Malema: We'll give Ramaphosa chance to deliver Sona peacefully

The EFF again protested as the speaker of Parliament refused to allow their motion to debate the dissolution of Parliament.

FILE: EFF leader Julius Malema briefs the media in Braamfontein, Johannesburg on 5 February 2018. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

CAPE TOWN – As newly-elected President Cyril Ramaphosa prepares to deliver his first all-important State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Friday, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has promised to give him a chance and not disrupt him like they previous did with his predecessor.

Ramaphosa was elected in the National Assembly and then sworn-in on Thursday.

He is expected to articulate government’s plan of action for the year ahead.

The EFF again protested as the Speaker of Parliament refused to allow their motion to debate the dissolution of Parliament.

The party gave Parliament and former president Jacob Zuma a headache for years through such distributions.

They are promising Ramaphosa that today’s event will be free of drama.

“Our people are longing for a day where the State of the National Address will be delivered in a peaceful environment. We’re giving Cyril that chance.”

But this won’t be for long, as EFF Leader Julius Malema promised his party would take on Ramaphosa for his role in the Marikana massacre and for being part of a Parliament that failed to hold Jacob Zuma to account.

“Zuma is gone, they should know that we’ll never retreat.”

WATCH: Ramaphosa's first address in Parliament as SA president

Ramaphosa gave his maiden speech as president in the National Assembly, where he promised to serve the people of South Africa to the best of his ability.

Ramaphosa has set the tone for his new role as South Africa’s president.

He also spoke of the need to grow the economy, to combat corruption and sort out state-owned companies, promising concrete steps in his State of the Nation Address on Friday night.

“I do believe when one is elected in this type of position, you basically become a servant of the people of South Africa. And I will seek to execute that task with humility, with faithfulness and with dignity as well. That is what I will seek to do.”

Responding to opposition party Members of Parliament, Ramaphosa said he would strive for parties to work together to improve the lives of South Africans, agreeing with the Pan Africanist Congress that “it is not yet Uhuru” after the party’s leader urged him to deal with the land question.

Ramaphosa told Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane, who told Ramaphosa he would “see him” at the 2019 elections, to "stop grandstanding", saying he would be seeing him regularly at Parliament.

'PIVOTAL STEP TO REVIVE BUSINESS CONFIDENCE'

Business Unity South Africa (Busa) has described the swearing in of President Ramaphosa as a pivotal step towards reviving business confidence.

Ramaphosa was sworn in as president of the republic in Cape Town on Thursday afternoon following an uncontested election.

Busa's Tanya Kohen said while the business community supports Ramaphosa in this new era, he needs capable ministers around him.

“We think that the forthcoming budget is expected to be extremely challenging and underscores the need for a competent and credible and capable administration that the country really needs.”

She said the organisation welcomes his commitment to being accountable to Parliament.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)