Opposition parties reject President Zuma’s state of the nation address

Opposition parties intend to reject President Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation address when the debate on the speech takes place in parliament on Tuesday and Wednesday next week.

An eight-party opposition grouping called a press conference earlier today to express their “extreme disappointment” in the speech Zuma delivered last night. “[The speech] delivered no hope,” the grouping said in a joint statement. “It only cemented in many South Africans’ minds that they can no longer have confidence in a Government led by Mr Jacob Zuma. We will therefore stand together in opposing President Zuma’s state of the nation address next week.”

Prior to the joint press conference, the ANC issued its own press release stating that “independent political parties are once again being hoodwinked into an unholy alliance with the Democratic Alliance (DA)”.

“[They are a] gullible troop of opposition leaders [who are] not aware that they served as useful idiots in the DA’s scheme to influence the internal leadership election process of the ANC in Mangaung,” the statement read. “This unholy alliance, which gangs up just for the sake of opposing without proposing policy alternatives, is bound to collapse the same way their no confidence motion project did,” the ANC said.

In November last year, opposition parties, including the ACDP, the Azanian People’s Organisation, Cope, the DA, Freedom Front Plus, the IFP, UDM and the United Christian Democratic Party, also joined forces and collectively tabled a motion of no confidence in Zuma. The motion of no confidence had never been debated in parliament and DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko subsequently brought an urgent application to force a parliamentary debate on the motion of no confidence in Zuma. Judge Dennis Davis, however, dismissed the application, arguing that the court could not dictate to parliament.

Mazibuko then took to the Constitutional Court to appeal Davis’s ruling. The opposition grouping intends to pursue its motion of no confidence in Zuma once the Constitutional Court has ruled on the matter. “President Zuma’s state of the nation address has provided more clear evidence for this joint action,” the grouping said in its statement. “This is a president who can no longer be trusted in dealing with the pressing concerns of every South African citizen.”

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