By Zukile Majova
The political honeymoon where opposition parties treated President Cyril Ramaphosa with kid gloves is well and truly over.
They lambasted him and his administration this week during a two-day critique of his 2023 State of the Nation Address (Sona) in Parliament.
DA leader John Steenhuisen said Ramaphosa was worse than the tainted Jacob Zuma.
Zuma presided over a dark decade in post-apartheid South Africa where over R1 trillion of taxpayers’ money was plundered and looted by tenderpreneurs and friends of the president.
Details of this ransacking of state companies like Eskom, Transnet and SAA, most notably by the Gupta family, are contained in the final report of Justice Raymond Zondo’s State Capture Commission.
The DA has previously supported Ramaphosa’s plans to rebuild the capacity of the state, fight corruption and lay the foundation for economic growth.
But Steenhuisen served the divorce papers in Parliament on Tuesday.
“Unemployment has sky-rocketed from 36% to 43% since Mr Ramaphosa became president in 2018,” said Steenhuisen.
“Murder has increased by 20% over the same period, with 70 people murdered in this country every day. And, as we all know, rolling power blackouts have become a permanent feature of life in the Ramaphosa era.”
EFF leader Julius Malema, the former president of the ANCYL who was expelled by Ramaphosa for misconduct in the ANC, was scathing after his party was kicked out of Parliament last week.
“We can say boldly Mr Ramaphosa has failed to uphold and defend the Constitution,” said the founder of the EFF.
“The Constitutional Court has ruled that security forces must stay away from lawmakers. The police must never be allowed inside the Chamber because that is where the Executive is held accountable.”
Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe defended Ramaphosa’s decision to declare a National State of Disaster to deal with the energy crisis.
“We do not have 24 months to resolve load shedding. That is how serious the president takes this crisis,” Mantashe said.
Ramaphosa is expected to respond to matters raised by MPs later on Wednesday on day two of the joint debate of the Sona in the Cape Town City Hall.
Pictured above: Julius Malema taking the stand at the SONA debate
Image source: @ParlimentofRSA