Sunday, 19 August, 2018

South Africa Postpones Key Speech as Standoff With Zuma Continues

A meme about President Jacob Zuma refusing to step down is circulating on social media South Africa Postpones Key Speech as Standoff With Zuma Continues
Patty Aguilar | 07 February, 2018, 01:03

Zuma's letter had not arrived at the time the presiding officers made their announcement, which was just before 3pm today. Scheduled to start at 2pm, some 40 minutes later it was over. Some opposition legislators have disrupted past appearances by Zuma in the parliament.

"We have, regrettably, come to the conclusion that there is little likelihood of an uneventful joint sitting of Parliament this coming Thursday", she added.

ANC leaders have held marathon meetings amid mounting pressure for Zuma not to deliver the State of the Nation Address.

Party secretary-general Ace Magashule said the executive committee meeting had been postponed to enable Zuma and Ramaphosa to keep holding "constructive discussions" over the transition, but he did not elaborate.

But an address by Zuma would leave some ANC lawmakers in a hard situation - whether to visibly support him, adopt a critical pose, remain neutral or boycott the address.

"We are listening to political stakeholders and members of the public in making this decision". The speech was due to take place on Thursday.

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Mbete confirmed that SONA would be postponed. In separate statements, both the presidency and the ANC welcomed the delay. All references were to "head of state" or the "president".

The former ANC leader and anti-apartheid hero has already survived several votes of no confidence in parliament where the ruling party has a majority.

Sona is an important political event in the country's calendar as it sets out the government's policy and service delivery priorities for the financial year ahead. However, postponing the Budget, scheduled for 21 February, is simply a no-go.

"South Africa only works when Parliament works", he said, "and the Sona is an integral part of the country's legislative agenda". The chairperson of the national council of provinces Thandi Modise said the SONA would not be delayed for more than a week.

SONA marks the opening of parliament and political parties will gather and get an opportunity to debate, comment and raise questions on matters addressed in the President's speech during a debate on the President's State of the Nation Address. Mr Zuma has repeatedly denied corruption allegations. We will tell the court that his party does not want him.

United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa said on Sunday that Zuma had no other option besides "the constitutional option". He said the DA would also be writing to the speaker about bringing back an impeachment motion which was tabled past year.

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