Opposition party notes with concern recent rumours and even threats regarding planned disturbances and possibly violence at this year’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).
While these threats make amusing headlines, the family feud between the ANC and EFF continues to pull focus from crucial issues such as the 8.3 million people who are currently jobless in South Africa and hinders Parliament’s role as the apex of our democracy’s mechanisms of accountability.
SONA is crucial event on the South African political calendar, meant to provide Parliament and the people of South Africa an opportunity to hold the President accountable for his plans, policies, and their implementation.
Considering the numerous social and economic crises crippling our country’s growth the President must be held accountable for the true state of nation, and the DA will not be party to any disruptions that will rob South Africans of this opportunity.
Parliament is meant to ensure executive accountability and facilitate robust debate. There is nothing revolutionary about pointless Points of Order and Privilege and the DA calls for calm and an adherence to the Joint Rules of Parliament by all parties and the Presiding Officers on Thursday.
Ignoring the rules and disrupting the day’s proceedings or the unconstitutional deployment of Public Order Police and signal jammers as seen in previous years simply erodes Parliament’s capacity to fulfil its mandate, will only protect President Zuma and cannot be tolerated.
South Africa works only when Parliament works and the DA will raise our concerns, including reports of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation’s (Hawks) Crimes Against the State Unit’s presence at Parliament, at tomorrow’s Whips meeting.