South Africa 14.2.2017 04:15 pm

It was the state against the nation at Sona, says Maimane

DA leader Mmusi Maimane addresses media, 4 August 2016, at the IEC ROC, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

DA leader Mmusi Maimane addresses media, 4 August 2016, at the IEC ROC, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Maimane said the police, nevermind scores of riot police, had no place in parliament in a democracy.

The use of force against the Economic Freedom Fighters in parliament, turned the state of the nation address (Sona) into an assault on the nation reminiscent of the apartheid regime and President Jacob Zuma into the enemy of the people, Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said on Tuesday.

Borrowing from George Orwell to reflect on the brutality of a boot kicking the face of female MP, Maimane said the police, never mind scores of riot police, had no place in parliament in a democracy.

“The liberator turned oppressor. The enemy of the people. In his novel 1984, George Orwell said: ‘If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever’,” Maimane said.

“We saw a glimpse of this future on Thursday night, and it looked very much like our painful past. The police in riot gear. The deployment of the army. The screams of female Members of Parliament as they were punched and kicked. A boot stamping on a human face. South Africa will never forget what happened on Thursday.”

READ MORE: Live report: MPs debate Zuma’s Sona in Parliament 

Turning to Zuma’s chuckle as he began his speech after the EFF had been hauled out of the chamber, Maimane added: “And we will never forget the reaction of the man at the centre of it all.

“We will never forget how he laughed… It was the laugh of the enemy of the people.”

Maimane went on to accuse Zuma of building his home at Nkandla on “the backs of the poor” and the ANC of having become the party late SACP leader Chris Hani warned against who “use the resources of this country to live in palaces and to gather riches”.

– African News Agency

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