Steven Tau and ANA
21 minute read
9 Feb 2017
10:39 pm

Blow by blow: Zuma wraps up Sona after night of violent chaos and obscenities

Steven Tau and ANA

After the removal or departure of most opposition members, the president took to the podium with a giggle and the word 'finally'...

President Jacob Zuma.

President Jacob Zuma delivered his state of the nation address after most of the members of opposition, including the DA and EFF, left the House and were kicked out violently, respectively.

Speaker of the NCOP Thandi Modise clarified that what had been referred to earlier as “tear gas” had in her view been pepper spray. She nevertheless apologised for the incident and said it should not have happened.

Zuma concluded his speech more than an hour late after the joint sitting of both houses of parliament was delayed by numerous points of order and riot police gathered outside.

A major point that the speech will probably be remembered for is Zuma’s insistence that black land claimants should not accept cash for claims, but keep the land going forward.

This sentiment was shared by ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, who also complained that the Speaker had been “too lenient” on the EFF, who should have been evicted within 20 minutes instead of more than an hour, in his opinion.

He said it “concerns the hell out of me” that people could come to parliament to disrupt proceedings.

Zuma’s view on the land question:

After calling for greater black business ownership, President Jacob Zuma set out the transfer of more land to black South Africans as another key priority in his state of the nation address.

“We will not achieve true reconciliation until the land issue is resolved,” Zuma said in his address, after the Economic Freedom Fighters MPs were dragged out of the National Assembly in the worst violence seen since the party began challenging his legitimacy.

Zuma quoted known figures confirming that only eight million hectares of the country’s 82 million hectares of arable land had been transferred to black owners.

He urged beneficiaries to retain land instead of opting for financial compensation, saying it was regrettable that black involvement in farming had declined sharply last year, with their retreat from the land conceivably hastened by the drought afflicting the country.

“We appeal to land claimants to accept land instead of financial compensation. This is very important,” he stressed.

“If you accept finance you use it in short time, it is gone, it is important that you remain with the land, not the money.”

He added that perhaps it was a failure when the post-democratic government initiated land reform, to give claimants the option to choose compensation.

Zuma told MPs he had referred the Expropriation Bill, passed by the National Assembly last year, back to Parliament, saying it would not pass constitutional muster.

“This is due to inadequate public participation during its processing. We trust that Parliament will be able to move with speed in meeting the requirements so that the law can be finalised to effect transformation.”

The bill is aimed at repealing the Expropriation Act of 1975.

– African News Agency (ANA)

https://twitter.com/Mngxitama/status/829772704878301185

Zuma’s views on transformation:

President Jacob Zuma on Thursday expressed unhappiness at the pace of transformation in the workplace, saying that government wanted to open up the economy to new players.

During the State of the Nation Address, Zuma said it was now time for black people to begin owning and playing a meaningful role in the country’s big industries instead of benefiting from empowerment schemes.

“Radical economic transformation should move beyond share economic schemes only. We would like to see black people involved directly in business, owning factories. The development of the Black Industrialists programme is thus critical,” Zuma said.

“Only 10 percent of Top 100 companies on the JSE are black-owned. The pace of transformation in the workplace remains slow.”

Zuma said government was trying to quicken the pace of transformation in the economy through various programmes aimed at benefiting small, micro, and medium enterprises (SMMEs), especially black-owned and female-owned enterprises.

He said government was actively involved in the R7 trillion property sector, adding that this year government would address increasing delays and backlogs in issuing of title deeds.

Zuma also said this year, the Department of Public Works would invest R100m on critical programmes to modernise harbours and continue generating revenue from letting state-owned harbours and coastlines properties, which would benefit black owned SMMEs.

Zuma said government would also continue to pursue policies that seek to broaden the participation of black people and SMMEs, including those owned by women and the youth, in the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector.

– African News Agency (ANA)

https://twitter.com/KidSibz/status/829774905633804288

Zuma’s views on market domination:

A processs to amend the Competition Act is set to start this year so government can deal with market concentration, which is crowding out small businesses, President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday.

“Two key challenges we face is the high levels of concentration in the economy as well as the collusion and cartels, which squeeze out small players and hamper the entry of young entrepreneurs and black industrialists,” Zuma said while delivering his 2017 state of the nation address.

Zuma said while much had been done to deal with cartel behaviour, including the criminalisation of collusion which carries a 10 year jail sentence, there are still sectors where a small group of people control most of the market.

“During this year, the Department of Economic Development will bring legislation to Cabinet that will seek to amend the Competition Act,” he said.

“It will among others address the need to have a more inclusive economy and to de-concentrate the high levels of ownership and control we see in many sectors. We will then table the legislation for consideration by parliament.”

– African News Agency (ANA)

https://twitter.com/sure_kamhunga/status/829762715736559616

President Jacob Zuma on Thursday lauded social partners in government, labour and the business fraternity, saying that their partnership had worked well for the country last year.

Delivering his State of the Nation Address in Parliament on Thursday evening, Zuma declared 2017 as “the year of unity in action” and said this was the year government would be implementing it plans.

“We were able to address some domestic challenges together. We successfully avoided credit ratings downgrade which would have negatively affected our economy,” Zuma said.

“While global economic environment remains uncertain, we have entered economic recovery. We anticipate an economic growth of 1.3 percent in 2017. However the economy is still not growing fast enough to create more jobs that we need.”

Zuma said that the government’s 9-Point Plan would deal with creating jobs and opportunities in certain focus areas such as industrialisation, mining, agriculture, agro-process, and others.

He said the labour market was showing signs of stabilising and commended the manner in which social partners carried themselves during wage negotiations in platinum sector and at National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) during the signing of national minimum wage.

“We congratulate the Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and the team at NEDLAC for this milestone and wish them well for work still ahead,” Zuma said.

– African News Agency (ANA)

https://twitter.com/VonaniMabunda/status/829762756182233088

President Jacob Zuma on Thursday said he had ordered Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi to speedily implement the health ombudsman’s recommendations following the death of 94 psychiatric patients in Gauteng.

“I’ve instructed the minister of health to ensure that the health ombudsperson’s recommendations are wholly and speedily implemented without any reservations,” Zuma said while delivering his state of the nation address (Sona).

“We welcomed the recommendation…that there is an urgent need to review the National Health Act of 2003 and the Mental Health Act of 2002 with a view that certain powers and functions revert back to the national minister of health.”

Zuma said government was intent on providing support to the families of the deceased.

His comments came after Speaker Baleka Mbete refused a request by the Democratic Alliance (DA) for a minute of silence for the 94 patients who died after they were transferred from Life Esidimeni to unlicensed facilities in Gauteng.

The DA MPs waved their flags, bearing the words “Remember the Esidimeni 94”.

– African News Agency (ANA)

Earlier:

President Jacob Zuma has now started delivering his state of the nation address, while chaos rages outside in the parliamentary precinct. Zuma has laughed a number of times and could be heard laughing while the opposition was being manhandled.

The situation remains tense while President Jacob Zuma continues.

To watch the rest of his speech, you can follow the live video below:

https://twitter.com/usiya/status/829759045561106432

Full story:

Democratic Alliance MPs, led by party leader Mmusi Maimane walked out of the National Assembly on Thursday, shortly before President Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation address, and moments after Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MPs were violently ejected from the chamber.

“I think without doubt, this Parliament has become colonised by the executive. Jacob Zuma is now using stun grenades, tear gas, [and] the military to defend the person who has violated the Constitution. And now, the speakers of Parliament have also been co-opted in destroying the Constitution of the Republic,” Maimane said outside.

“In which world do we allow, as I have always argued the case to say the police and the defence cannot come into this precinct. This is the people’s Parliament. If we don’t have a Constitution to stand for, what exactly are we standing for?”

Before leaving the National Assembly, Maimane had raised a point of order saying that it was unconstitutional that teargas was used in the public gallery.

EFF MPs were earlier forcefully and physically removed by Parliament’s security services.

Speaking outside, Maimane said it had become “unsafe” to sit in chamber after security used teargas inside.

“We can’t allow for the executive to encroach on Parliament in that manner.”

– African News Agency (ANA)

Earlier

The DA MPs have refused to be addressed by President Jacob Zuma. Led by leader Mmusi Maimane, and left parliament on their own.

Speaker Baleka Mbete ordered them out of the National Assembly. There were cries of “fuck you!” from the ANC benches, while another shouted at Mmusi Maimane calling him a “sellout” and a “racist”, along with other DA MPs.

Earlier, a large contingent of riot police gathered outside parliament when it seemed inevitable the EFF were about to be kicked out.

The speaker said they would investigate a report that someone had been “pepper-sprayed” in the gallery.

Earlier, the parliamentary protection services “white shirts” arrived to escort the EFF out of parliament. They were resisted, but overwhelmed the 25 EFF MPs rapidly, despite some of them escaping to other areas of the National Assembly.

There was clapping from the ANC benches at their departure.

Rocks were allegedly thrown during the confrontation. EFF leader Julius Malema said they were prepared to die in protecting the country’s constitution.

https://twitter.com/Nelz767/status/829762281579884544

The 10th Sona for Jacob Zuma turned into running battles with parliament staff and police in the streets.

As they exited the building, furious EFF members went on the rampage, kicking over plants and throwing stanchions at a small stage, destroying it.

EFF member Fana Mokoena’s face was covered in blood after being pushed into a picture frame and, while an angry Julius Malema addressed media, stun grenades detonated in the background.

https://twitter.com/ZeldalaGrangeSA/status/829754330542665728

Speaker Baleka Mbete apologised to “our guests” for “this type of drama that has become the hallmark of how we deal with one another when we differ.

https://twitter.com/Barry_Roux/status/829752147638104065

https://twitter.com/sitole/status/829750021084020736

President Jacob Zuma began his speech 37 minutes late and was drowned out by a cacophony of voices from the EFF benches.

This was followed by further points of order, including one from DA leader Mmusi Maimane, who asked that the speech be allowed to continue so that “we can talk about the people’s business”.

Earlier:

The Economic Freedom Fighters first delayed, then drowned out President Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation address, drawing a warning from Speaker Baleka Mbete that they were “abusing all of us”.

“We are not going to sit here the whole night listening to you raising points of order … we have ruled and we are not intending to waste endless time because you have a right to raise a point of order,” she said.

Zuma had begun his speech by welcoming the chief justice, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and other dignitaries but was barely audible as the EFF clamoured to raise points of order.

EFF leader Julius Malema claimed that 21 police officers had been disguised as parliamentary security personnel and armed with cable ties and “biological weapons” to attack the party.

His deputy Floyd Shivambu demanded an undertaking that the EFF would be treated fairly and “we are not going to have SAPS invading the House, violating the Constitution”.

But Mbete said she could not act on “hearsay”.

“It should not be a rumour because it came from an opposition [MP],” Malema retorted.

“We are raising a simple matter that this cable tie, we took it from a security guy outside and all of us should enjoy your protection. A caring speaker who is concerned about all members of Parliament and their safety.”

From there it was downhill as EFF MP Godrich Gardee rose to remind the joint sitting that the Constitutional Court had, in the Nkandla case, found that Zuma had flouted the law.

ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu stood up to defend Zuma against what he termed a “frivolous” motion.

“This Parliament has decided not to remove the president on the basis of what the honourable member is raising today, it was put to the house, the motion was defeated by the house. We cannot go back.”

Malema made a counter point and was soon shouting at the chairwoman of the National Council of Provinces, Thandi Modise, after she said he was not raising a point of order.

“What was Jackson’s point? What was Jackson’s point? We are all equal here… the point that the majority voted against the Nkandla report does not make the majority,” he said.

“Mr Zuma has collapsed his own right to address us here.”

Turning to the president, he said: “Your problem is not outside. Your problem is in here.”

After Zuma started speaking, and Mbete issued her warning, EFF MP Mbuyseni Ndlozi rose undeterred and demanded Zuma leave.

“But Mr Zuma is a constitutional delinquent.”

At this Modise asked the EFF to sit down or leave the chamber.

– African News Agency (ANA)

Earlier:

The Economic Freedom Fighters on Thursday sought to prevent President Jacob Zuma from delivering his state of the nation address, raising numerous point of orders and requests, including that they be protected from police ready to attack them with cable ties and “biological weapons”.

EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu demanded Speaker Baleka Mbete give an undertaking that the EFF would be treated fairly and “we are not going to have SAPS invading the House, violating the Constitution”.

EFF leader Julius Malema insisted that the party had confiscated a cable tie from a member of the security services, and added “people are going to be injected with biological weapons”.

But Mbete said she could not act on “hearsay”.

“It should not be a rumour because it came from an opposition [MP],” Malema retorted.

“We are raising a simple matter that this cable tie, we took it from a security guy outside and all of us should enjoy your protection. A caring speaker who is concerned about all members of Parliament and their safety.”

From there it was downhill as EFF MP Godrich Gardee rose to remind the joint sitting that the Constitutional Court had, in the Nkandla case, found that Zuma had flouted the law.

ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu stood up to defend Zuma against what he termed a “frivolous” motion.

“This Parliament has decided not to remove the president on the basis of what the honourable member is raising today, it was put to the house, the motion was defeated by the house. We cannot go back.”

Malema made a counter point and was soon shouting at the chairwoman of the National Council of Provinces, Thandi Modise, after she said he was not raising a point of order.

“What was Jackson’s point? What was Jackson’s point? We are all equal here… the point that the majority voted against the Nkandla report does not make the majority,” he said.

“Mr Zuma has collapsed his own right to address us here.”

– African News Agency (ANA)

Tweets that were made as it happened:

https://twitter.com/PMotsoetla/status/829745404363341827

https://twitter.com/Isaac_Moselane/status/829741414623956993

Earlier

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MPs shouted “Tsoti”, the isiXhosa word for thief, as President Jacob Zuma entered the National Assembly chamber on Thursday, for his state of the nation address.

However, African National Congress MPs, who were in the majority, drowned out the opposition MPs chants by shouting ANC loudly.

Zuma ignored the EFF and shook hands of MPs as he entered along with Speaker Baleka Mbete.

– African News Agency (ANA)

https://twitter.com/iMukovhe/status/829737619403767808

Earlier

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and the country’s judge presidents received a standing ovation as they entered the National Assembly ahead of President Jacob Zuma state of the national address on Thursday night.

Even the EFF, who earlier ignored the entrance of the country’s premiers, by singing and chanting, stood up and clapped loudly.

– African News Agency (ANA)

https://twitter.com/Bongeh_M/status/829736391957499904

Earlier

Earlier

Democratic Alliance MPs were seated in the National Assembly chamber on Thursday night armed with black flags bearing the words “Remember the Esidimeni 94”.

The flags were referencing the deaths of at least 94 mentally ill patients who died after being transferred from the Life Esidimeni clinic to unlicenced facilities in Gauteng.

https://twitter.com/lesterkk/status/829726713336778752

The Economic Freedom Fighters arrived in their trademark red overalls and hard hats, singing and chanting, while guests and fellow MPs watched from their seats.

Zuma is expected to address the joint sitting of the National Assembly (NA) and National Council of Provinces at 7pm.

MPs, diplomats, guests, and journalists had to be seated at 6pm to open the red carpet for Zuma’s procession, which would include the deputy president, NA speaker, NCOP chairwoman Thandi Modise, the chief justice and provincial high court judge presidents, and premiers.

Televisions were set up across the chamber so the pomp and ceremony happening outside could be viewed before Zuma enters the House.

– African News Agency (ANA)

Earlier

MPs and guests have packed the National Assembly chamber on Thursday, as they await the arrival of President Jacob Zuma ahead of his tenth State-of-the-Nation Sddress (Sona).

Zuma is expected to address a joint sitting of the National Assembly (NA) and National Council of Provinces at 7pm.

MPs, diplomats, guests, and journalists had to be seated at 6pm to open the red carpet for Zuma’s procession, which would include the deputy president, NA speaker, NCOP chairwoman Thandi Modise, the chief justice and provincial high court judge presidents, and premiers.

Televisions are set up across the chamber so the pomp and ceremony happening outside can be viewed before Zuma enters the House.

Earlier

EFF MPs tell reporters they’re at Sona to work and not take part in a fashion parade. This after the party vowed to disrupt ‘delinquent’ Zuma during the highly anticipated Sona tonight.

Earlier

Government confirms it’s all systems go for tonight’s State of the Nation address, saying the red carpet was rolled out and the stage was set for the president’s address.

Earlier

The police’s public order policing members had their hands full on Thursday afternoon as they battled to push back a crowd of protesting students ahead of President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation (SONA) address.

The group of young people, mainly students in school uniforms, waved placards and chanted slogans in support of Zuma and insulting opposition party leaders, including Julius Malema of the Economic Freedom Fighters and Helen Zille of the Democratic Alliance.

“Allow us to come inside and deal with Malema,” some of the protesters shouted as police officers in riot gear pushed them back.

Some of the students threw litter at the police officers who were holding shields and wearing helmets.

Before 6pm, the students had been pushed back, forcefully, to the intersection of Darling and Corporation Street in the Cape Town CBD.

– African News Agency (ANA)

Earlier

Catch rolling updates from this year’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) live from parliament.

Remember to refresh your browser for the latest updates from our team.

The EFF supporters are chanting liberation songs, the street has been blocked off to traffic, while police officers are keeping a close eye on the march. The protest comes hours before President Jacob Zuma presents his State of the Nation Address (Sona).

Earlier this week, the EFF vowed to disrupt the Sona, describing Zuma as a delinquent. The Sona is expected to get under way from 7pm on Thursday.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b30x_zs2jYU&feature=youtu.be

With only a few hours to go to the State of the Nation Address this evening in Parliament, we asked our Facebook followers what they think President Jacob Zuma WON’T address during the Sona.

Here are some of the responses:

ALSO READ: Twitter has no chill! The best tweets about the upcoming #Sona2017

Earlier 

Some MPs have started arriving at the parliamentary precinct ahead of Thursday night’s state of the nation address (Sona).

Economic Freedom Fighters deputy leader and chief whip Floyd Shivambu and fellow MP Marshall Dlamini took a walk on the red carpet before stepping into their offices in the Marks Building, which houses most of the opposition parties. Both were dressed in their trademark red overalls.

IFP MP Narend Singh smiled for the cameras as he too arrived hours before the speech was due to start.

READ MORE: ANC heavyweight not happy with army deployment at Sona

President Jacob Zuma is expected to walk the red carpet later before delivering his speech at 7pm. He will by accompanied by the deputy president, members of the judiciary, premiers and mayors.

A tight security net has been thrown around parliament. Many roads around parliament have been blocked by traffic officers, with pedestrians only allowed limited access around the precinct.

On virtually every corner a group of police officers can be seen watching their surroundings with an eagle eye.

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