highly physical, with EFF members attacking security with their helmets. On some of the online streams, some sort of white powder was seen being thrown.
The DA followed with condemnation of the militarization of parliament. John Steenhuisen, who gave the speech, was sworn at and called a racist for no justifiable reason. After Mmusi Maimane was able to get a say, he was branded a “sell-out” and was shouted down. The DA walked out, with ANC partisans screaming at them to get out, among other insults.
For all intents and purposes, SONA 2017 is only being attended by the ANC caucus.
After a while, things calmed down. All dissidents were evicted. Zuma began his speech with a monotone laugh and then continued as if nothing had happened. Much of the chaotic proceedings were peppered with technical difficulties, drops in sound and even the stream shutting down. It is interesting to note that Zuma’s speech has not had any of these drops in quality.
Keep an eye out for Rational Standard analysis on the positive matter brought up in the state of the nation address.
SONA in Review: