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‘Instead of a new dawn, there is a new despair’ - Steenhuisen

Speaking during the debate on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Sona, Steenhuisen accused the president of putting his party first, instead of South Africans.

Democratic Alliance (DA) interim leader John Steenhuisen during the debate on Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (Sona). Picture: YouTube screengrab.

CAPE TOWN - Democratic Alliance (DA) interim leader John Steenhuisen on Tuesday unleashed a no-holds-barred attack on President Cyril Ramaphosa, accusing him of turning his promise of a "new dawn" into “new despair”.

Speaking during the debate on Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (Sona), Steenhuisen accused the president of putting his party first, instead of South Africans.

“Instead of a new dawn, there is a new despair. Through your actions and your positions these past two years, you might have strengthened your internal position – you might even have strengthened the tri-partite alliance – but you have hurt the people of South Africa.”

Steenhuisen accused Ramaphosa of lacking the guts to make tough choices, such as facing down the unions and taking Eskom off life-support.

DE KLERK MATTER

The African National Congress (ANC) has again criticised former Deputy President FW de Klerk for saying apartheid was not a crime against humanity.

This time the response came in the National Assembly chamber during Tuesday’s debate on the Sona.

Last week, Parliament was disrupted when members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) called for De Klerk to leave the Sona because of those remarks during a recent interview.

ANC deputy chief whip Doris Dlakude said De Klerk's statement was unfortunate, insensitive and reckless.

Her remarks follow accusations that ANC MPs were apartheid apologists and supported De Klerk.

“He should’ve known that the United Nations declared apartheid as a crime against humanity. Such statements have a tendency of sowing seeds of hatred, racialism, divisions and promotions of superiority among citizens of this country.”

Dlakude has called on all leaders in the country to refrain from making reckless statements that are not in line with the constitution.

She has also commended parliament's presiding officers for exercising restraint during the state of the nation address.

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