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By Zanele Mbengo


Sona debate: Ramaphosa is ‘a hypocrite’

In a fiery Sona debate, DA's Siviwe Gwarube calls out President Ramaphosa's alleged hypocrisy on corruption with Deputy President Mashatile at his side.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) chief whip Siviwe Gwarube said President Cyril Ramaphosa was a hypocrite when he spoke tough on corruption when Deputy President Paul Mashatile was sitting next to him.

SA gaslit by ANC govt

During a joint sitting at Cape Town City Hall on the debate of State of the Nation Address (Sona), Gwarube noted South Africans were gaslit by the ANC government when they are held to account.

“He [Ramaphosa] decided to do some fancy footwork on Thursday by focusing on the past 30 years of democracy and not the past five years of his Presidency,” she said.

“He is too ashamed of his record in government. South Africa is not a poor country, it is poorly led.”

In response to Gwarube, Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel said she “clearly took a vacation from reality”.

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Patel said South Africa’s participation in the African Free Trade Area was a fulfilment of one of Ramaphosa’s 2019 Sona commitments.

He added many factories were opened or expanded in the five years of Ramaphosa’s administration.

“While the opposition gives speeches about climate change, we work to green the economy,” Patel said.

Govt efforts wouldn’t end war in Gaza

African Christian Democratic Party leader Kenneth Meshoe claimed the government’s efforts wouldn’t end the war in Gaza.

He said to end the war they should prevail on Hamas to release all hostages.

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Meshoe emphasised “taking Israel to the International Court of Justice will not improve the situation in Gaza”.

He quoted the Bible saying “no weapon that rises against Israel will prosper”.

“ANC, you have gone too far. You have invited a curse on yourself and you are going to get it,” he said.

Spreading love

But Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola said the Bible that Meshoe quoted was supposed to spread love.

“What happened to thou shalt not kill? The Bible can’t be used to justify the genocide in Palestine,” Lamola said.

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He continued that the DA harassed people who supported Palestine in the Western Cape because they knew nothing about freedom and human rights because they wanted to establish a white enclave.

According to Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande, if the DA “is committed to changing the lives of ordinary people, why weren’t they selecting poor students from the Western Cape to go study medicine in Cuba”.

“The DA is telling a false narrative here. Everything they have done has been made possible by the ANC,” Blade claimed.

He said township schools in areas such as Khayelitsha in Cape Town “are rotting”.

Too scared to put ‘corruption-accused Mashatile in debate

DA MP Leon Schreiber said the reason Mashatile wasn’t speaking in the debate was because the ANC was too scared to put their “corruption accused” deputy president in the debate.

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Schreiber also referred to a remark by Sylvia Lucas that “load shedding isn’t the end of the world”.

He said it was the end of the world for people who have been laid off because of load shedding.

Confusion over visa directive

Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said a directive issued in December on tourist visas caused some confusion.

“We are getting blamed for chasing away tourists. It was supposed to be an internal memo,” Motsoaledi said.

He noted 32 countries don’t need tourist visas to visit South Africa.

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