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#SonaDebate: Maimane launches a scathing attack on Zuma

Maimane told Zuma he is out of touch with the people and should do the honourable thing and resign.

FILE: A screen grab of DA leader Mmusi Maimane addressing parliament during the 2016 State of the Nation debate on 16 February 2016. Picture: YouTube.

CAPE TOWN - Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maine has launched a scathing attack against the President Jacob Zuma during a debate on his State of the Nation Address (Sona), saying he is out of touch with the people and should do the honourable thing and resign.

#SONAdebate Maimane:Zuma is not an honourable man. Because, if he was an honourable man, he would do the honourable thing and resign. RE

Parties are debating Zuma's address in which the economy was outlined as one of government's top priorities.

Zuma delivered his speech on Thursday night after repeated interruptions and a walkout by members of Cope and the Economic Freedom Fighters.

During the debate in this Chamber last year, Maimane referred to President Zuma as a broken man, presiding over a broken society.

Today, Maimane told Zuma he is out of touch with the people.

"On Planet Zuma, every problem can be solved by setting up a committee, a task team, or a commission of inquiry."

Maimane says he's not convinced.

#SONAdebate Maimane: Planet Zuma is a place where a President can replace an excellent Finance Minister with a backbencher. RE

"Planet Zuma is a place in a parallel universe, far, far away from the lives of ordinary South Africans."

Emboldened by the concessions the president's lawyer made in the Constitutional Court on the Nkandla matter, Maimane used the podium to give him stick.

#SONAdebate Maimane: Planet Zuma is a place in a parallel universe, far, far away from the lives of ordinary South Africans. RE

Zuma looked on as Maimane criticised him on a number of issues.

"We cannot respect a man personally responsible for the building of Nkandla and the firing of Nhlanhla [Nene]. Madame Speaker, Jacob Zuma is not an honourable man because if he was he would do the honourable thing and resign."

Speaker Baleka Mbete tried to reign him in.

"Honourable Maimane, I would love us to stick to matter of this proceedings and leave issues happening outside there."

But he carried on, and later turned to Zuma, telling him it's time to resign.

"We need a president who puts people first and himself last. You Sir, are not that president."

Just before that, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies warned there was no quick fix for the economy as commodity prices continue to plummet.

Davies says the economic situation has changed drastically.

"The price of gold in January this year was one third down on the corresponding level of 2013. Platinum was 14 percent down and iron ore at $42 a ton was only one third of the $135 than it was in 2013."

He says all countries are affected.

"The fact is, however, that all mineral commodity exporting countries developed or developing have been and continue to be affected."

He also says those who offer a quick-fix are simply conning the people.

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