Leader of the DA, Mmusi Maimane, was delivering a statement in response to a debate by the Parliament on the State of The Nation (SONA) address delivered by President Jacob Zuma last week.
The speech title, ‘The Enemy Of The People,’ accused the ruling party of corruption, mismanagement of the country and self-seeking by its leaders.
‘‘The ANC has turned from liberator of the people to the enemy of the people. On Thursday evening we gathered to watch the President’s State of the Nation Address. Long before we entered the chamber, it was clear that this government wasn’t on the same side as the people.
‘‘Streets were closed off and barricaded for miles around this precinct. There were riot police and razor wire on every corner. There were snipers on the rooftops. There were soldiers with automatic rifles pacing up and down Parliament Avenue.
‘‘This wasn’t the State of the Nation. It was the State against the Nation. The ANC on the one side and the people on the other. The liberator turned oppressor. The enemy of the people,’‘ Maimane charged to applause by members of his party.
Zuma’s SONA address over the past two years have been remembered more by incidents preceding it than for what he said. Last year, members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) were forced out of the chamber to allow Zuma the needed ambiance to speak.
This year was not different, security detail at the parliament clashed with the EFF who have continually refused to recognize Jacob Zuma as president. Their reason being that Zuma has been accused of breaking his oath by the Constitutional Court in a number of corruption trials.
The ANC party were at the forefront of the fight for liberation from the apartheid regime that clamped down heavily on the black population. After years of struggle, the ANC formed the first government in post-Apartheid South Africa.
They have since gone on to produce the last three presidents of the country, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma. Zuma, arguably the most embattled leader of the ANC has survived impeachment attempts over the last year. His tenure runs out in 2019 when the next presidential polls are held.