News / South Africa / Politics

Gopolang Moloko
2 minute read
5 Feb 2019
4:06 pm

Presidency calls EFF’s Sona disruption threats ‘unfortunate’

Gopolang Moloko

The presidency has urged political parties to respect and treat the state of the nation address (Sona) with the decorum and dignity it deserves.

President Cyril Ramaphosa during oral replies at the National Assembly in Parliament, Cape Town on 14 March 2018. Picture: Siyabulela Duda

This comes after the Economic Freedom Fighters threatened to disrupt the address, which will happen this Thursday. The red berets, alongside other parties, have made it clear they want President Cyril Ramaposa to table concrete proposals to deal with those implicated in state capture after explosive testimonies at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

They have demanded that the president fix the criminal justice system and present a plan to deal with state-wide corruption.

Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko on Tuesday said it would be politically opportunistic for parties to use the Sona to push their own agendas, as the presidency had rules in place to deal with questions the president did not wish to comment on.

Diko said the threats of disruption were “very unfortunate” as they centred on the issue of a R500,000 donation made to CR17 election campaign.

She said the matter was taken by both the EFF and DA to the public protector and Ramaphosa had met with Busisiwe Mkhwebane and had issued a statement on the issue.

She urged parties to respect the processes set up to handle such cases.

“It would be best for her [Mkhwebane] to be allowed to conclude her work unhindered.”

Any threats to disrupt the president’s address would undermine the institutions in place to deal with such challenges, according to Diko.

The EFF has threatened to turn the address into a question-and-answer session, demanding that Ramaphosa “come clean” on the R500,000.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane has called for calm and said he would not join those who wanted to disrupt the address.

Parliament has experienced chaotic violence during this presidential term, almost always driven by the EFF, which at one point resulted in the army being deployed. This led to parties going to the high court to prevent the deployment of the army in Cape Town’s streets.

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