Opposition parties tear into Ramaphosa on first day of Sona debate

The Democratic Alliance hammered on Cyril Ramaphosa’s internal battles within the ruling party’ where there were plans to undermine him and to try and topple him.

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen during the State of the Nation Address debate in Parliament on 16 February 2021. Picture: @ParliamentofRSA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN – Opposition parties have torn into President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (Sona), claiming that it offered nothing new. They also questioned his ability to lead both the country and the African National Congress (ANC).

Parties had their say during the first day of debate on the speech which Ramaphosa delivered last Thursday.

The debate took place under the long shadow cast by the COVID-19 pandemic and the deaths of more than 48,000 people so far.

READ: Malema to Ramaphosa: You're incompetent & a most unreliable human being

The Democratic Alliance (DA) hammered on Cyril Ramaphosa’s internal battles within the ruling party’ where there were plans to undermine him and to try and topple him.

Party leader John Steenhuisen again questioned whether Ramaphosa could put South Africa ahead of his party.

“You cannot tell people to rise when the factions of your own party have immobilised the state to such a degree that absolutely nothing gets done, and the looters stay in their positions in government.”

He said that Ramaphosa’s silence on former President Jacob Zuma snubbing the state capture inquiry spoke volumes.

“None of that sounds like somebody who is putting the country first. The time has now come to put courage first, and to show that courage by making it clear that it is South Africa first.”

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema repeatedly described Ramaphosa as incompetent, incapacitated, and unreliable, warning that if he didn’t follow through on the expropriation of land without compensation, he wouldn’t finish his first term as president.

“There is honestly nothing to celebrate under your leadership. The reality is that the conditions of our people are getting worse; and while corona has worsened them, it is still not to blame for your general incompetence.”

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