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#SONADebate: Mthembu says EFF not fit to govern SA, act like children

ANC's Jackson Mthembu also says the EFF member who assaulted parliamentary policeman at Sona last week should face consequences for his action.

FILE: Jackson Mthembu. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN - The African National Congress (ANC) chief whip Jackson Mthembu has criticised the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) for a series of violent incidents in the past few months, saying legal action needs to be taken.

He was talking in Parliament during the debate on the State of The Nation Address on Tuesday.

EFF Member of Parliament Marshall Dlamini is facing charges after he was seen slapping a parliamentary policeman following the president's address last week.

Mthembu says there must be consequences: “They called themselves a government in waiting yet behave like children who go around beating up people. Just last week, an EFF MP Marshall Dlamini assaulted a police officer outside the National Assembly.”

The EFF's Mbuyiseni Ndlozi responded and said: “The matter of the deputy president of the EFF is sub judice in Parliament. The Honorable Jackson Mthembu should know that you cannot reach a conclusion and mislead the country about an assault that did not happen.”

GOVT WORKING ON ADDRESSING CORRUPTION

Meanwhile, Minister in the Presidency, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says government is working to address problems like corruption and fixing ailing state-owned entities.

The minister has lamented on the fact that the ANC government has made mistakes: “There have been missteps and there are many more hills to climb. But Tata [Nelson Mandela] taught us that it is only when you are standing that you don’t miss a step. So, we accept we have had missteps that we must now correct as the president said in his address; that we must make sure that we fight corruption.”

But she says the current problems need to be weighed against those of more than 20 years ago: “Eskom was supplying electricity to a very few people in 1994 and now it is giving electricity to many more, so we need to correct that.”

After her speech, Malema took a dig at Dlamini-Zuma, by thanking Ramaphosa's supporters: “…For having saved us from this nightmare because this could have been our State of the Nation Address and it was going to be the most boring State of the Nation Address.”

The Democratic Alliance's Mmusi Maimane says the president is not focusing on the correct issues: “You’ve been watching this space as Eskom fell apart into a crisis we may never recover from. You have been watching this space as the Gupta leaks and Zondo commission showing how our country has been sold for a braai pack and a few beers and a Louis Vuitton bag.”

‘WISHY WASHY’

Malema has accused Ramaphosa of being "wishy-washy" about land expropriation without compensation.

He has criticised the president on his apparent lack of action when it comes to addressing poverty.

“Without changing property relations in South Africa, Mr President, you will never be able to defeat poverty, unemployment and inequality. Your collective cowardice and fear of white people will keep black people in permanent poverty and starvation.”

This criticism also extended to the land issue: “You no longer follow the party line but that of the Oppenheimers because things like expropriation of land are the resolutions of your own party, but every time you speak about them, you are wishy-washy.”

WATCH: Debate on Sona 2019

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